e sometimes speak of the young as the “next generation” of disciples. This is certainly an accurate statement. As one generation ages and then passes on, the next must take up their work and continue the struggle. If the Lord does not return, there will come a time when we will all die and another generation of workers will be needed to fill pulpits, teach Bible classes and reach out to the lost in our communities. Our children are the next generation.
However, I am concerned that this language may sometimes leave the wrong impression with our youth. I fear that many young people believe their work for the Lord is still largely in their future. While they may do a few token tasks we assign to our youth, they are not responsible to be active in the Lord’s work until they are adults. I remember preaching a sermon several years ago and emphasizing the importance of welcoming guests at our services. I specifically urged our members not to run out the door, but stick around and greet a visitor. However, as soon as the service was over, I noticed a group of our teens headed out the side door. In Bible class the next Wednesday I asked them why they had failed to apply the lesson to themselves. They replied, “We didn’t know you were talking to us!”