Jeremiah 29: 11 says, “For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.”
When I was a young person growing up in church, this verse from Jeremiah was one of my favorite scripture passages. In fact, I picked this very verse for my confirmation passage. One of the first messages I ever preached (during Youth Sunday at my home congregation) was focused on this text. These days I use the scripture passage when I am anxious about the future and what it will bring. I also bring the scripture passage up to my congregation on a pretty regular basis, but I especially try to remember it when I talk to the youth in the congregation I serve.
There is a reason why this scripture passage spoke to my young heart so much when I was in Middle and High School. Youth are struggling to find their voice in this world. Much of their lives are undetermined for them at this specific juncture in time. This is scary no matter how old you are, but it is particularly so when you are young.
As mentors to young people, whether you are currently a mentor for the youTheology program, a youth Pastor or sponsor; I think it is important that we simply share the story of how God has been the center of our hope in times of uncertainty. Mentoring sometimes means we listen to how hope seems absent. We then are invited, in the name of Jesus Christ, to share that hope is ever-present in God. Amen and Happy 2012!
youTheology Mentor Coordinator 2011-2012
Loving God, Loving Neighbor
Developing Faithful Leaders for a Diverse Church and World Now and in the Future