Friday, October 14, 2011

Just Tell us How!!!!!

Not long ago I was having a chat with a Brian, a young man from our church. We were talking about some issues in our community that our congregation was trying to address. A number of concerned middle aged adults were collaborating on the issue and as a young adult; Brian wanted to be involved too. After giving a number of excellent ideas about the subject, Brian concluded the conversation by saying “Young people like me WANT to help, but no one is telling us HOW.”

I have spent a great deal of time thinking about Brian’s statement. I agree with his ascertain that many young people, especially those of faith, want to help address real issue in their communities. Sadly, many people have the misconception that all young people are self-centered and are more interested playing video games and having fun than serving others. I can definitely find many young people who fit that misconception, but based on years of interacting with multitudes of young adults like Brian, I have discovered a huge number of young adults who earnestly want to make a difference in the world around them.

Sensing this desire to make a difference, our church has embraced young adults as full participants in serving our community in the name of Christ. For those who struggle to figure out HOW to let young adults serve, I thought I would list the ministries young adults have been involved in through our church in the past year. Maybe this list will spark a thought for how young adults can be leaders in your church.

How young adults have served our community through our church this year:

1.       Volunteered at the food bank to sort food that was distributed to various feeding sites around the state
2.       Volunteered at a feeding center and served clients with joy and enthusiasm
3.       Taught children's Sunday School and Children’s Church
4.       Provided all the leadership for our mid-week children’s Bible club
5.       Served as an usher both at church and at a number of special events in our area
6.       Served on the Worship Team at church, which includes occasionally leading that team
7.       Volunteered in the nursery at church helping care for babies
8.       Helped an older person clean up their yard
9.       Helped residents of a trailer park salvage items after a devastating hurricane
10.   Taken a mission trip to India to serve those in poverty
11.   Taken a mission trip to Greece to serve refugees
12.   Helped run games at block parties and festivals
13.   Assisted in teaching Vacation Bible School
14.   Tithed (Yes, we have several young adults who faithfully tithe off their meager income from their part time jobs)
15.   Individually sponsored a child through Compassion International and another organizations using money from their part time jobs
16.   Babysat for a family in the church so they could minister to others
17.   Hold large group prayer times for peers going through difficult times
18.   Volunteered with the Salvation Army Stuff-A-Truck food collection
19.   Held a yard sale to raise money to assist Christian families in paying for international adoptions
20.   Helped a new church staff member move into his home
21.   Helped with Operation Christmas Child
22.   Gave rides to peers to church services and youth group events
23.   Held a baby shower for teen moms
24.   Helped clean the church building
25.   Shared testimonies in youth group and church services
26.   Taught a lesson for youth group
27.   Wrote an original worship song and sung it during a church service
28.   Helped select music videos for use in youth ministry events
29.   Performed both spiritually based and humorous dramas for youth group
30.   Helped select the title and proof read a bible puzzle book that was professionally published and mass distributed across the state

Whew, that is a lot for one year! Never say young people are the church of tomorrow. Young people are the church of today! They want to be involved. They need to be involved. They just need someone to give them some suggestions for how to be involved and then let them do it.


  1. we are very blessed by the youth of our church. thank you to each

  2. Loooove your latest blog post. I think the reason some teens fall away from God and church is because they feel like they are not wanted or needed. And even when they do try to get involved,the adults don't take them seriously. It's sad but I've seen it happen a lot.

  3. I was blessed to be encouraged into leadership roles in the church as a teen, but I would have to say that for the majority of teens, this is not the case and they do fall away from the church, i totally agree with this post.

  4. I love this quote: "Never say young people are the church of tomorrow. Young people are the church of today!"

  5. Very good article and so true for many Christian youth and young adults. I know the senior adults from Concord are looking forward to the mission trip in Vermont. There are some great people that will be coming your way. I pray for the people of Vermont as well as them for God's light to shine brighter than the sun as they minister as well as learn from your community.

  6. Agreed! Amen Terry...we have lots of kids with big hearts but they need to be empowered, sometime with specificity to BE the change.

  7. I agree with Katie, most churches don't give young people a chance.

    If more senior adults like Joyce would appreciate young people publicly, like she does above, more young people would be even more motivated to help.

    Keith, Allen, Patsy and Shannon, thanks for the input, glad you like the post.

  8. I just want to support this article with my personal experience. The church I attended in my youth did not have a large youth group when I joined, As most of us experience during these developing years I had a lot of unanswered questions and no where to go for guidance. Then one day a new youth minister appeared looking like Paul Bunion, tall, big and full beard and head of hair. With his red hair and vibrant smile he filled that void for me and helped many a youth to grow in confidence of who we were in Christ. He was persecuted by many for his appearance and even threatened to conform to a more church/pastor appearance. He did it and I cried. He did it for us because he was called by God not the church. He is the reason I am here today walking with Christ. God has called us to love one another and I love the youth in our church and all of the ways that they express their love within the body.

  9. Shirley,
    Thanks for the great testimony. Reminds us how much influence youth workers have on young people.