"Each of you has someone in your life that you can mentor, teach, and nurture..."
Scripture Reference: Acts 6:3,6 “And so, brothers, select seven men who are well respected and are full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will give them this responsibility. These seven were presented to the apostles, who prayed for them as they laid their hands on them.”
We, as the body of Christ, have a responsibility to raise up and pray for the next generation of believers to advance the Kingdom of God. These verses from Acts chapter 6 jump off the page for me, maybe because I have been called by the Spirit to be a Youth Pastor and lead the next generation to be disciples for Jesus Christ. But God gives us that same power and authority to see someone’s character, help grow their spiritual gifts, invite them to be a part of the body of believers, and serve the local church.
We see this a number of times throughout Scripture, when there is a mentor training up the next generation. Check out these stories: Paul and Timothy, Elijah and Elisha, Jesus and the Disciples; just to name a few. These stories remind us that the Kingdom of God will go on far beyond us, and remind us of the responsibility to lead, train, and equip more people to serve the Lord.
There have been many people in my life who recognized my character and the calling that God placed on my life to serve Him and the church. I think of my Youth Director, Mike Hudson who helped me grow my faith through my teenage years, and then helped me get my first job in youth ministry. Cindy Rodriguez, who taught me how to play the Bass guitar so I could participate in leading worship for the youth group. Derrick Scott, who gave me leadership positions in CrossRoad’s college ministry and taught me about spiritual disciplines to grow my own faith. Shannon Jennings, Mike Lehman, Tim Thompson, and so many more people who spoke life into me and my calling. I name all of those people because each of them had an impact on my life and my calling.
Each of you has someone in your life that you can mentor, teach, and nurture to advance God’s Kingdom. Maybe it could be teaching someone how to be an usher at church, or lead the announcements at youth group, leading the 3rd – 5th graders in worship on Sunday mornings, or welcoming guests in the parking lot. I don’t know what that looks like for you, but I know that God has given you authority and power to raise up the next generation.
These seven men in Acts chapter 6 were raised up and nurtured to help lead the church with the apostles, and once those seven were chosen they were prayed over and sent out. Church, that is my challenge and prayer for you and for me. That we would open our eyes to the future leaders of the church, and that we would be willing to be great examples and mentors for them, covering them in prayer. Let’s grow the church and advance the Kingdom of God, together.
Questions to think about:
Who in your life is the future of the church? What can you do to help raise them up to be the next leaders of the church?
Will you start praying for them? Be specific. If the Spirit has placed them on your heart then call them by name. Pray for God to continue to move in their life and to give your opportunities to lead them.
Prayer: God, I am ready to listen to you. Guide me to where you need me, and tell me what to say to be your voice in the world. I know you have a plan for me: remind me who has spoken to me in your name, and give me the courage to follow your voice and speak to others.