By Not Known
It is a joy to have the youth lead
the services today. We thank God for the way in which he has
revitalised our ministry to youth in recent years. He has provided us
with a good cohort of committed youth leaders as well as a pastoral
staff to support this ministry.
Most of our youth come from
Christian homes. That is a wonderful start to their life with the
Lord. But, it makes our youth very different to their parents, most
of whom are first-generation Christians. It also makes ministry to
our church youth very different to ministry to street youth. Let’s
think about how this impacts on ministry.
Firstly, church youth,are not
ignorant of the faith. Most of them have had shared in family ‘Bible
time’ and have attended the full range of Sunday School classes. Of
course, they have many new things to learn from the Bible. And, of
course, their existing learning needs to be broadened and deepened.
But, our youth have already learned much about God from the Bible and
most of them can summarise the Christian message.
But do they believe it?
Someone says that the biggest gap in the world is the one between
head and heart. Our youth may know much about God in their head, but
do they believe it in their heart? Or, do they know God personally,
as well as knowing about him? It is a key responsibility for parents
and church to help youth know the difference between head knowledge
and heart belief. And then we must pray and work to help our youth
make that head to heart transition.
Secondly, our youth may have a
second-hand faith. They may have learned habits of faith from their
parents and have had them reinforced in Sunday School. These are good
habits and parents and Sunday School should teach them. However,
there is a big difference between practising a faith inherited from
parents and a faith that is their own. It’s the difference between a
first- and second-hand faith, or between being God’s child and
grandchild. It is rightly said that God has no grandchildren. We
don’t want our youth to limp along on the memories of the vibrant
faith that their parents had – we want our youth to come to their own
first-hand, vibrant and living faith in Jesus Christ.
Let’s welcome our youth as they
lead today’s services. Let’s also encourage them with our prayers, by
giving them ‘space’ to conduct ministry in appropriate ways to their
audience and by providing adequate physical and other resources for
this booming ministry.