“Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.” – 1 Timothy 4:12
We are beginning to see more and more how the next generation of leaders are stepping up to share the Gospel, serve the community, and engage the lost. God is most definitely moving through these students in a big way to bring glory to His name and show that regardless of age, we can make a difference as the Holy Spirit leads us to make much of Him.
Here are 3 ways that middle school, high school, and college students are stepping up:
These middle school students pulled together 2013 acts of service and met their goal through the power of teamwork, effort, and organization. They helped the community by reshaping an elementary school’s playground, donating blood to help save lives, they organized a food drive with a goal of 2013 cans and blew that out of the water ending up with about 2,500 donated cans. They also got involved in writing letters to soldiers overseas and cleaning up a community center. What a great encouragement knowing how students can make such a difference in their local community and reaching out, even overseas.
This was a 5K run/walk hosted by the high school students of 121 Community Church to raise awareness for, and financially benefit, International Justice Mission. IJM is a human rights agency that secures justice for victims of slavery, sexual exploitation, and other forms of violent oppression. This event was to specifically join in the struggle to bring spiritual and physical salvation to those who have been forced into the sex trafficking industry in Cambodia.
What was amazing about this event is that it was led by the students. The preparation, promotion, networking with partners and sponsors, and execution on the day of was amazing and a testimony of how God is having the next generation step up in big ways. The original goal was to raise $150,000 and by the time everything was said and done, $190,000 was raised!
Rooted in the confession of Isaiah 26:8, Passion exists to Glorify God by Uniting Students in Worship, Prayer, and Justice for Spiritual Awakening in this Generation. Most people have heard of Passion by now, and if not, you are missing out. Students from all over the globe gather for these events each year to come and worship God, pray, and serve. What’s great about Passion is that it is not just a one time event and it’s definitely not about the event itself. Passion is about one thing – Jesus.
This year, in January, college students stepped up on behalf of 27 million people trapped in slavery and declared that this next generation is in it to end it. They gave more than $3.3 million to fund 23 causes with 19 partner organizations to shine a light on slavery around the world. You can read about all the specific causes there were funded by this event by clicking here. Even after this event, students have started the End It Movement, which as of this writing, has already raised over $135,000 and continue to grow in funds and awareness around the world.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lordyour God is with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9
These students are strong and courageous. 2,500 cans with community service, raising $190,000 to help raise awareness and benefit IJM, and $3.3 million to fund causes and organizations around the world to shine a light on slavery. What I love about these students is that they didn’t feel like they had to wait until they got “older” or more “mature,” but rather as followers of Christ, asked the Lord what they should do and they stepped up. They want to impact the world and make a difference.
Whether you are a student or an adult, be encouraged today that the next generation is indeed stepping up and God has great plans for His church in the coming years. One thing is for sure, these believers have set an example for the church.