I believe the Word of God has a definitive answer to every probing question we have in this dynamic and intricate journey called life. It may be a direct or indirect answer, but it is still a God given answer. And if you ask for confirmation of that answer, God will give it to you. The answer may be revealed through genius revelation of the scriptures or it may be laid out in the scripture as clearly and simply as possible. The answer may even come in a novel form we never thought of before. When I think about what churches need to look for in new ministers, the answer comes clearly laid out in the form of I Timothy 4:12-16 (NKJV). It says,
“Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity. Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership. Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all. Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.”
“Let no one despise your youth…” means let no one look down on you in ministry because you are younger. Do not let older people make you believe that you are too young to do ministry work. No age is too young to work in the ministry. I have seen a pastor who started a passionate ministry in elementary school. I have seen pastors in their twenties, who are the youngest in the ministry, lead the older people. God said if you want wisdom, understanding, and knowledge, ask for it. God did not put any age limit on when to ask for wisdom, understanding, or knowledge.
Psalms 119:99 says,
“I have more understanding than all my teachers, For Your testimonies are my meditation”. No one is ever too young to start working in ministry. I even saw a newborn baby lift up his hands to give praise to God while his/her mother sang a hymn to him/her. Jesus was in his early thirties when he did ministry, which is a fairly and respectably young age. I believe young children naturally show godly character such as love, spirit, faith, and purity, and are ministers in their own right and unique way, while being fresh and new to this world.
Work in God’s grace to follow the scriptures and not in your flesh. We need God’s help in everything.
2 Corinthians 12:9 says,
“My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness. When we depend totally and completely on God and none of ourselves, he gives us the strength to do all that is required of us in life. When we try to do things in ourselves or in our own strength, we leave no room for God to work.
If new ministers follow the scripture, I Timothy 4:12-16 (NKJV) with God’s grace, I believe they would work great in the ministry. Churches should also look for new ministers who are humble, teachable, love to learn, driven, have a passion and love, and gift in the specified area of ministry. What I love about the youth is that to some extend they have an openness due to their fresh, thrilling, and novel eyes to view the world. If they keep this openness to learn as much as they can in ministry, there is no limit to how much God can use them.