A few weeks ago I was sitting in the front row of a church waiting to speak, and after hearing a few announcements about the numerous ministries the church was actively doing in the community I turned to the pastor sitting next to me and said, “Wow, this church is really making a ‘hands-on’ impact in the community.”
The pastor pointed up on stage and said, “See that bass player? He’s a doctor and has three residents. Every month he takes his residents with him and they go to a homeless area of our city and just start helping people one at a time. No facility, no clinic… he just walks up to a homeless person, introduces himself as a doctor who would like to help and then asks if he can check their ears, their feet, etc. Often he’ll find an infection of some sort and he’ll send one of his residents right then to go fill a prescription and bring it back to the person within the hour.”
The whole church is involved in ministries like this, and the teenagers notice.
What do the teenagers in your community see from the church? Are they learning to serve and love the community like Christ himself demonstrated? Or do they only see that from Lady Gaga?
You see, this young generation is a very “cause” oriented generation. They are looking for ways to make a difference. The question is… who do they see really making an impact? Earlier this year I shared with you how Lady Gaga was named the #1 key influencer to young people, known for compassion, raising millions for Japan and being a spokesperson for numerous causes. Since then, Forbes even named her #1 most powerful celebrity women, beating out Oprah.
Do your teenagers see more compassion and service out of Gaga than the church? Are believer seeking to get their hands dirty and serve like Christ modeled?
Are you creating opportunities for ministry by teenagers?
This Friday my church opens up its gym to anyone needy in the community—something they call “Second Fridays.” It’s this simple. They feed a meal to anyone who is hungry.
Every second Friday hundreds show up for these “Second Friday” meals. Justin, a 17-year-old in my church shows up every week to serve food and just hang out with the needy people there. “I just love hanging out with them.” Justin told me. “They’re real people with real stories. I can talk with them for hours.”
Justin’s first taste of this ministry was years ago, going with his family and serving back in the kitchen. As Justin became a steady and dedicated volunteer, he began to get to know some of the needy people that returned each month. Now Justin’s job is to interact with the people.
Second Fridays opens the doors to tons of other ministry opportunities. They church gives away coats and clothing, they also have people there that provide haircuts and other needs.
Are you developing Justins in your church?
What are some of the ways people in your church serve and love others?
(Jonathan talks more about creating opportunities for teenagers to do ministry in his powerful book, MINISTRY BY TEENAGERS)