Someone asked me, “What has made the most significant impact on your faith journey?” I thought about this question and decided it wasn’t “what” but “whom.”
When I reflect on my faith journey, there are a number of key elements. Hearing God’s Word from the Scriptures; belonging to a faith community; experiencing God – these are all factors that have played a huge part in my story. However, the most significant ingredients in my faith journey have been the people who have looked out for me, discipled me, prayed for me and guided me.
Some time ago, I had a chat with one of the students in our youth ministry. He had been doing it pretty tough. As we chatted, I realised how alone this young man was. He enjoyed being part of our youth ministry – having fun with his peers, hanging out with leaders and learning more about God – but what he really needed was someone who could sit down with him one-on-one and just walk his journey with him.
As I read the Gospels, I am struck by how Jesus cared for “the ones”. His heart for the individual is clear in the parables: the Lost Sheep, the Lost Coin, the Prodigal Son. Throughout his ministry, Jesus’ care for “the ones” is demonstrated when he pauses for a woman who reached out in faith for healing from a crowd, when he eats a meal at the house of a tax collector who had climbed a tree to see him, and when he equips his closest disciples to lead His church after his departure.
Walking with “the ones” can be incredibly difficult. Getting involved in the details of others’ lives can at times be messy, distressing and sad. However, the joys of seeing people take steps of faith, discover something new and bloom in their own personal journeys with God are priceless.
The younger generation are looking for people whom they can look up to; people they can walk their journeys with. They may not directly ask for help, but many young people would appreciate someone taking an interest in their lives and mentoring them, discipling them and sharing life with them.
Whose life and faith journey can you impact?
Tim Lucas Youth Pastor Gateway Baptist Church, Brisbane firstname.lastname@example.org