"Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity." -- 1 Timothy 4:12"
I know that I say this over and over and over, but I love working with high schoolers. And, believe it or not, I don't love it because they love working with me.
To demonstrate, I recently had a conversation with a young man on the sound team. He wants to take a bunch of the teens on the tech teams and have bi-monthly training sessions to get them more familiar with all the equipment throughout the church. As we talked about it, he said that I wouldn't need to train very often because he wanted to keep it fun. Ouch! I guess I'm living up to my nickname: The Black Hole of Fun!
So, I don't love working with high schoolers because they love hanging with uncool me. I love working with high schoolers because Covenant Life Church is their church. Yes, it's my church, too. But Covenant Life will soon really become their church. Soon, they will be the small group leaders. They will be the decision makers. They will be the primary financial provision. They will be my pastors.
I count it one of the highest privileges of my role here to position young men to love serving the Savior.
For those of you who have been tempted to judge the guy I mentioned earlier, that's actually a misrepresentation of his thoughts. It was a funny moment when he said it and a good soundbite. I'm grateful for my friend who jokes I'm not fun. He wants to lead and train his peers. He will actually be leading his parents this next year.
Tonight I was honored to work with another of our young leaders. He is heading up the small tech crew for the high school chapels every Wednesday morning, and leading the sound crew for our weekly Alpha meetings every Wednesday nights. He is also considering spending two months as a specialized trainer for our new monitor board operators that are going to start in the month of October.
Why do I go on about this? I go on about it because older folks like me (I'm 30) can be tempted to despise youth in leadership. I can be tempted to withhold respect because they don't make the same decisions I would make or because they make a mistake that I wouldn't make. I can be tempted to, given my current position of leadership, fearfully and selfishly refuse to give them leadership opportunities, so that they can grow.
Paul commands Timothy to not let anyone despise him. Timothy is supposed to correct those who don't respect him.
I challenge everyone one of us to make it our goal to free even our youngest leaders from that responsibility.
Let the young man lead!
Photo Credit: Steve Bailey