The title of this blog post was the theme for our recent National Youth Retreat, held in our church in Eldoret, Kenya.
I have been involved in youth ministry of various sorts for the last 36 years. I think that ministering to youth is still one of the greatest opportunities that the Lord has given to me.
We’ve often heard it said that the youth of today are the generation of tomorrow. We say this to try to give them a sense of their future responsibility in their local church. The problem is that if we continually point them toward the future, the church body loses out on what these young people have to give to the church today.
Because so much of the church throughout history has focused on the “clergy”, we’ve come to believe that one must be highly trained before they can add something substantial to the local church. We forget that Joel prophesied that through the power of God’s Holy Spirit the young men and women would be used significantly in the Lord’s Church.
In our retreat, we encouraged the youth to begin preparing themselves today to give of themselves in their own town or village. We showed them through the Scriptures and through glimpses into church history that God has oftentimes used young people to do His work. We encouraged them to be full of God’s Holy Spirit and to covet earnestly His gifts to manifest through them. We emphasized their need for humility, so that they could learn how to best serve in their church. We challenged them and prayed with them, so that they would see their purpose and role in the Body of Christ today – in this generation.
We had a great time together during this retreat. In addition to the teaching, worship, fellowship and games, we gave them time to be alone with the Lord. We also encouraged them to pray for one another. It was a real blessing to see them laying hands on each other, praying that their brother or sister would be filled with God’s Holy Spirit. The Lord really visited us.
More to come…
Pastor Forbe Carlson