To the Unqualified | UMC YoungPeople
Connecting young people and their adult leaders to God, the church, and the world
September 2016

To the Unqualified

By Samantha Tidball

I will never forget the first time in junior high school when my youth pastor said, “Open your Bibles to the New Testament…” Before he finished I started panicking. I remember thinking, “What does he mean 'the New Testament?' What happened to the Old Testament? Did they get rid of it?” I didn’t grow up going to Sunday School so Christian vocabulary often confused me. Years later, the first time I was asked to teach in the Christian faith I was insecure about it. However, I always knew not many people were willing to lead, and I felt like God was calling me to do so. Here is what I have learned from stepping into leadership roles.

Leading doesn’t require massive amounts of knowledge, but it requires a willingness to show others the love of Christ by walking alongside them in their faith journey. It doesn't mean having all the answers, but it does require a willingness to dive deeper into theological questions together. It means admitting not knowing all the answers and responding, “Let’s find out together.”

The apostles continued to bear powerful witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and an abundance of grace was at work among them all. - Acts 4:33

Spend a few minutes reading Acts 4.

Peter and John were such a mess. They were thrown in jail, discouraged, and threatened by religious leaders to stop talking about Jesus. They were recognized by the council as UNEDUCATED and INEXPERIENCED followers of Jesus. Do you hear this? John and Peter had few qualifications to lead the early Christian church. What made them able to lead? They were followers of Jesus and given authority by Christ. They spoke out with boldness about what they had seen and heard. They went forward praying for boldness and giving God all the glory! They continued to grow the church and to lead others to Jesus Christ.

Please don’t wait until you are feeling qualified in order to help others grow in their faith.

Don’t be discouraged if you feel unqualified to lead. In order to be an efficient leader, you should research and continue to grow in your faith while listening to the Holy Spirit, but please don’t wait until you are feeling qualified in order to help others grow in their faith. Can you imagine if Peter and John listened to the discouragement of the council and stopped leading others because they felt unqualified?

If you are thinking about leading, teaching, or mentoring others then stop hesitating and just do it. Don’t be afraid to fail and learn something with others. Or if you are already leading and feeling insecure, I pray you will experience boldness like Peter and John. Stop waiting until you have everything together and are feeling qualified. Go forth with faith that God can do more through you than you could possibly imagine.

Reflection Questions:

  • Are you currently leading, teaching or mentoring others to grow in their faith? Or have you thought about it? What insecurities do you have?
  • How can you help lead others to Christ?
  • What do you think would have happened if Jesus’ disciples felt too discouraged to continue teaching others about Jesus?
  • What gifts do you possess that can help lead others in their faith?
Young Adult devotions by Samantha Tidball.