Too often, we see and hear ourselves talking about the “next generation” of the Church. Sometimes we’re talking about Millennials; sometimes we’re talking about Gen Z. Either way, the statement implies that the younger generations aren’t really part of the church yet. I’m here to tell you that the younger generations ARE part of the church NOW. Their involvement in ministry and leadership is not something that needs to wait. Serving and being active in our faith is part of the discipleship process. Is there a better way to show younger generations about faith than to have them play active roles within the church community?
One of our pillar Shiloh 4:12 verses, 1 Timothy 4:12, encourages younger believers to not allow age to be a deterrent to ministry. In 2 Timothy 2:2, the Apostle Paul encourages his younger brother, Timothy, to take what he has learned and pass them along to other younger believers who will turn around and share them with more younger believers. The clear model is that we should be making disciples that make disciples.
During the summer months, Shiloh 4:12’s student ministry is providing opportunities for students to be discipled in many ministry opportunities. During our regular meetings, we have invited three different ministries to come and share about themselves. Then, instead of having a regular youth meeting the following Sunday night, we are going and joining the individuals (or teams) in their ministry setting. The three opportunities are the Buckhorn Truck stop, visiting nursing home residents and shut-ins with a therapy dog, and horseback trick riding.
“Older generations” have the life experiences and wisdom to share with the younger generations, and the younger generations have never been more eager to learn! Age should not determine the involvement in the Church. The Church has the opportunity to embrace the “next generation” by allowing them to have age-appropriate responsibility and involvement. It’s up to us to provide the opportunities and encourage younger believers to take ownership of their discipleship processes. We should provide ministry, leadership, and faith-building opportunities for younger generations.