Swing first: I recently tuned into the radio for the first time in a LONG time.
It wasn’t for any particular reason but I felt like I should hear a bit of what the ‘cool kids’ are filling their minds with today.
Naturally, I tuned in to Triple J.
For all those reading that aren’t Australian, Triple J is basically the station that ‘hipsters’ who are scared to appear ‘weird’, listen to.
Anyways… I was listening to triple J and the presenter was telling a story about how she had been at an art exhibition the night before which had a live DJ. She mentioned that this DJ looked “about 12 years old” and she spent much of the night trying to rationalize why this DJ was there. The thought they mist have been a child of someone running the event or just be standing at the desk while the real DJ was taking a pit stop. But, the more she watched, the more apparent it became that the DJ was the only DJ at the event. I was shocked when she said that she felt ashamed of herself for assuming that the young table-turner didn’t deserve to be there. It seems to me that this radio host is more aware of her biases towards young people than most church attendees. She identified her bias and was making efforts to attend to this prejudice.
This article is not about shaming older generations into allowing greater involvement of young people in ministry.
In fact, I believe that in many cases, it is at the fault of the millennial if they are not engaged in ministry. Hear me out… The young DJ is clearly proactive in their efforts to make a career out of table-turning. And they will probably never know that the radio host even had these thoughts about their qualifications for their work. They just did what they were being paid to do.
I think young people need to drop their ‘poor me’ mentality and pave their own way for opportunities in ministry. Too often millennials allow their feelings of being held back by older generations to prevent them from engaging in ministry. The reality is that churches are silently screaming for young people to take the baton.
The problem is that churches don’t know how to hold out the baton to them and train them to run with it in the most effective way. Nonetheless, young people must be the first ones to move. They can’t expect church involvement to come to them on a silver platter. In life, very few things of value come easily.
Whilst we serve a God who is big enough and powerful enough to turn our situations around and provide ministry experiences for us. I firmly believe that the more we Give god to use, the more of us he will use. That sounds ridiculous, but it’s a fact.
TD Jakes, in an interview with Elevation Church Pastor Steven Furtick, says that ‘while we are praying for tables, God often gives us trees’. By this, he is referring to the fact that God often gives us a means by which we can work with him to have our prayers answered. I can testify to this in that while I was praying for money last year, God gave me a job.
As image-bearers of a creator-God we need to take whatever tree God has put before us and use our imagination and creativity to make tables, chairs, bridges, or whatever our society needs. No one can take that tree for us. God has gifted each of us with a unique set of skills to use to minister to the community around us. It is not up to the church to cut down that tree, slice it into planks, and sand it down so that we can easily use it. We must swing first.
So my question is; what is your tree?
Written by: Lachlan Harders