Several years ago, I was an associate pastor entrusted with leading a mission trip to serve a church halfway across the country. As the deadline to sign up for the trip neared, I was approached by a woman in our church who wanted to know more about the trip. While she seemed interested in going, she was also struggling with whether she could have any meaningful impact due to her age.
I encouraged her to pray about it, but told her I was sure the Lord could use her. She ultimately decided to go and, though I can’t remember all the details, I know God used her to bless the church and ministries we went to serve.
But as He often does, God was up to something else none of us could immediately see.
On our church mission trip the following year, this woman, who was in her 60s, connected with two other women, both in their 30s, from our group. After each day’s work was done, the three women began to talk and get to know one another. Shortly after we returned from the trip, the older woman began to meet with the two younger women to study the Bible and talk about life. The younger women began to grow in their faith, and some months later, another woman was invited into the group. Eventually, one of the women in her 30s began meeting with college-age women to do what had been done for her—help a younger generation learn more about God and life.
Put another way, God brought a couple of younger women into the life of an older woman, and she made those younger women her people. God did the same thing in the life of the woman in her 30s, bringing to her even younger women, who, in turn, made them her people. Though time has marched on and people have moved away, several of them have stayed in contact. I think most, if not all, of them would say the Lord used those groups to draw them closer together and closer to Him.
So who are your people?
In this month’s issue of the Texan, we highlight the next generation, featuring several articles focusing on the impact of children’s, student, and collegiate ministries across Texas. In each, you’ll meet someone who has seen a need in a particular group of people and declared, “God, those are my people.”
Many in our churches feel they are not equipped to pour into anyone else, much less a younger generation. Some of these people feel like they’re too old. Some feel like making disciples is a task reserved for the pastor or church staff. Others feel like they don’t have enough biblical knowledge to be effective.
On the contrary. I believe the Lord only has three requirements. You’re eligible if:
1. You are alive.
2. You have a relationship with Him through Jesus Christ.
3. You’re willing to submit yourself to His work—even if you can’t imagine how He would use you to do it.
Chances are, you’re surrounded by various groups of people all week long: at school, work, church, and so many other places. In each of those places, someone is desperate, lonely, hopeless, hungry to learn about God, or craving connection. They are looking for someone to invest love, time, experience, and patience in them.
Could some of them be your people? Here’s an even better question: Are you willing to take a step of faith and find out?