by Shauna Price/ May 4, 2021
Former Ohio House Representative, Les Brown, once said,
The graveyard is the richest place on earth, because it is here that you will find all the hopes and dreams that were never fulfilled, the books that were never written, the songs that were never sung, the inventions that were never shared, the cures that were never discovered, all because someone was too afraid to take that first step, keep with the problem, or determined to carry out their dream. (Goodreads.com)
I love that imagery. It’s true. There are a lot of people who truly never do what God placed them on this earth to do. But I’d beg to differ that the graveyard is the richest place on earth. I think the richest place on earth are our children’s churches, youth groups, and college campuses. This is where dreams and callings begin to emerge. It’s there that God’s calling on a young person’s life can either thrive or slowly fade.
So, what do we do about that? We foster the calling that they have on their lives—whether they’re called to ministry in the church or ministry in the marketplace. We want them to be used by God and prepared for what He has for them. We can do a few things for them:
1. First, talk about the call all of us have to follow Jesus and to make Him famous. Jesus said, “Come, follow me…and I will send you out to fish for people” (Matthew 4:19). What an amazing call we all have to follow our Savior!
2. Second, help prepare them for their specific call—are they called to be a pastor, teacher, counselor, writer, missionary, or evangelist? The list is endless of what God could ask them to do! Give them resources, like Now What? Youth: Called by God or Now What? Kids: Called By God.
3. Third, encourage them to pursue that call, even when they get discouraged. Because they will. For instance, as a female I was often discouraged from pursuing my call because I was a girl, but thankfully, I had incredible believers around me encouraging me in spite of that!
4. Fourth, and most importantly, pray! Pray for the kids in your ministry to follow Jesus wholeheartedly in whatever He asks them to do. Let them know that His calling on their lives is going to be full of joy!
God has such amazing things He wants to do in this world, and He is already calling, preparing, and leading kids and teenagers to do what He wants them to do. We just get to come alongside them and champion that. We get to meet them where they are, in our children’s ministry, youth groups, and college campuses—truly, the richest places on earth.