Should I be ashamed of myself?
On Tuesday evenings, our church meets for a prayer and preaching service. This past Tuesday, after all of the prayer requests had been taken up and it was time to pray, I couldn’t hardly bring myself to ask God to do anything. I was feeling so blessed that all I wanted to do was praise Him for His goodness instead of asking for a single thing.
Why is that? Well, not only had God kept us safe the night before when a Bobcat had gotten into our goat pen (you can read about that by clicking on Never Let Your Guard Down), but I had asked the youths of the church to show up 45 minutes before church started to make final preparations for a youth-led service we’re going to be having next week.
We go to a very small church. For Sunday School, we normally have between 10 and 15 people in attendance, for Sunday Morning Worship that number increases by another 5 people or so. Then on Sunday evenings and Tuesday evenings we have about the same size or a slightly smaller crowd than we have for Sunday School.
Tuesday night, we had 10 people under the age of 18 show up forty five minutes before the service. They were so excited about taking part in our church’s first youth-led service! That excitement was contagious.
I’m talking about teenagers who volunteered to step out in faith. Tuesday night, they practiced their roles in front of one another – singing specials, playing instrumentals, directing congregational hymns, leading the service, and quoting scriptures. We even had a couple of visiting teens who came out for the rehearsal.
We had a little bit of extra time between the rehearsal and church time, so I asked the teens to come forward to practice a song for our youth choir – and invited the visiting young people to take part as well. Guess what? They not only took part, but they enjoyed themselves. They even asked if we could learn a new song – and that we did! Those young people had a great time in the House of God before the service even began!
By the time the pastor and the rest of the congregation came for the regular service, the teens were all hyped up. We ended up having 19 people in God’s House on a Tuesday night and for our church, that was phenomenal!
Do you know what really hit me that evening? Young people need opportunities to be used of God in our churches. Too many young people turn eighteen years of age and walk away from God and never come back. Is it because we don’t take the time to invest in our youth? To work with them? To give them opportunities to be a blessing to others?
If all we allow our young people to do is sit in the congregation and listen to adults teach and lead everything, they aren’t going to get very fired up for God. If we can get them taking part in sharing testimonies, in passing out gospel tracts, in inviting people to church, in singing specials, in playing instrumentals, in doing teen activities, and give them opportunities to be a part of the church as opposed to being spectators at the church, I wonder how many more young people would be added to our churches.
I’m excited about what God is doing at our little church. My cup is running over with blessings. Oh, I don’t know how I will be able to contain myself during next week’s youth-led service. I will try my best to not interrupt with their service by shouting a loud Hallelujah or Glory to God, but I’m not promising anything.
There is something special about seeing young people say,
“I’ll step out of my comfort zone. Can I sing a solo?”
“Can I play the piano?”
“Can I quote scriptures?”
“What can I do for God?”
Well, Glory! Isn’t that better than hearing about teenagers getting into drugs and getting into fights and dropping out of school?
I’ll tell you folks. This is something to shout about! If you don’t get a blessing out of hearing about teens doing something for God, perhaps you need to go to the Great Physician and ask Him to fix your Blesser because it must be broken.