Read this encouragement that was given to Timothy by the apostle Paul in 1 Timothy 4:12 1 Timothy 4:12Let no man despise your youth; but be you an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
American King James Version×: “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.”
Being a teen does not mean you cannot serve! In some congregations much of the organizational work is done by people who are older. But in many of these areas of service teens can most definitely help. But exactly which duties?
When you think of how you may serve in local congregations, involvement in the Sabbath services is often the first thing that comes to mind. Some congregations have youth days, where teens or young adults lead songs, give the opening and closing prayers and perhaps the sermonette message. For young men, these occasions can be very useful to serve the congregation.
As for music, you may be able to serve in the choir, accompany hymns or perform special music if you have the ability and the interest. There may also be opportunities for you to serve in Sabbath school. In these areas young adults can help teach lessons and provide positive examples for younger people to follow.
There are many duties that are not as visible and that are often neglected. These may include running the sound system (if one is technically qualified for the position), ushering, greeting, setup and take-down, helping with potlucks and other activities, information table or bulletin board, announcement bulletin, running the congregational website or helping with youngsters.
Even if you do not have much knowledge in an area experienced people will be glad to show you how to do something. I know this from experience, since as a teenager I served on the setup crew in my local congregation as well as an occasional usher. When I went to college, I helped out with the security for the church hall when it was necessary.
Of course, there are additional opportunities to serve at the Feast of Tabernacles. Young people can also serve on the staffs of preteen or teen camps. Teens and young adults can also serve the Church by participating in the United Youth Corps or by attending Ambassador Bible College. All of these opportunities allow teenagers to hone their attitudes and skills for service.
Setting an example
In the local congregation we should be good examples for others to follow. Whether we like it or not, adults (our parents, their friends or leaders in the congregation), other teens, and children frequently watch what we are doing and how we are conducting ourselves. Your service can be a valuable demonstration of our faith and knowledge and our desire for godly character and a good reputation (James 2:18 James 2:18Yes, a man may say, You have faith, and I have works: show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.
American King James Version×).
We can also be positive examples to others outside of the Church. We do not have to wear our faith on a shirt or a bracelet, but rather we demonstrate it quietly through our good conduct. If we are acting in a right way, people will see some of our religious beliefs without our having to tell them, and often peer pressure will be reduced. Of course we will have to be true to our beliefs—a decision each individual will have to make for himself or herself. Whether in the Church, at work or school, our practice can be a positive example to others, for our actions speak louder than our words.
As a teen do not be afraid to ask others how you may serve! Also ask your friends in other areas how they serve in their congregations. They may have new ideas or advice to share that can be helpful. As long as you’re willing, there will always be ways for you to serve