"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
before you were born I set you apart;
I appointed you as a prophet to the nations."
"Ah, Sovereign LORD," I said, "I do not know how to speak; I am only a child."
But the LORD said to me, "Do not say, 'I am only a child.' 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.
Then the LORD reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, "Now, I have put my words in your mouth." --- Jeremiah 1:5-9
This is a really cool passage from Jeremiah that got me thinking...the Hebrew word for "child" in this passage means someone under the age of 20 - a teenager if you will. And look at how God use this young man for His purpose - the prophecies he made, the kings he met, the trials he went through...wow.
It got me thinking about how many times I have thought about giving a youth more responsibility, then saying to myself "hmm..I don't know, they need more experience/growth/etc" Have you ever felt that way?
However, if you have kids, you know the profound things they can do and say...One of the local DJs on a christian station here was telling a story about going to Chik-Fil-A...He overheard a conversation between two employees - both teenagers that went something like this:
Teen A - "Hey, what are you listening to dude? it sounds cool"
Teen B - "It's a Christian rock band - I really like their sound"
Teen A - A Christian rock band? What the heck is that?"
Teen B - "It's a rock band that sings songs about Christ"
Teen A - "About Christ??!! you serious? "
Teen B - "Yeah, and let me tell you about it..."
Teen B then spent the next few minutes witnessing to Teen A about his faith - the DJ said it was so comfortable, so natural for the youth, that he felt ashamed, because he could not remember the last time he shared his faith with someone who didn't know Christ, and here HE is supposed to be an example for the youth, and the youth was being an example for HIM.
That was an awesome thing that kid did - it took courage, and I bet God was with him every step of the way! - it took courage on Jeremiah's part too - here's a teenage kid that will be prophesying to the people of Israel and kings - pretty heavy stuff - but he did it with God's guidance and empowerment.
Lately I've been thinking about getting out of worship leading, and working with youth instead in worship - teaching them how to lay a good foundation - to make worship a part of their daily lives, and to honor God in all we do -
I have two teenage kids - I love to talk faith with them, because they keep me on my toes with their curiosity and at times challenges and doubts, and other times, with their unconditional commitment to Christ...
I was worried about leaving my present position - I fretted about leaving the guys behind - all so young - were they ready? That passage from Jeremiah answered my question, as did my taking some time during our set to watch my guitar player lead the fast sets - so obviously anointed, his enthusiasm for Christ infectious - is he young? Yes. Is he ready? YES! This actually helps me to get my foot out the door, and back onto the path that God has prepared for me.