Youth Can Be Leaders Too!
Although adults have the responsibility of leading, young people can be leaders, too. I cringe whenever I hear various ones pray for our youth and refer to them as “the church of tomorrow,” because while I realize the sentiments of the prayer, we ought never to forget that young people can shine as leaders in the church of today. Notice a few Biblical examples of godly youth who were leaders in their youth.
David was a leader among adults. When he obeyed his father to visit his brothers who were in the Israelite army, he witnessed a tragic situation. The enemy was ridiculing not only the Israelites themselves, but Jehovah God as well. Sure, their champion was more than nine feet tall and was a ferocious bully, whose spear head alone weighed about 125 pounds. However, no one, not even King Saul (who was not near as tall as Goliath, but was taller than any of the other Israelites [1 Sam. 9:2]), took the bully’s challenge. They cowardly let Goliath blaspheme Jehovah in fear. Just a youth at this time, David had enough faith in God, apparently more than any of the adults who should have been seasoned in their faith, to take Goliath’s challenge. Through the help of Almighty God, David was victorious.
Joseph was a leader among strangers. As a young lad, his brothers sold him as a slave, and he became a servant in the house of Potiphar in Egypt. When the wife of Potiphar tempted Joseph to do wrong, his conviction in God helped to withstand the temptations. When she pressured, he ran! He did exactly what the Bible tells us to do as well: “Flee fornication…Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry…But thou, O man of God, flee these things…Flee also youthful lusts” (1 Cor. 6:18, 10:14, 1 Tim. 6:11, 2 Tim. 2:22). As a youth, Joseph could have reasoned that he was in a place with strangers and that no one would find out. Nevertheless, he knew that God would know who was watching and caring for him.
Josiah was a leader in the kingdom. He was just eight years old when he became king of Judah. His father and grandfather, both kings before him, were evil kings. However, “he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, and walked in the ways of David his father, and declined neither to the right hand, nor to the left” (2 Chron. 34:2). When he was sixteen, he began to seek the Lord faithfully. When he was twenty, he began to exterminate idolatry that had plagued the country for many years. When he was twenty-six, he began to repair the temple of God. During the construction, the Law of Moses was found. He began to read the law of God, even doing so before the elders of the country. He did what was right spiritually, and he turned the kingdom of God around with a spirited reformation. He is an example for youth to search for the truth and put it into practice, even as a young person in the church today.
We could notice many other examples: Vashti, Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, Esther, Jonathan, Timothy, Miriam and Samuel. All these were leaders as youth. Young people, you can be a leader too! “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity” (1 Tim. 4:12).