Found this…

How young?

When you think of the big names in Christianity from present and past generations certain names pop into your head. You may know them by just their name; you might know them by their works or just heard them around the traps. Recently Mark Driscoll release on the Resurgence blog an article title Young Guns part 1 and 2. It lists a number of famous Christian guys who started their ministry at a relatively young age. It goes to show that God gives gifts to people at any age and stage. Mark Driscoll started his church at around 26 year of age, in 1996 and I think he’s one of the most prolific speakers of our generation. It inspires and encourages me that these guys are so zealous for God!

In Paul’s letter to the young Timothy he writes “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity” 1 Tim 4:12. I’m sure the following guys took this to heart and went forth to proclaim the gospel!

Jonathan Edwards – Began his ministry at 19 years of age

Jonathan Edwards is the greatest theologian America has ever produced. Additionally, the Great Awakening began in 1734 in his Northampton, Massachusetts congregation with the young people who had drifted away from the church, but suddenly wanted to begin meeting with him about his sermons.

George Whitefield – Began his ministry at 25 years of age

George Whitefield is the greatest preacher America has ever seen. He preached 18,000 sermons to over ten million people during the Great Awakening. He planted 150 churches in New England, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Maryland. He preached in open air with crowds as large as 30,000 people at a time. Amazingly, he preached to such crowds without a microphone and would cough up blood from the strain on his throat. It is estimated that most Americans heard him preach at least once. His farewell sermon on Boston Commons drew more people than Boston’s entire population and was the largest crowd ever gathered in America at that time.

David Brainerd – Began his ministry at 24 years of age

David Brainerd is one of the greatest missionaries America has ever had. His passion was to convert the Americans Indians scattered throughout New York and Pennsylvania. He traveled more than 3,000 miles on horseback, preaching the gospel faithfully until he died at the age of twenty-nine, after a lengthy sickness brought on by his constant time spent in harsh winter conditions.

Methodist Circuit Riders – Began their ministry in their 20s

The Methodist Circuit Riders were devout evangelists who travelled across the country on horseback to lead people to Christ by preaching of the gospel and establishing local congregations of believers. Amazingly, four questions were asked in the selecting of a potential Circuit Rider:

  • Is this man truly converted?
  • Does he know how to keep our rules?
  • Can he preach acceptably?
  • Has he a horse?

Due to the harsh conditions of living in the woods and traveling on horseback, the average life expectancy of a Circuit Rider was only thirty-three years of age.

D.L. Moody – Began his ministry at 21 years of age

D.L. Moody was one of the greatest evangelists in the history of America. His legacy today includes the renowned Moody Church, Moody Bible Institute and Moody Publishers. Moody began his ministry with a ragtag group of rowdy young boys who had been kicked out of other Sunday school classes. Before becoming a pastor, Moody was denied church membership because he failed the oral doctrine exam. During his life he travelled one million miles and preached to over one hundred million people. At the Chicago World’s Fair he preached to 130,000 people in one day.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer – Began his ministry at 25 years of age

Dietrich Bonhoeffer is one of the most well-known pastors of the 20th century. He opposed the Nazi church in Germany and built an underground seminary to train pastors to remain faithful to Jesus Christ and not bend their knees to Adolf Hitler. Bonhoeffer was hanged by the Nazis in 1945 at the age of thirty-nine after writing, “When Christ calls a man, he bids him to come and die.” Bonhoeffer began his life of ministry at the young age of twenty-five.

Charles Haddon Spurgeon – Began his ministry at 19 years of age

Charles Haddon Spurgeon is among the finest preachers in the history of the church, though he was not formally educated for the task. He pastored the world’s first megachurch, where thousands would come to hear him preach the gospel upwards of ten times a week. Over 100,000 people attended his funeral.

Billy Graham – Began his ministry at 19 years of age

Billy Graham is easily the most influential Protestant Christian leader of the 20th century and for me personally one of the most inspiring men who has ever lived. Graham has preached the gospel to more people in live audiences than anyone else in history—over 210 million people in more than 185 countries and territories. Hundreds of millions more have been reached through television, video, film, and webcasts.

Various Revivals

In addition to God working miraculously through the young, he is also prone to work miraculously on the young. Three revivals in particular primarily affected young people. The college student revivals under Jonathan Edward’s grandson, Timothy Dwight, brought many young Christians into church leadership. The Second Great Awakening (1776-1810) was largely fueled by college revivals. The Puritans in Britain were often scoffed at for being “merely children” because so many of them were in their early and mid twenties. Lastly, the great Scottish revival is reported to have been mainly young people, as a reported 60 percent of the mass conversions were among people between the ages of sixteen and twenty-five.


1 Comment so far
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encouraging post – I got asked by a young mum from the community today if it is common for such young people to be employed by churches, why a young thing like me would want to be in the ministry and what do I have to offer people. She then asked for a blow by blow account of how I spend my week….

(this woman was only 4 years older than me and she thought I was 20 years old)

so here is to a revival in my hood!!!

Comment by Hayley

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