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Posts Tagged ‘youth’

Our competence for ministry comes from God. When we feel inadequate for the task, we can identify with the resistance we see in the callings of Moses, Isaiah, and Jeremiah.

Moses doubts his ability to speak. Isaiah admits his “unclean lips” (sinfulness). In today’s reading, Jeremiah thinks he’s too young to serve as God’s prophet.

And when we question our callings, we can hear God’s encouragement to these ancient men of faith, like in Jeremiah 1:

But the LORD said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the LORD.

(Day 223: Jeremiah 1-3)

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I’m a fan of intergenerational ministry. The church is a family in which people of various generations join together to worship and work, pray and play. Praise, service, and learning happen best when older and younger Christians collaborate in a spirit of unity. Wiser, more experienced Christians and younger, energetic, sometimes idealistic ones can strengthen and encourage each other.

Faithful living as a community that brings generations together requires effort; it doesn’t happen automatically. We need to prayerfully and strategically organize small groups, service projects, worship gatherings, and other experiences that provide opportunities for intergenerational relationship development.

That intentionality rises from our belief that youth and experience should listen to each other, and Elihu understands that and acts on it (Job 32:6-9):

I am young in years,
   and you are old;
that is why I was fearful,
   not daring to tell you what I know.
I thought, ‘Age should speak;
   advanced years should teach wisdom.’
But it is the spirit in a person,
   the breath of the Almighty, that gives them understanding.
It is not only the old who are wise,
   not only the aged who understand what is right.

Let’s listen to each other with respect and love, receiving the blessing of discernment from God through our intergenerational conversations.

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