Young adult leaders from all around the state gathered for the Young Leader’s Panel at “The Spot” of Central Baptist Church in Jonesboro. These young pastors, church leaders, and believers met together for a luncheon and panel discussion led by Dave McClung and Warren Gasaway during this year’s Pastors’ Conference. The panel members included Jamar Andrews, Blake Hudspeth, Clay Cunningham, Robert Ramsey, and Dan Reeves.
Building on the overall theme of Convention this year, “High Call,” the discussion focused on creating a culture for spurring on young leaders in our churches who may be experiencing a call to ministry. The panel mentioned a few ways we can create a culture for those who have been called to ministry at a young age.
Discipleship: Members of the panel all agreed discipleship of young leaders is crucial to building up disciples for Christ within our churches. Being a friend and mentor to students and young leaders allows them to witness first hand how to pour into other believers.
Opportunities: While all having their own individual stories, each member of the panel recalled a time in their past when someone had given them an opportunity to preach and teach at a young age. Giving young leaders opportunities such as this equips them with formative experiences that better prepare them for their future ministry roles. In return, it establishes a ministry structure within our churches that focuses on the multiplication of disciples.
- Intentionality: Intentionality in all things is important—particularly in the areas mentioned above, as well as in our personal witness. Andrews highlighted this thought by saying, “Being a pastor is not what I do, but who I am.” This is not to say what we do and say is not important, but to highlight the idea that who we are in private is simply “who we are.” Being intentional to spend time in the Word and in prayer helps us live a life focused on His call and equips us to be a better example to those around us. Speaking into young leaders and setting this example is crucial to building up disciples within our churches.