A society that has a progressive mindset with good vision and purpose for the future knows that the fulfilment and success of such visions and purposes can be greatly determined by the readiness and development of the youths in that society. And this is so because it is the youths that become matured and full adults. Being a youth is a preparatory stage in life for what is to come. As long as there is life, there will always be responsibilities on earth, so the youths have to be groomed to face responsibilities so that living and well-being in the future will not fall apart. Now, the scripture says, “The glory of young men is their [physical] strength, and the honor of aged men is their gray head [representing wisdom and experience],” Proverbs 20:29, AMP). This quoted scripture is saying that when someone is young, there is enough strength in the body, and it is a glory to the young. So, this strength in the body of the youths is meant for training themselves and preparing them for the latter days. And it is when someone is well prepared that it can be said of such that he has honor in his latter days when he has gathered enough experience and wisdom for living which can also be imparted into coming generations. This is true for every progressive society, and the church of God is not left out of this.
The youths are the future leaders of the church, they are the ones who will get involved fully in church spiritual activities in the future; they will face storms and spiritual wars which they will be able to overcome when they are well experienced in spiritual warfare. And building experience from the days of youth is needful. For example, when David faced Goliath, David was warned by Saul that Goliath wasn’t just a giant, but he had been a warrior from his youth, which means Goliath was a man prepared with experiences to conquer; this shows how important it is to get prepared from youth days. And thanks to God that though David was a youngster, yet he had his own fair share of experience with wild animals which he conquered, and with that faith he was able to conquer Goliath by God’s power, (1 Samuel 17:33-36).
So, in a society like we have today which is ravaged by so much distractions and vain happenings and fun, it is important that the church let her youths know how serious and evil the world is, and get them prepared for spiritual aspect of life. One of the ways a church can help the youth draw closer to God is by tending to children from childhood. The word of God says, train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old, he will not depart from it, (Proverbs 22:6, AMP). So, even before the child of a Christian becomes a youth, the child should be made to know about God and the righteous ways of God, thus, the ways of God becomes part of him, and such a child will grow in grace with what he or she had already learned.
Another way to help youth get closer to God is to encourage them, and give them exhortation from time to time, showing them the benefits of being in the presence of God, telling them hard truths about life and the way of righteousness which is not a bed of roses; this is not to make them lose hope, but to build hope that with God, light will always be at the end of the tunnel.
Another way to get youths closer to God is for adults and elders to be of good behavior; that is, elders whom the youths are looking up to as role models should be careful in their dealings, or else, they will be discouraged. So, the good composure of church elders is a good way to encourage the youths in getting closer to God.
Also, youths are to be given opportunities to minister from time to time so that the gifts of God in them can be stirred up to edify the church. This reduces their anxiety and fear, and gives them more boldness and faith. They are to be involved in God’s service and be in charge of departments such as the musical arm of the church and ensure that they make the place excellent, (2 Timothy 1:6-7).
Finally, the church leaders must ensure that they pray continuously for the youths because the adversary knows how useful they can be against his activities, therefore, the adversary attacks people early in life during childhood or youthful days so that they can miss the right way and not fulfil their God given purpose or destinies. But the prayers prayed today can go a long way in saving the future of youths in the church.