I grew up in the church; specifically, in the Salvation Army. One of the lasting memories I have of my childhood was my involvement in my church community at a very young age. Youth groups, junior youth groups, youth bible studies, worship teams, brass bands, etc. As involved as I was, I know I wasn't out of the ordinary to be in so many facets of my local church. All my friends and family were in a similar place. Looking around now at most churches, I am not seeing the number of programs or level of activities there were when I was a youngster. As I wondered where all these programs had gone, I found myself pointing the finger at the church elders or church leadership. "Why aren't they stepping up and doing something?"
Then it donned on me: the leaders of all of the activities I used to be involved in were my age! 16-30 year olds with a commitment level far beyond mine. These folk would week after week be there to mentor , encourage and guide a young group of kids mostly just looking for 'something to do.'
I think mentoring is a huge and necessary role that must be filled in the church. We need to start investing in the youngest generations even in our youth! We are still very relatable to young kids and let's face it: most of us have the time as well.
I have challenged myself to start giving back now at my local church and to start investing in those younger and older than myself because without those who invested in me, I wouldn't be in the church today. We don't have to wait until we are older to start raising up the younger generations.