Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. (1 Timothy 4:12)
"Set the Example"
Young people have always been a big part of influencing the world. God’s desire is that their influence would be spiritual, that people from all ages would long after the faith of those in a younger generation.
Paul is writing to Timothy in order to encourage him to lead, teach and pastor the church Paul had begun. Perhaps Timothy felt he was out of his depth. Paul says to Timothy ‘you might be young, you may be leading many others that are older than you, but when it comes down to it, your faith in Christ, how you live that out and your capacity to influence others does not have an age requirement.’ God is actually calling all of us to set an example of faith.
‘Age is not the authority or basis for boldness in our lives, but faith and dependence on God’
He doesn’t tell Timothy to impress others with his giftings or abilities, he tells him instead to set the example to the rest of the church in how to live a life of faith. God gives us five ways in which we ought to set the example to others in the church;
- the words that we speak (Proverbs 18:21)
- how we live (Micah 6:8)
- our heart’s capacity to love others (1 John 4:7)
- a growing dependence in faith (2 Corinthians 5:7)
- the pursuit of purity (1 Thessalonians 4:7)
So I want us to stop and consider whether these ways of setting an example are on display in our lives? Can people see that our lives are saturated in the Gospel of Jesus Christ and it has an impact on us?
One young person I’ve known moved to a new church and got stuck into the youth ministry. He was so gripped by a heart for those who turned up to church or the youth programme and didn’t know anyone, so he went out of his way to sit by them, talk to them and spend time with them; soon others were doing the same. He set the example and reflected the love of God by caring and valuing those who were new.
The truth is that when God saves young people, it is not for them to sit around and wait until they’re ‘old enough’ to do something for the Kingdom, but that each young person has the potential to set the example in faith and devotion to those around them.
‘The measure of maturity in young people is devotion to Jesus’
There was a King of Judah who began his reign at the age of 8! He probably had jelly and ice-cream every night. But this young man had an extraordinary heart; ‘He did was right in the eyes of the Lord… and did not turn aside to the right or left’ (2 Kings 22:1-2). Honouring God has never been about age, but it has everything to do with obedience and surrender to the One who gave everything for us. This King’s influence and heart turned a nation back to faith in God. And it makes me wonder what our young people at LBC are capable of when they give themselves fully in faith to God.
‘Where are the young men and women of this generation who will hold their lives cheap and be faithful, even unto death? Where are those who will lose their lives for Christ’s sake, flinging them away for love of Him? Where are those who will live dangerously and be reckless in His service?’
How to pray...
- Pray for Mark and Aimee McKinney as they prepare to transition from life and ministry in Liverpool to life and ministry with the LBC youth group.
- Pray for the process of obtaining an R-1 visa for Mark. Pray that God would show us favor by granting Mark’s visa and granting it quickly!
- Pray for our youth as they continue to meet every Sunday night. Pray that their hearts would continue to be shaped by the Gospel.
- Thank God for Scott and Lindsay Buono, who are ministering to our youth in the interim. Pray that they would speak truth and love to the hearts of our youth.
For the Family
Do you have special people in your life that are in college or high school? Maybe a babysitter, a helper in SPLASH, a friend or neighbor? Write them a note or draw them a picture to encourage them and let them know how much they mean to you! Spend time praying for them.
"Set the Example" - Mark McKinney
Mark McKinney has recently accepted the youth director position for Lake Baldwin Church, after the unanimous recommendation of the search committee. He and his wife, Aimee, currently live in Liverpool, England, and hope to make the transition to Orlando by the end of 2016, pending the granting of an R-1 (religious) visa by the U.S. government. Mark is originally from Northern Ireland and has extensive experience in youth ministry. LBC is looking forward to adding Mark and Aimee to our community!
"For the Family" - Michelle Crouse
Michelle Crouse has served as the director of LBC's children's ministry—SPLASH Kids—since the end of 2011. She and her husband Joshua were married in 2002 and have 2 children. Michelle grew up outside of Boston and graduated from James Madison University in Virginia with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. She loves being with kids and loves the opportunity to be a part of teaching children how much they are loved by God, and helping them grow in their understanding of what that means.