I think that as teens in the church, we often struggle to find a purpose. We go to church faithfully every Sabbath, sit quietly, listen to the sermon and then go home. Sometimes we are asked to present a reading, say a prayer, or deliver a musical item; but this still doesn’t give a full sense of purpose. Only very recently have I felt I have proper purpose, the sense of really being able to contribute to the life of my church.

In January 2021, my friend Alistair and I were asked to become the Youth Leaders. We said ‘yes’ to taking this role with great enthusiasm, and over the past year we’ve organised several Youth Days and helped with the running of Zoom over the lockdown period. We are also planning a youth concert for January 2022 for the young people across the South West. Being able to organise all the events, and seeing how they have blessed other people, really makes me feel as though I have a true purpose in the church and that I am really serving God to the best of my ability.

However, all those events became possible because we were listened to; we were heard and supported in the things we wanted to accomplish. None of it would have been possible without that support from the church. So, I think the key to teens and tweens feeling a sense of purpose in their church, is to be heard and listened to. I feel as a teen in the church, we are often too shy or scared to share our ideas or opinions, because we are surrounded by people we feel know better. But in reality, our ideas and opinions are often welcomed with great enthusiasm and very much supported, as I found out when I became a youth leader.

So, teens and tweens of the church, I encourage you today; if you feel you have an idea, big or small – an activity, an opinion you have on a decision made in the church or anything else – that you feel would benefit the youth of your church or even the whole congregation, to go and speak to the youth leader of your church or whoever you feel most comfortable talking to. You’ll be amazed at how many people you’ll bless through the grace of our Father Jesus Christ.

Molly Johnson