This week I will be posting 5 posts under the idea of “Why Youth Leaders Matter”. This is blog #1. You can check back daily this week for more encouragement.
When John the Baptist was being was being asked by the religious leaders of his day who he was, he said he was not the Messiah nor Elijah nor a prophet. When they pushed him, he quoted Isaiah 40:3:
John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, “I am the voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord.’” John 1:23
John was saying that he was a voice to help people find there way to safety and to God from a place of wilderness, danger and disconnection. Physically, wilderness in his day was dangerous. You could run out of water or food and literally die. There were wild animals. There were also no roads or paths to safety and on top of that, no police or soldiers to protect you from danger. Overall, not the place you want to be, especially without a “voice” to direct you.
Today’s culture is very much a “wilderness” for teens. Not in the physical, but in the spiritual and emotional. In many ways, there are less or no rules compared to days past. Internet, TV etc. is basically anything goes, with so many conflicting and confusing messages that teens often have no clear voice on how to live.
Just like people needed a voice 2000 years ago, people need a voice today! Youth Leaders can be that clear voice to teens who are navigating a time of their lives when they are have more opportunities to do both good and bad. This is at a time when they are still gaining life experience and the wisdom needed to make those decisions.
A Voice Backing Up Parents
The first physical and regular voice in a child’s life is their parents. Parents are challenged to help their kids navigate life, but often are giving their children messages that contradict what society is telling them. Youth Leaders act as a second voice backing up the right things parents teach their children, but from a different angle and tone that supports the parent, but can be heard and received differently.
A Voice When Parents are Silent or Worse
Many teens are also growing up with absentee parents, disconnected parents or even worse, parents who are giving wrong messages. In these situations, the Youth Leader may be the best voice in a teen’s life.
The reality is that teens will listen and follow some voice. Whether it’s the voice of caring people or the voice of TV, the locker room or the streets, they will follow a voice. God is calling Youth Leaders to be a voice in the wilderness to help direct teens to God and successfully navigate the wilderness of the teen years.
If you are a youth leader in the NJ/NY Metro Region, I would like to invite you to an upcoming Youth Leader Training this Saturday, November 5th to help you be the powerful voice that impacts teen’s lives! You will also receive a FREE copy of my book, “Let Your Voice Be Heard” as part of your registration. Teens are looking for direction and guidance, I pray you can be that voice!
Mission 10:20 Youth Leader Training: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/mission-1020-leadership-conference-tickets-27961340121
FREE Book – included in workshop registration: https://amzn.com/163047696X