The Importance of the Youth Stage

Food for thought…

As a youth pastor, it seems I can but blink my eyes and my 12-year olds are now 18, with keys to a car (much to the dismay of everyone on the road) and already in college. My, how the years fly by. The older I get, the more I realize the value of time. We only have a little time on this earth to really make an impact and then we’ll move off the scene like all those before us. As James states in the New Testament, life is but a vapor (James 4:14). Here today, gone tomorrow.

Young person, don’t squander your youth! Our younger years aren’t just a beginning phase of our lives; they’re a foundation. Many professional careers, whether it’s a professional athlete or a doctor, are the actualization of something that started at a young age. Many were the fulfillment of a childhood dream or desire. Olympic gymnasts begin training as small children! Why can’t our spiritual lives be the same way? Why can’t our adult lives be the fulfillment of a childhood dream to do something great for God? Don’t settle for anything less than the best of what God has for you. God’s plan for your life doesn’t just automatically kick in at adulthood; let Him use you now!

BUT… for this to happen we have to trust God wholeheartedly. Do we trust Him enough to give Him control of the plans, goals, and dreams that we have already formulated for our lives? Now don’t get me wrong, plans are great (I highly recommend having them). But what if God wants to come in and mess it up? Do we really believe that HIS best is better than the best that we can imagine for ourselves? I can guarantee that the dreams and ambitions that you have right now don’t hold a candle to the ones that God has for you. Don’t let your youth slip by; instead, use it as the launching point into great things.

And to youth workers and parents: none of it happens without you! What are we investing in when we invest in our youth? Is it just about youth trips and crazy games? Hardly! We are investing in the future. Not just the future of your young people, but the future of the apostolic church and this great truth. Parents, for the most part, you will be the greatest influence in your child’s life. In most cases, you will make a more significant impact in their lives than a youth pastor or youth ministry ever could. What is important in your life? How does our lives demonstrate to our young people what success truly is? Don’t ever take your role for granted; you, and the influence you have, are invaluable! The future, the next generation of the church, is relying on you.

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