“Then he said to them, ‘The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest’” Luke 10:2.
Look out into your congregation and count the young adult members you have. This should not be confused with youth, but young adults, age 18 up to age 40. They might be attending church, but have not joined or are not part of the kingdom building and planning process. They may not be in the leadership positions or helping with other events besides morning service. Or there may be some who are dedicated, but they are few.
I think it is time for the church to pray for laborers as Jesus mentions here, but we need to specifically pray for young adults.
As the young adult president at Baconton Missionary Baptist Church and a young adult myself, my heart beats for this generation, and it is time we welcome them into all churches. We need them more than just attendants; we need them to be laborers.
The question becomes, “How do we get them involved and become laborers?” The first step is to make them feel worthy. One thing that I see in many young adults is they do not feel worthy enough to get involved with the church. It could be due to sins committed when they stepped away from God and the church, the fact they have never stepped into a church or we, as the church, do not let them feel that they belong.
The key to changing the way they see their worth is to view them as more than just another number or tithe check, but as people who can take the church to the next level. We must decide to accept and love young adults in spite of from where they are coming. This helps to improve their worth, improve their relationship with God (because God accepts them in spite of what they have done), and lead them to being involved as they feel a sense of belonging.
The next step simply is to ask them to be involved. This will improve their sense of worth and motivate those just waiting to be asked. Sometimes, people do not know who to ask or do not want to overstep their boundaries. Asking them leads them in the right direction. At Baconton, we do a play for our first lady every year. I would not be in the plays if not asked.
The third step is when they have found their worth and you have asked, give them a sense of purpose and fulfillment. “Thank you” are powerful words that make someone feel great about what they have done. Learn to compliment them and give constructive criticism.
Purpose and fulfillment are all young adults are looking for and, sadly, they are not finding it in the church. Young adults can be essential to the church’s progress. They have innovative ideas to push the church forward. They also have families with children to keep youth ministries vibrant.
“The harvest is plentiful, and laborers are few.” Therefore, we need your help in all churches. We can’t get the job done without you. God bless you and have a wonderful Thanksgiving.
Harper is a member of Baconton Mission Baptist Church and the United Ministerial Alliance.