Forbes just released their 30 Under 30 list for 2018: Thirty young people under thirty years of age in each of twenty categories - six hundred youthful visionaries total, who they believe are making an impact. It's fascinating to look through the list. Jackie Evancho, the seventeen-year-old singer who has released six number one classical albums is there. So is Karlie Kloss, the twenty-five-year-old model who began a non-profit to teach girls how to code through camps and scholarships. Mark Pavlyukovskyy is also on the list. He's the twenty-six-year-old cofounder of Piper, Inc, who created a computer kit to help kids learn how to code. Instagram's Product Marketing Manager, twenty-nine-year-old Nina Yiamsamatha, also appears in the 30 Under 30 list. Sixteen-year-old Peyton Robertson already holds five patents for his inventions which include sandbags to combat seawater flooding and a bicycle with retractable training wheels. Two of the vice presidents of Bank of America appear here, twenty-eight-year-old Danielle Cooper and twenty-nine-year-old David Sklar.
As I look at the list, it boggles my mind what these young people have already accomplished with their lives. And then I think about our churches. We definitely claim to like our young adults. In fact, I hear it said often that they are the future of the church! But wait a second. What do we even mean by that? Are we saying that our young people should be sitting down, waiting for the older, wiser, more mature members of the congregation to retire before they step up and lead? Do we fail to remember that our church was founded by young adults? Ellen White was seventeen when she was called by God. James White was twenty-two when he was ordained as a pastor. John Andrews was twenty-two when he got involved in publishing and he was ordained at twenty-three. In the Apostle Paul's letter to the young pastor Timothy, he exhorts him, "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" (1 Timothy 4:12). If young adults can be so active in society as well as the church of the past, why not in the church today? Friends, it's time to empower our young adults to be powerful agents for Christ. The future is now!