As a young person, I sometimes find myself asking questions like, “How am I benefiting the church?” or, “Are young people like myself important in the life of the church?” Even at a young age, we have been taught that each member of the church is important in fulfilling God’s purpose. Each one of us is a part of the body of Christ, but we all perform different functions. The young people are the foundation for the future of the Protestant Reformed Churches (PRC), and their place in the church is vital for continuing the truth through the lines of generations. The way in which young people are involved in the church is important for their growth in the knowledge of God and also for the future of the PRC.
Throughout our years in the instruction of God’s word, it has been our goal to become confessing members of the church one day. This will come at a different time for each young person, but our calling right now is to study the scriptures so that we can achieve that goal. The way in which we are involved in the church today allows us to grow in our faith so that one day we will be leaders of the church ourselves. Without this foundation, the truths that have been taught for generations would fall farther and farther away. “He hath remembered his covenant for ever, the word [which] he commanded to a thousand generations” (Psalm 105:8).
There are a number of ways in which the young people are encouraged to participate in the life of the church. By attending catechism and going to Young People’s Society, we are fulfilling our purpose in the church to grow in the knowledge of God. In order to teach the Protestant Reformed doctrines to our own families one day, we must go through the proper instruction. As young people, we have to willingly attend such societies because we know that it is of our benefit to study the word of God.
Through these societies, we have the privilege not only to study the scriptures, but also to do so with fellow believers. It is important that the young people of the church come together to discuss their thoughts and opinions about the word of God and to learn from each other. By discussing the word of God together, we are also forming a bond with one another that will continue into adulthood. The discussion we have with one another now is only the beginning of our study of the word with the members of the church. We will grow spiritually from the knowledge of fellow believers and with the support we have for one another.
By forming strong friendships within the church, we will develop a close-knit congregation of the next generation, in which we will continue to carry out the Reformed faith. Having friends within our own body of Christ will benefit us in the future when we become leaders of the church ourselves. We have to form a unity that will enable us to preserve the doctrines that have been manifested in us.
Just as it is our calling to have fellowship with one another through societies, we can also fulfill our purpose in the church by willingly attending church services. The PRC is set apart from many other churches today because we have two services on Sunday instead of just one. We see the importance of dedicating our whole day to the praise of God. In our modern society, it is more common to go to one service, so that there is more time to do other activities for the rest of the day. However, the young people of the PRC have been taught that hearing the gospel is the way in which we can be spiritually fed, and without it our lives would be empty.
As young people, it is easy for us to want to follow the ways of others, and that can lead us to think that it is acceptable to stray from dedicating the Sabbath to God. Without seeing the importance of keeping the Sabbath, the future of the church is at stake. The young people have to see the importance of keeping the Sabbath day holy, so that future generations will live in the same way. We can be confident in knowing that God upholds his church through hisovereignty. Matthew 7:21 tells us that we must live according to the will of God, and not live according to our own. “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.”
As young people of the PRC, we have a responsibility to grow in our understanding of the truth so that one day we can teach our own children the doctrines that have been manifested in our lives. We may not feel as if our involvement in the church is important; however, we are the foundation for future generations and the ways in which we participate will help us to be leaders of the church in our adulthood. Our actions in the life of the church now will help us to strengthen the church when we are leaders ourselves.