Valued in this moment
When Rev. Dr. David Gambrell was asked to speak at the Presbyterian Youth Triennium (PYT) last year, he knew it would be both challenging and extremely personal.
“Not many preachers have the opportunity to address several thousand teenagers,” he says. “So I did this with a healthy dose of humility, fear and trembling, especially mindful that one of those teenagers was my own daughter.”
David attends Highland Presbyterian Church in Louisville, Kentucky, where he volunteers to teach confirmation classes. He has witnessed and guided the faith journey of many young people—including his two daughters.
As each of us considers a gift to the Pentecost Offering, he says every person, young or old, should understand that ministry with youth is not just about the future, but also about being in the now.
“Our kids need to know they are valued in this moment —their gifts, wisdom and experiences are important,” David explains. “They need to know that we take them seriously and honor them as members of Christ’s body and that we want to learn from them even as they learn from us.”
Welcomed into ministry
It’s one of the things Gina Yeager-Buckley, Associate for Ministries with Youth at the Presbyterian Mission Agency, truly appreciates about being a Presbyterian—all people, regardless of age, are welcomed into ministry. Gina handles the organization of the Triennium, which is funded in part by the Pentecost Offering.
“Ministry is not just for older adults or the middle-aged. Presbyterians understand that each of us, youth as well as adults, is called to be in relationship with God and to share our faith,” she says.
The Pentecost Offering not only supports the Triennium; it also supports the Young Adult Volunteer Program and children at risk through the Educate a Child, Transform the World national initiative.
“We tend to say something like ‘we’re investing in the future because the youth are the future of our church,’” says David. “But our youth already have gifts to give and important ways to serve and lead in the church. Supporting the Offering is a way to give youth the opportunity to do things and share their gifts in the present moment.”
Serving others is a joy Gambrell experienced as both a faith leader and a father. Following his service at PYT, he received a truly special gift—a text from his daughter who attended. It read, simply, “I’m proud of you, dad.”
Please give generously to the Pentecost Offering, for when we all do a little, it adds up to a lot.
Let us pray
God of all people, stir in us a commitment to help shape the lives of our children, youth and young adults. As we teach and mentor, help us to listen to how you are calling our young people to lead, here and now. Amen.
For more information and resources related to the Pentecost offering, visit presbyterianmission.org/pentecost.
This post is based on the Minute for Mission script which can be found on our website as a script.
Please give generously to the Offering:
- Through your congregation
- Text YOUNG to 20222 to give $25
- Donate online