Part of our call as adults who work with young people is to watch for those who we think might have gifts to serve in ministry, and then
to assist them in discerning their call, and encouraging them to develop their gifts to serve. Having just experienced the ELCA Youth Gathering (more about that later), I was reminded that one of the greatest gifts within the church is the energy, passion and commitment of its young people.
Unfortunately, I think that the church has let them down. We have not asked them an important question: “How do you feel called to serve?”
I believe that the church needs to reclaim discernment as one of its core missions, and that we need to do so for all people, regardless of age.
And we need to reclaim the theological tenets of the priesthood of all believers. We need to be about equipping the saints (and sinners) for ministry.
But today I’m thinking in particular about young people who have gifts, talents and passion to serve and who haven’t found an outlet to do so within the faith community because they weren’t asked; they weren’t invited.
The church needs good children’s ministers, youth ministers, pastors, educators and leaders. And as I saw 33,000 young people stand en mass this week and proclaim boldly their faith, and leave the city of New Orleans with an unbelievable amount of energy, I wondered if were prepared to help them discover their call.
The Network has launched a new website that we hope will help. It is not the be all and end all. To be honest, it isn’t even really a resource. It is a portal. It is a place that high school and college age young people who perhaps heard the whisper of God’s voice calling to them to consider children, youth and family ministry can go and look. Listed there are resources, including college and seminaries who have programs…spiritual gifts inventories and other sites that can be helpful to young people as they consider God’s call and their future.
The site is www.thinkministry.org
It isn’t complete; it will continue to be a changing and morphing site, adding new resources as we discover them. So here’s my 2 requests for you:
- Please pass this address on to your young people who you think might be interested in ministry.
- Please send us information on new resources for vocatonal discernment (particularly for young people) so that we can add them to the site.
Hopefully this tool will assist young people as they listen, think and dream dreams about the future God calls them in to.