”Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem thirty-one years. He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD and walked in the ways of his father David, not turning aside to the right or to the left. In the eighth year of his reign, while he was still young, he began to seek the God of his father David. In his twelfth year he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem of high places, Asherah poles, carved idols and cast images.” – 2 Chronicles 34:1-3 (NIV)
One of the heroes of the Old Testament is Josiah. He became King when he was eight, began to use his influence as King to turn his culture back to God when he was sixteen, and served the Lord in that same spirit for 31 years.
How does that happen? We know the catalyst for it all is the Holy Spirit, but I am convinced that the Holy Spirit used people who were a generation or two older than Josiah to influence him as godly teachers, spiritual historians, and holy coaches. Because these people were willing to let God use them in the life of a preteen and young teen, that teenager was willing to be used by God to be an agent for spiritual change.
You don’t have to look at our culture long to know it is in desperate need of change. In our churches there are many “Josi-ahs and Josi-ettes” that are desperately in need of teachers and spiritual coaches. Many, like Josiah, don’t get positive spiritual influence at home. If this generation of young people are going to be spiritual change agents for our culture, it can only happen if adults today are willing to stop coming to church to be fed and ministered to, and begin to let God use them to influence preschoolers, children, pre-teens and teens for Christ.
Will you begin praying for the next generation of leaders? Will you let God move you from your comfort zone, to a room full of preschoolers or kids who need to be discipled as change agents for Christ? Remember, God is not as interested in your ability as He is in your availability.