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Updated: Feb 26, 2023

1 Timothy 4:12 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.

Silebus stated “no statue has been erected to honor a critic.” Everyone has opinions and many times people are blinded by them. Preferences drive that which we believe and accept. I recognize that discernment is necessary, but often discernment is shrouded in criticism. One’s ideology becomes solidified by his or her preferences and that can cause issues. One may miss the hand of God at work.

1 Timothy is one of the pastoral epistles that the Apostle Paul penned to a young #pastor, Timothy. Timothy had the task of pastoring the church at Ephesus and “setting it in order.” Not an easy task. Timothy encountered hardships at Ephesus. The inferiority of being young and inexperienced had impact upon Timothy. Thus, Paul writes to Timothy that no one should despise him simply because he is young. Therein lies the context of 1 Timothy 4:12.

Paul mentions that Timothy should “be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” An example in the Greek means “a model forged by repetition.” In today’s vernacular one might refer to such as an influencer. An #influencer has a “mark” or pattern that others follow. Those that have influence with one are an example to he or she for a reason and those that follow such influencers often emulate their cause/message. We need influencers that do so with a positive message. A message of hope and truth is much needed in our land. The Gospel needs to reach the lost, the helpless, and the hopeless. Like Paul, this is that which we desire to see in this present age, a generation that does not follow the culture, but one that follows Christ. Young leaders that are influencers among their peers. Could we be witnessing the next wave of influencers?

In recent days, revivals have occurred on university campuses (#Asbury, #LeeUniversity, #EKU, #Cedarville). There are many opinions as to that which is happening. However, it appears that God is breathing upon a generation in this day. The examples or influencers if you will, students. No evangelist or pastor of notoriety. No worship leader or worship team with several Grammys on their resumes. Just college kids. Do I understand it? No. Some criticize because it hasn’t followed all the “protocol” of a traditional worship service. However, I have heard exhortation from the Scripture, testimonies, and worship in song from two of the services that I observed online. Students have led worship services. Students that have been labeled and considered part of a defiant generation. Yet, God has used them as examples, influencers. No matter what you think of these revivals, the influence of such has spread. A generation has been touched and in turn they are touching others. Influencers with a message that has been repeated through the ages, the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Isn’t that what we need? Isn’t that what we pray for?

A month ago on a Wednesday evening, we stopped everything and prayed for our students. Parents, grandparents, and church staff gathered around them and began to seek God on their behalf. Students that are churched and students that come from no church background were lifted up in prayer. That which was to take a few minutes occupied the entirety of the service. The result? Young people crying out to God. There were three in attendance that night that requested to be baptized. One student went home and told their parents, whom do not attend services, about that which had happened. Since that night, the parents have been in attendance. Influencers from among the youngest of these. I am not comparing that which happened in our church to these campus revivals. My point is that God is touching this generation.

We pray for a generation that is not driven by the culture, but they are directed by the Word and of the Holy Spirit. We need a generation that is salt and light in a world that needs the seasoning of the Gospel. I pray that this generation, meaning the time in which we live, witnesses our younger constituency freed from bondage and proclaiming the word. The move of God, the result of #revival, is determined by the test of time. May the repetition of influence continue until Christ returns. May we be an influence for Christ!


Dr. Brian C. Monehan

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