When Paul was traveling all over preaching the Gospel and teaching people about being a disciple of Jesus Christ, he recruited helpers who would continue his work. One of those helpers was Timothy who was on the younger side when it came to being an apostle. But Paul did not want to let Timothy think for one second that he was not up for the task simply because he was young. Paul said, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.” 1 Timothy 4:12
Young believes, far from being the future of the church, are very much a living and active part of the church at every age and stage of their lives. One example of this that I have seen blossom is in our Caring Kids ministry. Every other month we get together with children and youth to have dinner, play games, and do a service project together. We have made blankets for kids in need, built a garden in the courtyard, and made gifts for teenagers at The Village. At our latest Caring Kid event we made a huge batch of vegetable soup to donate to Aid for Friends. Aid For Friends is one of the largest and most established home delivered meals program in Pennsylvania, serving 300,000 free dinner meals, 58,000 soups and 42,000 breakfast bags to an aggregate 1,700 home- bound persons each year. We also provide nearly 100,000 hours of friendly visiting annually. We have served more than 16,000,000 meals to 15,000 individual homebound persons over the past 43 years.
Our children and youth made a healthy meal to share with our neighbors in need and by doing so very much answered Jesus’ call to feed the hungry and care for the sick. My prayer is that they know just how important they are in the life of the church and that they are not merely disciples in training, but full followers of Christ is all that they do.