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.