A Youth's Interpretation of Leadership in Faith
Author: Gary Grutzik
Hello there, my name is Gary Grutzik, and since I gave the sermon at the recent Youth Sunday, I have been tasked with writing this week’s Pastor Blog.
There’s a certain verse in the Bible that I thought was very relevant to Youth Sunday. This verse comes from Paul’s First of two letters to Timothy, a young Christian who was a close friend and assistant to the former. In this letter, Paul talks about a couple of concerns he has about teaching and spreading the faith. He opens up with a huge disdain for false teachers; those spreading misinformation about the ways to obtain salvation, the “fake news” reporters of the biblical era, in other words. He then goes on to give Timothy instructions on church administration and worship, including a description on what a church leader should act like. While talking about how to be a good servant of Christ, Paul says this: “Do not let anyone look down on you because you are young, but be an example for the believers in your speech, your conduct, your love, faith, and purity.” Paul’s whole message here is to not let anybody underestimate or devalue your worth because of your age, a tendency that has occurred throughout human history, hence the whole “respect your elders” rhetoric. However, Paul forgot to include specific criteria for these areas, so I, a youth, will provide my thoughts on what he probably meant.
To be an example in speech, you simply need to watch your words: be clear and loud enough to be heard, and refrain from talking rudely or profanely.
To be an example in conduct, you have to have good manners and better behavior. Nobody wants to trust or look up to the liar, the cheater, or the violent. By practicing good behavior and acting kind, you can gain more respect.
Being an example in love was a bit trickier for me to pinpoint, but by looking through the rest of Paul’s letter, I believe he meant to love everybody and everything unconditionally, especially God.
To be an example in faith doesn’t mean to attend church every Sunday or always donate $20 or so to the offering, or even pray at the bedside at night: I believe it means to always have faith in God in everything you do.
And lastly, to be an example in purity is to be as pure as one can be. Of course, human nature prevents 100% purity, but striving towards that goal is definitely the way to go.
This, I believe, was Paul’s plan for youth to be an example. Though, since a youth is saying this, I’m not sure the adults will believe me, but who knows? Amen.