It is easy to look at our youth groups and schools to see that the world is full of young people. However, where is the next generation of pastors, youth pastors and ministers? Do you have young people that aspire to serve God through a life of vocational ministry? Are there students in your church that need the opportunity to flex their ministry muscles and see that a life of ministry is a possibility for them? We can’t “call” them into ministry ourselves, but there are things that we can do to encourage the next generation to give their lives in service to the King of kings:
• Encourage real discipleship in your students’ lives. It is important that young men and women are poured into by more mature believers. They need someone holding them accountable to study the Word and pray. Just reading a devotional guide is not going to cut it for the next generation of ministry leaders. We will need men and women who are fully versed in God’s Word and see its value. As students understand the powerful nature of God’s Word, they are also more likely to commit themselves to the work and call of ministry.
• Provide ministry opportunities for your young people. Too often, we put students on a shelf. We don’t want them to serve because we are afraid they will make mistakes. The truth is, they will make mistakes. They will mess up, but if they never have the opportunity to “try out” ministry, they will never see it as a real possibility in their lives. Provide a supervisor/coach for them, but let them serve imperfectly.
• Ask questions. As I have shared earlier, we can’t “call” someone into ministry, but we can ask questions. We may recognize God working in their lives and see potential that they might not see. “Have you considered pursuing ministry?” “Do you like to teach?” “What is your favorite thing about serving in the church?” The questions will be a reflection of the students we are working with, but we should take the time and ask. No one else in their lives may be providing the same input.
• Pray for your students. Ask God to raise up the next generation of ministry workers. Pray that your students will open their eyes to the possibilities of serving King Jesus. Follow Jesus’ words in Matt. 9:38 (ESV) where He encourages us to “pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”
I am convinced that God will raise up the next generation of pastors, youth pastors and ministry workers. We need to do our part in the process, but as long as there are lost people in this world, God will call young men and women to reach them. Let’s encourage our students to consider a life of service to the King of kings and Lord of lords.