She was only 18 years old when she courageously put her life on the line for her fellow soldiers. Monica Lin Brown was an army medic when the IED (improvised explosive devices) ripped apart the last Humvee in their convoy. This incident unfolded in Afghanistan on April 25, 2007. Although women aren’t supposed to serve on the front line, she had been temporarily assigned to this detail. As shrapnel was exploding around her, she put her body between the wounded soldiers and the ammunition-laden vehicle. Monica is just the second female awarded the Silver Star (the nation’s third-highest medal for valor) since World War II. She recently was featured on the CBS news magazine 60 Minutes.
Mary, the mother of Jesus, is widely thought to have been just a teenager when she was asked to be the instrument to deliver God’s Son. She moved through that season with the grace of a seasoned adult and became an example of what the Lord can do through a surrendered life. Joseph (Jacob’s son) was only 17 when God deposited a costly dream upon him. Though he experienced many difficulties early on he hung on and was used by God to bring deliverance to an entire nation. Joel prophesied and the book of Acts concurs: “Upon your sons and your daughters … I will pour out my Spirit” (Joel 2; Acts 2).
The Foursquare Church is a movement founded on the shoulders of young leaders. Aimee Semple McPherson was just 33 when she built Angelus Temple and laid the groundwork for a world-wide evangelistic thrust. Today, the Lord is raising up new expressions of young leadership! In the last few years, a revival of sorts, focused on a rising generation of passionate and gifted leaders, has emerged. Ignite, NextGen National Ministries, Emerging Leader Network and J12 all point to a sovereign move of God within our ranks! This surge reflects the passion and commitment of churches and pastors around the world to release, confirm, commission and celebrate God’s promise to us!
In January 2009, the launch of Ignite from the campus of Life Pacific College will take place. Nearly 50 young leaders have signed up. Enrollment is at capacity, and a second campus search is underway. The rise of interest, leadership, passion, open doors and vision can only point to one thing … God! We can’t do it without Him. He chooses not to do it without us! Would you join us in prayer for this phenomenal door of opportunity (Revelation 3) that the Lord has opened? Pray for Mike Larkin and his team of young leaders. Pray for young people like Kaitlin, who walked away from a college scholarship to respond to the call of the Lord. Pray over the faculty who will help lead in this discipleship immersion and global experience.
Most of all, pray for God to awaken pastors, parents and youth to a fresh awakening of His purposes for them. Pray for opportunities to emerge for placement, internships and appointments for this new generation of called and equipped ministers. The Apostle Paul got it right when he said to his young son in the faith, “Timothy, don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity” (I Timothy 4:12).
Thank you, Pastor Jack (and board of directors), for the trust, encouragement and permission to spread our wings, take risks, invest resources and issue the challenge to a called, prophesied-about and needed group of young leaders! The next great harvest just may be led by this group of innovative, hungry, committed and released “sons and daughters.” If the world will recognize their value and contributions, how much more should the church stand up and cheer for this emerging generation!
“How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!'” – Isaiah 52:7 (NIV)