Some churches participate in annual or periodic "Youth Sundays" in which children participate in the organization, development and implementation of the regular worship service. In some cases, a member of the youth group may create and deliver the sermon message under the supervision of the pastor. Topics of the sermon most often address the role of youth in the church and the responsibilities of members to set a good example.
Paul tells Timothy in I Timothy 4:12-14 not to let people discount him because he is young. The minister or youth speaker could talk to both the youth and the adults about how to conduct life as an example to others. The sermon topic could focus on other aspects of youth such as how people see things differently when young and old (I Corinthians 13:11-12 or Proverbs 20:29 describing what we admire about those who are young and those who are old. Alternatively, the topic could focus on advice to the young and use such Scriptures as Ecclesiastes 11:9-10, Proverbs 13:1 or Proverbs 5:1-2.
Responsibilities of Belonging
Many churches accept a believer as a full church member following a profession of faith and baptism. Youth Sunday sermon topics about the responsibilities of belonging and serving in a church apply to both young and old. The message could include admonitions on tithing (Malachi 3:8-12 and II Corinthians 9:7-11), caring for others (Matthew 25:32-40) or right living (II Timothy 3:14-17). The minister might also speak to the older church members about living a godly example before the youth. He could exhort the youth to remember that the children in the church look to them as examples.
Young Bible Leaders
The Bible has a great many examples of people who were called to serve in their youth. The Youth Sunday sermon might look at the life of Joseph, David, Daniel, Samuel, Sampson or King Josiah. These individuals demonstrate what God can do with a young person who dedicates himself to God. The sermon could admonish young people to make an early commitment and find ways to be of service. It could also look at the lives of these men and examine the mistakes they made and how God used them despite their human failures.
Following the Lectionary
The minister might determine to follow the lectionary reading schedule, rather than choosing a specific youth-referenced topic according to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America article, “Should We Celebrate Youth Sunday?” The lectionary gives four different scripture readings for each week of the year. According to the author, choosing a topic out of the normal liturgical season implies that youth don’t have the opportunity and ability to plug into the regular church rhythm and function as an integral part of the community. He suggests working with the regular reading and utilizing youth in various roles during a Youth Sunday service and as important members of the worship team during the year.
- Evangelical Lutheran Church in America: Should We Celebrate Youth Sunday?
- College Park Baptist Church: Youth Sunday Sermons by Kelli Joyce & Nathan Usey
- First Presbyterian Church of Honolulu: Sermon: Youth Sunday
- Pomomusings: Pomo Youth Sunday Sermon
- Bible Gateway: I Timothy 4:12-14; New King James; Thomas Nelson, 1982
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