Young people are a vital part of any church. They bring vitality and youthful energy that is an essential part of a church’s dynamic. In order for a church to thrive, they must find ways to involve their youth. But this is not always easy. It is sometimes challenging to find roles for young people to fill.
Many responsibilities require a certain level of physical and spiritual maturity that young people do not usually possess. However, there are still responsibilities that young people can perform. Some of them may require supervision by a more mature believer,but they are perfect opportunities for the young believer to grow.
Task Them with Responsibilities
These responsibilities are a good starting point for young people. They are usually not difficult but are still important jobs that challenge them to be responsible and faithful.
1. Ushering at the Lord’s Supper
At some meetings, the task of passing the emblems at the breaking of bread is a free for all, but if your meeting appoints ushers, this is a perfect opportunity to involve a young man. This was my first responsibility at my meeting. The young person should be someone who breaks bread regularly at his local meeting. This responsibility played a big role in making me feel comfortable with getting up during the Lord’s Supper, and helped me overcome the nervousness that I felt when sharing during the meeting.
2. Presenting the Announcements
Every church has a time set aside during most of the meetings to make announcements. Let a young person present the announcements. This job presents a church leader with the opportunity to work with the him by providing him with the announcements and showing him the appropriate way to present them. Be sure to choose someone who is outgoing and feels comfortable around people. Giving the announcements during a meeting will help a young person get used to speaking in front of the congregation.
3. Operating Technology
Technology is an area of expertise for almost every millennial. We use technology 24/7 and are very comfortable around it. If your church uses any technology, whether it is a sound booth,recording messages, power point presentations, or video presentations, I would encourage you to have youth involved. This gives them an opportunity to put their skills to good use. Most of these tasks are also not usually one man jobs. Performing technological responsibilities gives a young person the chance to be a part of a team and form a relationship with the others involved.
4. Acts of Service
This category involves a variety of different jobs. Whether it be maintenance to the church property and building, setting up for refreshments and dinners, or working in the nursery, these are all important jobs that must be done and can involve young people of either gender. They also require teamwork and supervision, so they give the youth a chance to form relationships with the older believers they work with.
Young believers are the future of the church. Now is the time to instruct them in good teaching and properly show them how to teach the body of Christ.
1. Sunday School
Teaching the children in the church is a good starting point for young people who have a desire to teach. Many churches may already have appointed Sunday School teachers or a rotation of teachers. Include young people in this rotation and have them work under the supervision of someone who has experience teaching Sunday School.
2. Bible Study
Leading a Bible study is a terrific opportunity for growth in the spiritual life of a young believer. It requires a tremendous amount of preparation that forces a young person to meditate deeply on the word of God. An older, experienced teacher in the church should be prominently involved in the preparation process. That being said, do not smother the young person. Give them an opportunity to grow and learn on their own. A leader should be there to provide insight, share knowledge, and make sure proper instruction is given on how to teach the word of God.
3. Gospel Messages
Most churches will usually have someone give a short gospel message at a Sunday School picnic, a special service, or an outreach ministry. Allow a young person to prepare and share a gospel message.
I do not believe there is a minimum age requirement that a man must meet in order to deliver a message from God’s word. There are young people who are at a level of spiritual maturity where they are prepared to do this. It is important for a church leader to identify who these young men are and prepare them to speak from God’s word. It is a learning process that takes time, so start slow. Have them share the speaking time with other brothers. We must be preparing the next generation of speakers to teach God’s people from the Word.
Many young believers are blessed with musical talents that can be used for God’s glory. They should be given the opportunity to use these talents to praise their Savior.
1. Song Leading
Song leaders are not easy to find. If a young person has musical talent, they should be given an opportunity to lead singing at the meeting. Supervision may be needed to ensure appropriate music is chosen, but allow the individual some freedom to choose the songs they appreciate and potentially introduce some new songs.
2. Playing an Instrument
If a young individual has the ability to play appropriate instruments give them a chance to play during services. There are many meetings that require musical instruments so give the youth a chance to participate in some of these meetings.
As a young believer, I believe it is vital for a church to find ways to involve its young people. A lack of involvement is one of the top reasons I hear from my peers when they discuss why they are unsatisfied or have left their church. Every church has unique roles that they need filled. I challenge church leaders to get creative when finding roles for young people, and actively search and identify young individuals to fill these roles. Be open to ideas they may have about how they can get involved, and be ready to guide and teach them in a loving way. We must seek to include our young people in the work of the Lord and give them opportunities to serve their Savior.
What ways are the young people involved at your local meeting? We would love to hear about some of the ways the young believers you know are serving, and what ways you would like to see them serve.