When my father became the pastor at Mathews Baptist in Hudgins, Virginia, I was a senior in high school. As you would expect, when Youth Sunday came in the spring, I was elected Youth Pastor. I do not remember what I said on that Sunday, nor do I remember who participated. However, I will never forget the impact that Sunday had on my future vocational endeavors. I had that same feeling this past Sunday as our young people assumed leadership roles during our morning worship service.
A few weeks ago, I would not have believed such a day was possible. School schedules, SOL’s, proms, and spring sports events made it impossible for everyone to get together at the same time. Choir members and deacons came and went at each practice session. We were substituting deacons at 11:00 o’clock Sunday morning. Then the service started. The choir was magnificent, the prayers and scripture readers spoke slowly and had appropriate words, the special music, with hand bells, piano, and violin was awesome, the deacons received the offering and you would have thought they had been doing it on a regular basis, and then four young people talked about their “One Life” and how they were trying to make their life significant in God’s kingdom. When they finished, I felt like I had experienced worship at its finest.
The youth finished the service in the Fellowship Hall, singing two songs from their Sunday evening contemporary music program. Somehow, the drums, keyboard, and tuba seemed appropriate in such a space. Our church has a secure future with such a talented group of young people. It will be a joy to watch them grow and mature as they assume new roles in the life of our congregation.
Special thanks to Bob Gallagher and Paul Honaker for their leadership in music, also thanks to R.C. Moore for agreeing to be an acolyte. When he was a young person at River Road, he was a junior usher. It seemed right for R.C. to assume the role of acolyte for this service. Also, a special thanks to Emily Phillips; when I decided to assume the role of Youth Minister, for the third time, Emily made the assignment a lot easier. She came every Sunday evening. She was our official photographer, posting pictures on Facebook. It has been my pleasure to watch Emily grow from young person to young adult and assume her rightful place in the life of this church.
The theme for Youth Sunday was, “What will you do with your one life? And when will you start?” It is a great question not only for our youth, but for each of us.