You are not the church of tomorrow – you are the church of today! There is only one church in the New Testament, and anyone who has received the Lord Jesus is part of it. There are no age restrictions. There are no junior memberships in the Kingdom of God. You get the full package when you receive Jesus, just as any adult would.
You are just as righteous as any adult Christian. You have just as much right to pray and have God hear you as any adult Christian. You can go boldly to His throne of grace to find help when you need it. You don’t have to go through your parents; you have the same direct line to Heaven that any adult has.
Even if you can’t drive a car, you can drive out demons! Even if you can’t vote in elections, you can vote where it counts the most – in Heaven, where your “vote” on what happens on the earth consists of what you ask for in prayer. Even if the world won’t let you sign a contract, you can have the best contract anyone could possibly have – the New Covenant.
Anything the New Testament says you can do, you can do right now without being one minute older. You are anointed to be a minister of reconciliation, telling others that Jesus has paid for their sins.
Jesus only offers one Holy Spirit to everyone. Young people do not receive a Lite version of the Holy Spirit, a “trial version” of Him, or a wimpy, weak, watered-down version of the Holy Spirit who can only do “little” miracles or give “kiddie” prophecies. He is the same Holy Spirit who did miracles through Jesus. He can now do miracles through you in the name of Jesus. God wants to use YOU and He wants to use you NOW – not just later when you’re older. Joel said, and Peter repeated, that our sons and daughters would prophesy. God may give YOU a word that needs to be shared with the congregation. He may show YOU something in prayer that we need to hear. And when He does, please let me know! That’s not so that I can share it, by the way, it’s so that I know that you have something so that YOU can share it with the congregation yourself!
I don’t want adult-led “youth rallies” to be the main way that young people come into our church. Young people should come to our church for the same reason adults should – someone they know invited them! I don’t want to only have young people when their parents come. Other people your age should be able to come here because you invited them, not just because their parents dragged them here. In fact, some parents should come here because their kids dragged them here after you invited them and they found out that we’re not “church as usual” and that we rock!
And while we’re on that topic, I don’t want you to think that you need to invite your friends here so that they can get saved. I don’t mind that, but I’d like it even better if YOU lead them to Jesus YOURSELF outside of church and then invite your new brother or sister in Christ to come to church with you! We want to equip you to be a soulwinner! Schools are quite a mission field, and they usually won’t let preachers in to preach. So you can reach people I’m not allowed to reach directly right now!
I like having you in our services. I don’t want to send any but the smallest children to another room. I want YOU to be exposed to the presence of God and to be able to participate fully in our services, not be hidden away somewhere doing Christian coloring pages. Feel free to be expressive in praise and worship. Who knows, maybe an older person will get inspired by your freedom and start getting free in that area too!
We may have coordinators in the future who help coordinate youth events, but we will never really have a “Youth Pastor” at this church. If you’re hooked up with this church, I’M your pastor, whether you’re a youth or not -- I’m not going to delegate that job to someone else. If you want help, I’m here for you just as much as I’m here for the adults.
I look forward to the day when a lot of young people are attending Bible studies – ones that are being led by other young people! I’m not just interested in training you to be a good follower; I want to train you to be a good leader. We take you seriously, and so does God!
Love in Christ,