I was walking down the aisle of my neighborhood hardware store a couple of days ago and was amazed at the variety of fake pumpkins available. I was just looking for some light bulbs and a stopper for my sink, but in addition to the real orange variety of pumpkins, this store was selling LOTS of other pumpkins—stacked ones, lighted ones, sparkly ones—there was even a corduroy and a denim pumpkin! I’m not sure anyone really needs a denim pumpkin, but each festive, orange sphere reminds us of the season we are in.
My hope this fall is that those of us who minister to young adults will take a moment to reflect and be reminded of the many reasons we have to be thankful that God has called us to this ministry.
1. Visible Transformation—Young adult ministry often involves living life on the front lines with the ones we are seeking to disciple. They are eager to let us into their lives and don’t just want someone who will sit in a circle and read to them. They long for others who will walk alongside them and guide them along life’s journey. As a result, we often get a front row seat for how God challenges and changes them.
2. Future Reaching—Ministering to a young adult today is investing in the church of tomorrow. We are so blessed that God allows the fruit of our ministry efforts to have a life that far outlives us and lasts well into the future as these young adults in turn disciple and minister to others.
3. Strategic Placement—Life is changing rapidly for young adults. New friends, marriages, first jobs, and babies are just a few. Because of these major changes converging all at once, there may be no other time in life when individuals are so open to having the Lord work in their life through a faithful minister. Additionally, if you catch them before marriage, kids, or the first job, there are unique seasons of freedom that may allow young adults to serve in ministry in valuable ways. Be grateful that you get to be the one He places in young adults’ lives at just this moment.
4. Fun Factor—Let’s not forget—ministry alongside young adults is just a lot of fun! It may mean some late nights or hard conversations, but there is also a ton of laughter, games, food, and fellowship.
So, as you slice through your turkey this year, I hope an overflowing gratitude will mark your celebration as you remember the gift we have been given in getting to minister alongside the next generation of church leaders.
Bill Noe is the Collegiate Ministry Specialist at Lifeway Christian Resources. A former campus minister (and current collegiate ministry volunteer at church), Bill loves being a part of seeing college students grow in their walk with the Lord. Connect with Bill on Twitter.