Adults of Summit, lend me your ears. Something pretty wild is happening, and, if we’re not careful, there’s a group of teenagers that may just take the reins from us when we’re not looking and start running our church.
Now, I don’t want to be an alarmist, so let me explain myself.
Four years ago, I became a student ministries volunteer. I was matched with a group of sixth grade girls who were sweet, sometimes rambunctious, always a handful, and just starting to explore what their faith could look like. Everything I did with them—every game played, song belted, tear wiped, trial tackled, conversation had, prayer prayed—was in an effort to point them toward Jesus. To equip them to, someday as adults, follow closely to the God whose grace changed everything I ever knew. To own their faith, be bold in it, and tell others about Jesus.
A couple weeks ago I was spending time with one of my girls, now a ninth grader, who has been helping out with the now-middle-schoolers at Surge. For the past few months, she’s helped our Student Ministries team lead games, serve pizza, and all types of other tasks to make Sunday nights run smoothly. She’s been doing all the things someone older than her did when she was in middle school. And I thought that was just great.
Then she starts telling me about how she’ll soon be interviewing to become a leader herself. She’s working on her application—thinking and praying through what it would look like for her to be matched with her own group of sixth grade girls. She’s dreaming of ways God will use her to influence others, she’s scheming up fun things she can do with her girls to show them God loves laughter and joy, she’s prayerfully seeking Jesus to equip her to show those younger than her how much he loves them.
And she’s fifteen years old.
I’ve spent all this time assuming I was laying a foundation so that my girls would start living out their faith in big ways when they were older, graduated, adults. But they’re not interested in waiting another minute to do exceptional things and reflect God to others.
At Edge just last night, a band made up entirely of students led worship. It wasn’t good in an of-course-I-have-to-say-it-was-good-they’re-kids kinda way. It was good. It was powerful and beautiful and on-par with what I heard in the Sanctuary that day. But the most incredible thing was watching the other high schoolers be led by their peers. They leaned in just a little bit more than usual. They sang just a little bit louder. And I’d wager they believed just a little bit more that God could use them. Now.
So, my fellow grown-ups. There is a remarkable group of students at Summit and they are nipping at our heels. They’re chasing Jesus today without wavering. They’re energetic and they’re passionate and they’re moving.
Let’s join them.
Katie Schmidt is the Content Coordinator at Summit Church, which means that pretty much anything you can read at Summit, she either wrote, edited, or coordinated. If you would like to get in touch with her to ask her a question, or to bum her out and let her know that you found a typo somewhere, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.