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Summary: Paul encouraged Timothy in his demanding service with these words and set forth an example for him that would lead to success and leadership.

Guidelines for Youth Ministers - I Tim. 4:12-16

(A charge for a new youth director, the church and the youth).

Illustration: A youth pastor wanted to illustrate something to his students. He placed some valuable objects on small tables around the room. On one of the tables was a Bible. There was a $5 bill on another table. There was a happy meal on one table. Other tables had other desirable items.

A student was blindfolded outside of the room before entering. The other students were divided into groups. Each group was to shout to the blindfolded student directions to the item and table that was assigned to them. However, only one person was assigned the table with the Bible.

When the blindfolded student was led into the center of the room, all the students began yelling instructions and directions. The noise level was deafening. However, with six different groups screaming instructions, no set of instructions stood out. The blindfolded student stood in the center of the room, confused, lost and without direction.

Worse of all, the one voice trying to direct the student to the Bible was lost in the noise.

• This is an illustration of the state of our society today, particularly concerning our youth. There seems to be no clear voice to give directions.

• Our young people often stand without clear instructions, godly examples, or sane leadership.

• Brent, my goal tonight is to make some things clear, for you and for all of our Church.

• God has placed His hand on your life to be a voice of good for the youth of this community.

• That responsibility can be staggering and overwhelming.

• Sometimes it will fill you with such joy, you will want to shout from the rooftops.

• Sometimes, it will fill you with such sadness and pain, you will weep the night through.

• But I want you to understand that you are simply taking leadership in the ministry of this Church to our youth.

• You are not alone. We are not assigning or dispatching youth ministry to you so we can go about other business and do our other things.

• That’s how it may seem and that’s how it will feel sometimes.

• But I want us to enter into this new chapter of ministry on the same page together as a Church.

• All the ministries of the Church are just that, Church-wide ministries.

• All ministries of our Church have the full backing, support, prayer, and love.

• Brent, we don’t just want you to lead youth in this position.

• We want you to lead the Church in doing youth and family ministry.

• We are going to do youth ministry as a Church. We are going to do missions as a Church.

• We are going to do children’s ministry as a Church. We are going to do senior adult ministry as a Church.

• We are a Church who uses God-talented and God-called leaders to lead our ministries, but we do them as a Church.

• We do youth ministry because there is a special need in our youth.

Illustration: A new study from LifeWay Research reveals that more than two-thirds of young adults who attend a Baptist church for at least a year in high school will stop attending church regularly.

• Let’s look at 1 Timothy 4:12-16 and see what charges there are for you, Brent, our youth workers, our Church and our youth.

1Ti 4:12-16 Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. 13 Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching. 14 Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophecy when the council of elders laid their hands on you. 15 Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress. 16 Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.

• Today, more than at any other time in history, young people are looking for examples and role models.

• Youth are looking for direction about many things but especially in ways they can develop their character.

• Paul gave Timothy guidelines in this passage for everyone who wants to know how to minister to youth, or even to minister as a young person.

• He saw the need to give people the foundation to live their lives from a biblical perspective.

• Today we live in a world where most young people get their perspectives from TV, movies, music or their peers.

• However, this simply leaves a deep soul-hunger for deeper meaning, one we can supply as a Bible-believing Church.

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