Let no one despise your youth,
but set the believers an example in speech and conduct,
in love, in faith, in purity.
1 Timothy 4:12
These are the words of St. Paul, written to his young friend, Timothy, as the latter was about to take over the reins of ministry. I have been thinking about these words over and over again, specifically in relation to our youth here at St. Paul’s.
We are so fortunate to have the young people we do! I’m eagerly awaiting the start of Vacation Bible School, where we will have not only a whole bunch of young children to shepherd around, but where we will also have a number of junior high and senior high kids who will give up a whole week to come and help guide the younger ones. Our VBS theme this year is “SonTreasure Island.”
I think of the acolytes, readers, and communion assistants who so ably and willingly assist in the leading of the Sunday liturgy. There are young folks who sing in the choir and who play instruments, using their talents to praise God. Nine confirmands will affirm their baptism on Sunday, June 8 at their Confirmation. I remember fondly the two First Holy Communion classes I taught back in March and April. We had 11 young people receive their First Holy Communion on April 27.
In a little while, I will begin recruiting interested teens in attending the triennial National Lutheran Youth Gathering in 2015. This gathering will be held in Detroit. Our last Gathering was in 2012, with 18 young people and 4 adults attending.
We really are blessed in this congregation by children and youth who are not afraid to share their faith, who “set the believers and example in speech and conduct…” In a culture and time where “church-going” may not be the most popular activity for children and teens, we’ve got a whole bunch of them who not only go to church, but make church happen!
Now I figure if these young people have so impressed me with their witness an commitment to discipleship, just think about the testimony they are speaking to their peers!
So thanks, my friends, for your partnership in ministry.
Pastor Skip McDowell