|Who Ever Said Teens Aren't Leaders Didn't Know David!
Leadership consists not in degrees of technique but in traits of character; it requires moral rather than athletic or intellectual effort, and it imposes on both leader and follower alike the burdens of self-restraint. ~ Lewis H. Lapham
Lewis Lapham, a well-respected journalist, summed up leadership perfectly. Notice that he never says that a certain age is required in order to lead. He simply states that in order to lead, one must possess good character, moral effort and self-restraint. While Lapham made this statement in response to a political issue, it is extremely applicable to the life of a Christian teen leader.
Our generation is the future of the church; sometimes I think we forget that. It will be our responsibility, by God's grace to remain in the faith and share the hope that we have in Christ with others. But don't for a second think that that leadership begins in a couple of years. That leadership starts right now! Think of all of the opportunities we are given as young adults to become the leaders of tomorrow; opportunities such as Boys and
State?xml:namespace>?xml:namespace>, city and national youth leadership programs, speakers we hear in our high schools, young adult leadership opportunities in our youth groups, and much much more. Our society and our churches have given us the tools we need to improve our leadership skills and it is a privilege and a responsibility to utilize these tools in order to better our community and more importantly, our church. Our time to use these tools starts now!
It is my firm belief that today's youth should take every opportunity to learn how to lead others. We should endeavor to take part in as many leadership roles as we can. These roles may vary from one person to the next. For instance, you may be the captain of the volleyball team, the president of your student council, or a student-director in your school play. Or, you may lead quietly by your attitude, by joining the civics club and being a Christian example, by volunteering to read to young children. Whatever it may be, try your best to step into leadership roles and proclaim Christ in all that you do.
Sometimes we worry about how we will be able to equip ourselves with the right tools to live a life that points toward Christ. This may be a difficult and intimidating thing, but the great part about it is that God is the one with all the power to make our lives His witness. My encouragement for you comes in a Sunday school story that we have all heard many times before. It's the story that sums up youth leadership better than any other. The story of David and Goliath shows, that with the help of God, youth have the capacity to lead others. It says in 1 Samuel 17:49, "And David put his hand into his bag and took from it a stone and slung it, and struck the Philistine on his forehead. And the stone sank into his forehead, so that he fell on his face to the ground." Remember that the Holy Spirit, at work through God's Word gives us the courage to lead others and to lead them with Christ in the forefront. God has blessed each of us and will put the words in our mouth during difficult situations. I challenge you to "put yourself out there" and lead others with Christ at your side. And always remember, with Him nothing is impossible. The time to lead starts now!
Veritas: Real teens addressing real problems through the Christian lens of truth.
Published August 2007