One of the cool things about being in children’s ministry is that you get to work with children AND teenagers. As a former youth pastor, I’m always encouraging children’s leaders to find and invest in teenagers. Don’t invest in them because of what you get from them. Invest in them because of the possibilities and the calling in their life. I believe I am where I am today because of a youth pastor who invested in my life. That was one of the big reasons I wanted to be in youth ministry. He didn’t invest in me because he thought I’d be a workhorse. He did it because he believed in me and thought that if I could learn what he learned earlier in life than I would be that much further ahead. The same applies to children’s ministry.
I want to encourage every children’s or family leader to find a teenager to invest in. Don’t view them as a workhorse or someone who will do all the things you don’t want to do. Instead, view them as a leader who has the potential to eclipse you in leadership and ability—who can make a bigger impact than you ever could.
This past week I spent time with a friend, Jeremy Donald, children’s pastor at Forest Hill Church of God in Mobile, Alabama. He brought with him two of his teen all stars. One was Jacob who is 14-years-old and another Courtney who is 18-years-old. I absolutely loved what Jeremy was doing—investing! Along with his wife, they brought them to Focus Conference for children’s leaders in Greenville, SC. Not only that, you could tell both Jacob and Courtney were excited about what they do, the authority given to them and the impact they are making in Mobile.
Sure there are things that need to be done in ministry that aren’t always fun. I’m not saying that those we invest in should only do the “fun” stuff and never anything else. I’m asking that they do more than the “anything else”—something of significance.
I would love to hear specifics on how you use teenagers in your ministry.