Through the years, The Lord has led Servant Life to four Core Values that shape all the work we do. They are: Gospel-centered ministry, long-term strategies, one-on-one relationships, and a focus on youth and children. Every missionary in our global network is prayerfully and specifically selected by the type of ministry they are doing. We are highlighting each of these Core Values in a four part series. Let’s talk about “Focus on Youth and Children.”
All throughout scripture, God tells His people that children are very important. Jesus teaches that in order to enter the Kingdom, we must become like little children. In Luke 18:16-17 Jesus tell his disciples, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God.” If the children were important to Jesus, they should be important to us. By reaching a generation of children and youth with the Gospel through long-term relationships in partner countries, there is great potential for this generation to impact families, villages, cities, and nations in the name of Jesus Christ.
Since Servant Life began doing international mission trips in 1999, it has been our experience that high school and college-age students have a strong voice in the lives of youth and children who are younger than them. This is not a new concept. For example: Who did you look up to most when you were 10? For most of us it wasn’t someone our parents age. We believe that high school and college-age students have a unique opportunity to share the Gospel with youth and children that only exists for a limited window of time. Paul tells Timothy to not let anyone look down on him because he is young, but to set an example for the believers. Every disciple of Jesus Christ is called to be a disciple-maker. No believer is too young to be used by the Father. As a matter of fact, He has masterfully orchestrated all of our years to be used for our good and for His glory.
The spiritual and physical needs of this world transcend age, race, sex, and religion. Sin and pain do not discriminate on this side of heaven. Servant Life knows that it cannot fix or even address all the pain in this world, but we can use the resources and relationships that The Lord has given us to show Christ to the nations. The Lord has given Servant Life influence with American students and we long for them to embrace the global community and spread the name of Jesus to the ends of the earth.
– Ryan Childress