Youth Pastors, You are a Gift

Author: Erica Owen
We love our local church. We believe God is accomplishing most of his work in the world today through local establishments of the universal church. He ordained a visual reality of the invisible, to bear witness to the world of his relationship to his people, who submit to Jesus as their Head, and live out his priorities providing a light in the darkness.  So, we orient our family life around the mission of our church. Our family calendar is happily organized according to our church's calendar. We live in a close-knit community with other members of our body for accountability, edification, correction, and mutual instruction. And we do this out of necessity, not obligation. We firmly believe we need each other. Our Christian lives are less than they should be if we aren't in it together. That’s the way God intends it.

In local churches, God uses many means to build up his people to maturity. One of the main means he uses is the people who preach and teach his Word to us, instructing us in all God says.
“So Christ himself gave. . .pastors and teachers,  to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” (Ephesians 4:11-13)
The instruction we receive helps equip us to serve others in unity, becoming more like Jesus.  Where do we need that help more than within the four walls of our home? Isn’t it a gift, parents, that the church helps make the hard job of parenting a little easier?

You Help Teach Our Kids

Our children are also learning from what is taught at church through us as their parents reiterating it to them (Deuteronomy 6), the older men and women in the church informally training them (Titus 2), and directly from their pastors and teachers. While the main job to teach our kids is ours as parents, thankfully God doesn’t intend for us to do it alone.

The woman who sits down the row from us at church, the youth leaders, and the children’s ministry workers are all used to creating a panoply of voices saying the same things (often in their own ways and with their unique experiences and perspectives) about who God is and all the good he has done for us in Jesus.

This offers many opportunities for our kids to see and hear the power of the Word from the many people he has helped and whose lives he has changed.

You Help the Church Continue in Truth

By investing in the next generation of church members, you are, as one church history professor writes, “help[ing] safeguard the truth [preparing] the generation who will succeed us.”
The church father, Chrysostom, reminds us of the importance of our endeavors to “raise up... champion[s] for Christ" by seeking to develop "children into devoted servants of our great God and Christ's church. . .training [them] in Christian doctrine."
Youth leaders, be encouraged! Your work is not only significant now, but also for the generations to come. You are making our job of teaching our kids easier, helping us help them live the lives God intends for them. And, you are instilling in them truth that will help the church maintain its strength and health for years to come. May we together, parents, teenagers, and youth pastors say: "To [God] be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen." (Ephesians 3:21)