Greetings to the Father, Son, Holy Spirit, angels and saints in Christ. As I thought about the strategies that Paul used to train Timothy in ministry, I remembered my own experience as an eleven year old and the impact that my Youth President had in contributing to my training in ministry. He could not have been more than seventeen to eighteen years at the time, but the degree of maturity with which he managed the affairs of the Lord was an indication of his future life as a minister of the gospel, although none of us knew it then.

My youth leader placed a strong emphasis on teaching us about the infilling with the Holy Spirit followed by times of prayer for the infilling. This was the main influence for my desiring the infilling of the Holy Spirit at a young age. He also taught us about finding the will of God, manner of personal conduct, to name a few. There were also times of fasting (interrupted by the eating of juicy mangoes). I am constantly amused now when I recollect how this group of teenagers, under the leadership of our President, would walk miles to preach the gospel on Sunday evenings. This was around 1976/77. The lone owner of a car at the time would transport our equipment, which consisted of a large horn and the amplifier. Although my Youth President (later Pastor Sonny Williams) was not even a Pastor or Bishop at the time (he later underwent theological studies and entered the ministry), his life and example to me were similar to those of Paul to Timothy. One cannot overlook the valuable opportunity to disciple young people into ministry by beginning this training in the early years of life.

When I was about 18 years old, the Lord Himself trained me by sending me frequently on ministry assignments in my neighbourhood (house to house visitation) and also to the hospital. I do not know what the visible results were, but eternity will tell. I also had to skip family meals at the appointed eating time and eat later, praying as they ate. The Lord also had me omit eating the chicken or beef in my meals at times. I know now that the He was training me in the fast. I wonder what my family thought!
God still expects the Pauls of today (Bishops and Youth Leaders etc) to train our youths in ministry. This could involve simple activities that include unpaid service such as giving away items such as games and clothing to the poor in the community, visiting nursing homes where they could sing and talk with the elderly and cleaning the church. The local church in which I grew up assigned the task of cleaning to the Youth Group and we did this on Saturdays. This was valuable in teaching us to serve selflessly. No one ever paid you for anything. Is this good or bad? Of course, God rewarded us in different ways.

The ministry opportunities for young people are countless. Leaders need to become creative and produce the next generation of leaders. As this is done, young people will learn to carry out the Lord’s commission and to become servants and not stars. Jesus said that He came to serve and not to be served. Are we producing this attitude in our children? Are they joining our choirs, dance teams etc with the motivation to serve? Parents should also train their children to be ministers. This is not impossible. We serve a creative God who never runs out of ideas. Let’s ask Him for the strategy that will make our young people hook into the call that He placed on them so the next generation will become effective and able ministers of the gospel.

Blessings until!

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