I came across a quote while reading today that stopped me in my tracks. Author (of the book recommended at the bottom of this email), youth pastor, and professor Kenda Dean writes:
“Typically, churches have viewed adolescents as objects of mission, not as agents of mission.”
This is a huge understatement. In my experience with churches, adolescents are often treated as large children. People love to see them attending church. People would even love to see them doing things… as long as its not something very important. Setting up chairs, serving tables, and supervising (smaller) children are all acceptable.
Now, I am not belittling those tasks. They are all valid and necessary ways to serve, but lets be real here… student can handle MUCH more than that.
Our teenagers are some of the most creative, energetic, funny, strong, and persuasive people we have in our church. Now is the time to teach, equip, and empower them for service in God’s church. Now is the time to begin showing them how and where they can lead. If we fail to train a generation of young people to lead, we are training our next generation for failure in the church.
The church has treated students as the mission field for far too long. Its time to shift our perspective.
Parents, help me figure out how your students are gifted. I want to see them in the trenches, rubbing shoulders with adults, using their passions for God’s glory. If you have a student who you know should be serving, send me a message and lets start training them to be leaders! Lets help students be the agents of God’s mission.