Original Research - Special Collection: Christian Leadership

Age does not determine influence: A consideration for children in ministerial service

Garth Aziz
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 76, No 2 | a5848 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v76i2.5848 | © 2020 Garth Aziz | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 14 October 2019 | Published: 23 April 2020

About the author(s)

Garth Aziz, Department of Philosophy, Practical and Systematic Theology, Faculty of Humanities, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa


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Abstract

Leadership and areas of influence are often reserved for the adult community. The youth are mostly regarded as developing beings, with insufficient knowledge and experience to take on leadership roles where influence can be exercised. It is often considered – especially in the context of the church – that the youth do not have the capacity to lead, while evidence from society and research studies points to the contrary. The author of this article argues that the ability to influence does not depend on age or in an accumulation of experience. Instead, the ability of the youth to make a difference is attributed to their desire to do so. The author draws attention to why we need to focus on the youth and their ability to make a difference. The article presents an argument based on scriptural evidence and a theology of childhood as to why it is indeed possible and beneficial for the youth to exert their influence across various sectors of society.

Keywords

Youth; Children; Theologies of childhood; Childhood studies; Leadership; Individuation; Service; Skills development

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