Bryan Jarrett, my senior pastor, started a radio program when he was 16. He would tape himself preaching, then send the recordings to a radio station. He continued to do so until he was in college.
He’s now an experienced preacher. Really, check out the sermons.
I stop and think for a moment what it would be if my pastor never sent those tapes. I think of all the lives that have been changed because of his ministry! Sure, God would have raised others. When we don’t respond to his calling, He will find others to fulfill it. But there was no need, because pastor Bryan accepted the challenge.
There’s no doubt that God is the most important piece of his story, but I also find it that his willingness to start at such young age is a big factor.
This makes me think of all the new college students who are starting out, especially bible college students (since I graduated from a Christian University). A talk that came up over and over from school administration to us was the value of getting hands on experience as soon as possible. It doesn’t matter in what capacity, maybe it’s a volunteer position or being an intern, but getting that real life experience is crucial to develop skills.
College is good, but most employers (churches included) want to see some real life interactions (and even recommendations) with alike institutions or companies. The biggest mistake that college students make is thinking they will graduate and will land a full time job in their field without experience other than college. This might have been the case years ago, but now college grads are a dime a dozen. You need to have something that will set you apart besides college education.
Starting to practice your skills right now gives you an advantage.
And sure, the younger you develop a skill the better, but you don’t have to lament for not starting young, just start right now. The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago, the second best time is right now.
This post was first published on my other blog February 2013.