But it's important to the young people, too. Most of us can remember when we were young, and we may have some wonderful memories from that time in our lives. I have a lot of warm memories of that time in my life, but most of them center around the time I spent at the church or with friends from the church. The Lord blessed me to have been a part of a great church family, one in which young people were encouraged to seek the Lord and get to know Him better. There were people who encouraged me personally, who were patient with my shortcomings and loved me even when I thought I was perfect.
But what I remember most was love. My home church was Forest Hill Baptist Church of Jackson, Mississippi, a place where there was a lot of love. Sure, there were problems--what church doesn't have them? But above all, what I sensed from the adults of my church was that we young people were loved, and we were worth something. They invested themselves into our lives. They spent money on us. They drove us. They prayed for us. They cried with us. They taught us.
And most of all, they loved us. Today, even though the congregation no longer meets in that building, there are young-people-grown-up-into-adults who serve the Lord in many different ways all over the world. I am in the ministry today because of the personal attention of several adults who took the time to encourage me and pray for me.
Perhaps it's because of that background that I believe that every church has a responsibility to the young people within its circle of influence. There are young people around us who need to know Jesus. The youth who attend our church need our influence, our encouragement, and most of all, our love.
So today, when you pass a young person while at church, pause just a moment to say hello and ask how they're doing. It may make a huge difference in their lives.
And they'll never forget it. They may even write about it on a blog someday.
--Rocky Henriques, www.uticabc.com