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Teenage Worker of the Year – Joshua Brown


This past Saturday was our annual Worker Appreciation Breakfast. It was a unique time as the staff of FBC cooked and served breakfast for all of the volunteers who serve at FBC. At that breakfast we honored Joshua Brown as our 2010 Teenage Worker of the Year. Below are the remarks that I made in presenting the award to Josh.

Last year we began what we call “The Worker of the Year” awards. If you recall, last year we honored Virginia Peek, Viola Doyle, and Dave & Mary Pence. You may have noticed a plaque in the other building listing those names. This morning we would like to honor two individuals for their faithful service to the Lord. Today we honor one teenager and one adult.

What comes to your mind when you hear the word ‘teenager?’ Often we hear that word and we sigh. We often think of words like immature, lazy, apathetic, or unreliable. Recently, I read a book entitled Do Hard Things: A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations. Unfortunately, society has very low expectations of teenagers.

Here at FBC we are blessed with many teenagers who Do Hard Things. They have rebelled against low expectations. They serve in FX. They coach Upward teams. They serve in Awana, Nursery, JuniorChurch, Sunday School. They are very active in our music ministries: special music, accompanying, choir, and orchestra. FBC relies on teenagers to provide valuable assistance in so many of our ministries.

So this morning, it is appropriate that we honor one of those teenagers.

When most boys are 10 years old, they are usually concerned with toys and candy and playing in the dirt. When Josh Brown was 10 years old, he was running the Awana Store. And now, almost 7 years later, Josh continues to help with the Awana Store as well as a host of other responsibilities with Awana. If you were to shadow Josh on a Wednesday night, you would leave exhausted from following him all over our church property. When I see Josh serving in Awana I see a young man who is hard-working.

Josh is also very creative.

The Lord has gifted Josh with a creative mind. He excels at decorating and designing. He uses these talents to coordinate our PPT ministry. It is usually very obvious when Josh Brown has designed a PPT presentation and when I have designed it.

It was nearly a year and half ago that Josh came to me and asked if he could help me design some of the PPT announcement slides for Sundays. Again, Josh came to me. Josh is a unique teenager who oozes initiative. Initiative is a rare quality that is abundantly found in Josh Brown.

Last Spring, I had the thought of searching for some summer interns to help with the summer programs. Josh Brown was an obvious choice to fill one of those roles. I was able to witness his qualities of a strong work ethic, positive attitude, and initiative up close. He worked alongside me during VBS and Music Camp. I look forward to watching him direct VBS this coming summer.

When I think of Josh Brown, I see a unique desire to serve. I see a young man who enjoys helping people. Several people described Josh to me as a ‘People Pleaser.’ Josh does not strike me at the kind of person who comes to church seeking to be served. He comes to church seeking to serve others.

And so, this morning, we are honoring you, Josh. But I also have a challenge for you. It is the same challenge that the Apostle Paul gave to Timothy in 1 Timothy “Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.” Josh, I challenge you to continue to set an example for all of us to follow. You are young, but you are not too young.

  • Set an example with your speech. Be mindful of the words that you use. Words are very powerful. Remember, “a soft answer turneth away wrath.” When you are serving the Lord, people will get mad at you. Respond to them with kind words.
  • Set an example with your conduct. Do things that a Christian should do. Yes, Josh, that means Obey Your Parents. Honor them and honor Christ. Don’t do anything with your body that might bring dishonor to Christ.
  • Set an example of love. Josh, I challenge you to love people. Serving the Lord involves serving people. Serving people requires that you love them.
  • Set an example of faith. Stay faithful. We read all the time that young people are leaving the church and abandoning the church. Josh, don’t be normal. Make a commitment that you will stay in church. Look around you Josh. These are the faces of men and women who have faithfully followed the Lord for many years. Purpose in your heart that you will follow in your footsteps.
  • Set an example of purity. Josh, you are a young man. Be pure in your thoughts and in your actions. Don’t allow yourself to think that you can hide your sin from God. Keep short sin-accounts. Stay pure.

Josh, you have the potential to bring much glory and honor to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Lord willing, you have many years ahead of you. Continue to serve Him faithfully for the rest of your life. This morning, we honor you today with a plaque and a gift card, symbols of our gratitude for your faithful service.