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 (Manna 1)
The Church and Youths
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The Bible records that Lord Jesus restored life to three persons. None of them was a fragile old man or a newly born baby, but they were all young and vigorous people with great capabilities ( cf: Jn 11: 32-44; Lk 7: 11-16; Mk 5: 35-42). This seems to indicate that the Lord treasures the lives of youths considerably and their existence is of great importance. In fact we can see that every family and every nation places its hopes upon the youths. In the same way the church i.e. the household of God, or the nation of God, should also love the youths, train them and make good use of them.




1. Examples in the Bible:

Through the witness borne by a young Israelite maid, God had brought the army commanders of Syria to worship Him, the Lord of heaven and earth (2 Kings 5:1-19). With God's help, David, a youth, killed Goliath, which King Saul and his army were incapable of doing, thereby delivering the nation from the attack of the Philistines (1 Sam 17: 1-11). With the wisdom God gave him, young Solomon was able to establish the strongest nation of that time (1 Kings 3: 6-14). The youth, Jeremiah, was appointed by God to be a prophet as well as a messenger to the nations. (Jer 1: 4-8).


2. Facts in History.

Alexandra the Great established the strongest kingdom when he was only a youth. Mozart was already a very famous composer when he was merely a youth. While Martin Luther and Wesley were still studying in the University, they already had their ideas of reforming the churches.



1. Youths are like Bridges.

Youths are like a bridge standing in between the old and the young. The Bible says, "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it" (Prov 22: 6). Childhood is the period where one develops one's habitude, hence it is essential for one to receive proper religious education during this time (2 Tim 1: 5). The best person to train up these children are the youths, hence the church needs youths. Good youths can give guidance to children in the church. If there is no god-loving youth, it will be just like a broken bridge and the children will be scattered and lost because there is no bridge to cross.


2. Youths are the Successors

The works of the church are not complete, and have to be continued until the Lord comes. Moses, before his death, asked the Lord, "Let the Lord, the God of the spirits of all flesh, appoint a man over the congregation, who shall go out before them and come in before them, who shall lead them out and bring them in, that the congregation of the Lord may not be as sheep which have no shepherd" (Num 27: 17-20). Hence the leaders of the churches should be like Moses who, besides being faithful towards his duties, was also concerned over the training of his successor. So the leaders should delegate these works in steps to the youths and also invest some authority to them (Num 27: 18-20). Hence works are not only given to the youths when they are schooling, but more so when they have graduated, they should be given the chance to serve the church (cf: Rom 12: 1-8; Prov 31: 15). It is hoped that after they have taken over the baton they can run faster and farther so that the gospel of salvation can be proclaimed to the whole world earlier.




1. Strengthen their Religious Education.

Youths bear the great responsibilities of the church, and if they are not trained with the correct faith, proper conduct and ability to work, not only will they be unable to perform the divine work, they may bring trouble instead. Therefore, we should strengthen our work on religious education. In the children classes there should be an Infant class, a Lower Primary and Upper Primary classes. Similarly, the youths' service should have the various classes. More emphasis should be given to the Lower Secondary classes. This is because youths around the age of sixteen will experience great changes in them both physically and psychologically. If at this stage they are not properly guided, then all the efforts that have been spent on them would be in vain. On the contrary if their faith can be properly secured when they are around sixteen years of age, then there will not be much changes in the rest of their lives. Take the example of Joseph, he left the family at the age of seventeen and was alone in the sinful Gentile land, yet he was able to stand firm and uphold the truth (Gen 37: 2; 39: 7-10).


2. Establish Youth Counseling Centre.

Although the youths may have the love for the Lord and the fervency to serve Him, they may lack experience. They may not be thorough in their thinking and very often they tend to be too idealistic and become impractical. Furthermore, they are not well equipped with the truth and their thoughts are not spiritual enough, so they can easily make errors (cf: 2 Chr 1 0: 6-1 6). They may believe in the authenticity of the Words, however, inevitably they will have doubts in the Bible. How should one treat the opposite sex? How should one deal with one's own marriage problem? How should one solve the many problems encountered in school or society? ... All these problems cause distress, irresolution, and may even cause them to lose heart and determination and be lost. In order to help them to solve their problems in life and establish their faith, a 'Youth Counseling Center’ should be established to guide the youths.




1. Must be determined to live for the Lord.

The Bible says, "By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharoah's daughter, choosing rather to share ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin" (Heb 11: 23-26). The reason that he did all these things was because he understood the will and grace of the Lord for sparing his life (cf: Acts 7: 18-22; Ex 1: 22; 2: 10). Paul always remembered the grace of the Lord by saying, "He loved me and gave Himself for me" (Gal2: 20). He also said, "Since the Lord has died for us, we should live for the Lord" (2 Cor 5: 14-15). Hence it is hoped that the youths in the Lord can understand the grace of the Lord and be determined to live their whole life for the Lord (Rom 14: 7 -8), to study for the Lord, to further study for the Lord, to earn money for the Lord, to marry for the Lord, to bear children for the Lord, in other words to do everything for the Lord. For those who receive special gifts from the Lord, they should follow the examples of Moses and Paul. They gave up fame, pleasures and wealth and offer their whole life for the divine works (Rom 12: 1 ).


2. To be a vessel for noble use.



The Bible says, "If any one purifies himself from what is ignoble, then he will be a vessel for noble use" (2 Tim 2: 21 ). In society, a man is judged by his ability, but God places emphasis on the holiness of man. Prophets Elijah, Elisha, and others were able to manifest the great power of God because they were all holy men of God. They were pure in the way they treated the opposite sex and money (2 Kings 4: 8-9; 5: 15-16; cf: 1 Kings 17: 18- 20). Hence it is hoped that the youths of the true church will pay special attention to the correct attitude towards the opposite sex and money. It is necessary for the youths to keep the body and heart pure and holy so as to be acceptable for the Lord's use.



The Bible says, "Now the man Moses was very meek, more than all the men on the face of the earth" (Num 12: 3). He was able to undertake the toughest task at that time and endured till the end. This was because his meekness was greater than that of any other man on earth. For those who are humble, the Lord will surely be with them and will give grace to them (1 Pet 5: 5). Only a gentle person can solve all the problems encountered by him with satisfactory solution ( cf: Judges 8: 1-3). However, 'meekness' can be attained only after a person has paid a 'great price' for example, it took Moses 40 years of training to remove his pride and hot temper, and finally to change him into a humble and meek person (Ex 2: 11-12). It is hoped that the youths of the true church will practice the teachings of 'being obedient to the elders' and 'being gentle to others' so as to be acceptable for the Lord's use ( cf: 1 Pet 5: 5; 2 Tim 2: 24-26).



The Bible says, "It is required of the stewards that they be found trustworthy" (1 Cor 4: 2). To be faithful is to serve the Lord from within the heart; to strive with might and to work till the end; to seek only the will of the Lord and to follow the Lord till the end, even unto death. These are also the requisites which the Lord requires of His servants. Joshua was chosen to succeed Moses because he was Moses' faithful helper (cf: Ex 33: 11 ). Hence it is hoped that youths of the true church can be faithful over small things so as to be entrusted with greater task by the Lord in the future. Also they must pray constantly to rely on the power of the Holy Spirit to complete the commission of the true church, i.e. the world evangelism (cf: Lk. 16: 10-12).


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Date: 07/17/2012