Let’s Wait Until They Grow Up

This is the mentality of many churches. Let’s wait until they’re adults before they can pass an Offering plate. Let’s wait until they’re adults before we let them play bass on the worship team. Let’s wait until they’re adults before we let them preach their first sermon and make sure not too many people know because we don’t want anyone to get upset. I know the megachurch and even not-so-megachurch mentality is for those under the age of 21 to be seen and not heard. I believe churches are prohibiting this young generation from discovering God’s purpose for their life.

Had it not been for a small church in Portsmouth, Virginia, I don’t know if I would have discovered God’s call. They allowed me to take part in services beginning at age 11. That body of believers is no longer in existence together, but they cheered me on and helped me “stir up the gift” that is in me as Paul told Timothy to do. Churches! Pastors! Don’t rob these young men and women of golden opportunities!

As a pastor, I am a part of several ministry groups on Facebook. One of the professors at North Greenville University asked if any of us would have one of their students preach. I quickly said yes. I was assigned one of their young men for today. The timing was divine because of several things going on in my life this week. However, all I could think about was being called to preach and only getting a handful of opportunities when I was in college. If I can help someone sharpen those God-given gifts, I want to do it. 

Wonder why your youth leave when they graduate high school? It may be because you don’t see them as valuable now. Put them to work now, or you may look around and see a church that will quickly die.


20 thoughts on “Let’s Wait Until They Grow Up

  1. I most certainly agree! At one of the churches I previously attended to when I was a young teenage girl, I was turned down due to my age and they only wanted people over a certain age limit. I was crushed because I really wanted to be involved, to help their children’s nursery, and to be apart of church activities! I agree with what you said! If we cheer them on, encourage them to find their calling, and to take part, then they will more likely find their worth and their purpose that God has for them instead of walking away from Christ!

    I wish more churches would realize this as well, and with the way society is today, we need to pray and encourage youth to find worth and purpose in Christ instead of the world! I really enjoyed this post, and the message is well needed!

    1. Unfortunately, I was on staff in many churches where the mentality of “seen and not heard” was prevalent. Our church plant that started in January is predominately 18 and younger. They set up, tear down, help with worship and children’s ministry, and do all kinds of things. Thank you for your comment and for following! You are a great writer, and I look forward to reading more of your posts.

      1. Your church sounds very wonderful, and I love that you are putting a big focus on the youth! God is surely going to bless you!

        Thank you for following me as well, and I look forward to your future posts too! They are really engaging and full of truth! Have a blessed rest of your day!

  2. Love this Matthew. As a guy who was involved in youth ministry for over ten years. I 10000% agree. Youth are not just the future church. They are the church of today. Have you read Kara Powells new book Growing Young? She talks about this very topic

  3. We actually have our young people do the evening service, other than the preaching. One young man serves as moderator, and my step daughter is actually secretary. On our 5th Sunday service, two of the young men pass the offering plate. I concur totally!

      1. That’s cool! I really think being involved may have impact on if they actual hang around later. If they are involved, it’s their church and their faith, if not it’s just something the old people do.

  4. I agree with what you say. Churches have a habit of overlooking the young people, making it an adults-only-matter place. These young people who were brought up in the church probably leave because they don’t feel the love and appreciation from the members.

  5. Brilliant! Being included as a part of our church’s worship kept my son and his best friends walking with Jesus throughout the teenage years. Two are missionaries, one travels around the world fixing computers and witnessing as he goes. My son made it from enlisted in the USMC to major before a plane crash changed his address from earth to Heaven. He always kept his Bible on his desk and used it to counsel those who came to him and carried it with him everywhere he went. I’m not proud of him for his outstanding Marine Corps career: I’m proud of him for walking with God. And proud of out little country church in Texas who kept these teens involved in praise and worship and allowed them the opportunity to fly with God.

  6. Agree with you 1000 percent. It’s difficult for a young person to envision themselves fulfilling a particular assignment in the church when they see no one who looks like them currently occupying that space.

  7. The only reason I realized that maybe i want to be a pastor is the sole fact my pastor now told me I’d be great at it. I have a lot of work to do but it’s better now that I’ve changed schools and there’s more kids that share faith. Even if they aren’t the same beliefs, I still learn more about what the Bible says as we exchange our beliefs

    1. The way I discovered my calling was trying to do something else. If you find that you cannot do anything but be a pastor, you know God has called you to it. God disciplined me until I surrendered. I hope that helps. It sounds like you are actively serving the Lord and sharing your faith. That is awesome!

      1. I have a friend that’s graduating this year and going into seminary. His old man doesn’t support him but he’s certain that’s what he wants to do. I’ve got two years so time will only tell but if I don’t become one I will remain strong in my faith

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