Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching.
1 Timothy 4:12-13
This past weekend Cam Newton was named the Pepsi NFL Rookie of the year and rightfully so as he set numerous records this season as a rookie. But I remember as the Panthers, my NFL team, were considering drafting Newton before the start of the season there was all kinds of negative talk about him, his playing style, etc. Even after shutting up most of his critics in week one there still managed to be lingering skepticism on this rookie quarterback.
I want to say that I am happy for my team and for Cam Newton for consistently going out there every week and giving it his all, which resulted in his critics shutting up based on his actual performance not his expected one. As a young star, Newton showed up and he showed up big.
As I was celebrating this award for my team's quarterback, I began to reflect on how going into ministry, especially at a young age, can often be the same type of experience that Newton experienced. Publicly surrendering my life to the ministry at the age of thirteen caused me to turn to the above passage in Timothy often as many people questioned how a boy of thirteen could be called into ministry at such a young age.
Although I am now 26, I am still a young leader and often hear the same doubts that I have heard for the last thirteen years. Commonly they sound like, "You are going to do what? And you want to go where? I mean you are young, but you have a wife and child now, why would you want to do that?"
Yes, the situations are a little different and sure the paychecks are a very different, but still Newton is an example of a young guy who though was despised by many gave them an example that would not allow them to despise him any longer.
My point is that I am here to do the same thing because if God is the one who called me to do something, He will glorify himself through my obedience to set an example for the believers in lifestyle and my devotion to teaching God's Word will leave my critics with nothing to despise, but themselves. My goal as a church planter is to be obedient, proclaim the gospel, disciple believers, and form churches that plant churches.