Ask any parent of a teenager and they will tell you that it is an exciting day when your kid is able to drive. I have a 17 year old who has been driving for a while now. I remember giving Grace her own set of keys when she turned 16. It was defining moment for us all. My 14 year old son just received his driving permit and is now feeling the thrill of the open road. Soon, like his sister, he will be getting his own car complete with its own set of keys.
Something happens when we are released to drive. I felt it, and I see it in my kids, too.
- There is a sense of experience. You get to travel roads that you choose to go down. You get to see new things.
- Relationships expand. You no longer have to just be connected to people in your neighborhood. Now you can know people across town, or in different towns
- Care develops. You see the car you are driving as “yours” and you begin to make sure that it is cared for and maintained.
- Maturity happens. A person develops a heightened sense of maturity knowing the responsibility of what they are doing.
I’ve noticed in leading a church the last eight years that the same thing happens when a person volunteers at a church. When they are given the “keys” to drive their church, they experience everything a new teen driver experiences. Church cannot run well without people who want the keys to drive. They need people who want to go to new places, meet new people and maintain the mission of the church.
Watching a teenager sit in the passenger seat while someone else drives is frustrating for them. Especially if they are able to drive, but haven’t done what is necessary to get their license. They don’t like being the passenger. We shouldn’t like bing passengers at our church, either. We should want the keys! If you aren’t actively serving in your church, you should get out of the passenger seat and ask for the keys to drive. You will find that a whole new world of opportunity awaits you.