A Paper presented at the 2022 Lagos Metropolis Clergy Workshop on 20th January 2022 at The Cathedral of St. Jude, Ebute-Metta by Ebenezer Oyebanji.
The Most Rev. Dr. Humphrey Bamisebi Olumakaiye, Archbishop of the Ecclesiastical Province of Lagos.
The Rt. Rev. B. C. Akinpelu Johnson, Bishop of the Diocese of Lagos Mainland.
The Dean; The Rt. Revd. Dr. B. J. Adeyemi,
The Registrar; The Ven. B. A. Adegoroye,
All Clergy men present,
Ladies and Gentlemen.
“Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” Lao Tzu
When things are done on one s account, it can be so easy and stress free, but there comes a time (especially the youthful age) when you no longer want it the easy way and would prefer being shown what to do and how to go about it.
Is that ease lost? Yes.
Is it more demanding? Yes.
but then, you get to take ownership of your actions which in itself gives a sense of fulfilment.
The best asset of youths is the strength of the body, when this strength is not given the platform to be properly utilized, satisfaction is lost and this has been the reason why many back off from that vision, goal and dream they had once nurtured within them. When the future (youths) has lost the zeal to keep forging ahead, it becomes alarming.
This was said of Christ who happens to be the first born among many brethren….
“And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man”
What then do we want? An environment that enables us grow;
The same way we exercise in other to build the muscles, the mind itself needs to be exercised to gain strength. This can only be achieved when we take on tasks and responsibilities that stretches our mental endurance, but then, the youths are most times underestimated and always want to be played safe with, hence, little to no responsibilities are assigned to us.
The fear of the older ones is understandable but our growth is inherent in learning through life situations placed before us to navigate through, as we can only grow through lots of small wins; which is maintained through the choices we make in everyday situation put before us.
These skills can be learnt and developed, in our quest to learn, many have lost it by falling prey to false teachers. When known, tested and trusted preceptors are made easily available for us to connect with, then we can be assured that these opportunities meeting our preparations will make the difference.
Building the character requires more, as youths do not act on what they are told alone, what they see also affects their responses. Not forgetting who a leader is; one who knows, shows and goes the way. We do not just want to be told how to behave, this often appears as dictatorial, rather show us how. Apostle Paul could boldly declare “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ” .
We certainly want to live right and act right, but help us see that this is achievable irrespective of what our present world poses. What better way to do this than living it out as examples?
“How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, how beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!” 
Has the preacher been sent? Are they preaching what they’ve been sent? Have we heard the words? Remember, faith comes by hearing, nothing else but the word of God constantly heard (from the pulpit, personal study etc.) makes the difference.
We want answers to the numerous questions in our hearts, we want clarity to all of the confusions going on in our lives but how can this be when at the end of our teachings most times, we leave with more questions than we came and light seems not to have shone on what concerns us. We do not want to be stagnant, we want to grow
If in the academia, there is no end to learning, how much more in the longing of our soul after the Lord? There are more depths to be unearth by our leaders, such that the word does exactly what it is “God means what he says. What he says goes. His powerful Word is sharp as a surgeon s scalpel, cutting through everything, whether doubt or defense, laying us open to listen and obey. Nothing and no one can resist God s Word. We can’t get away from it—no matter what.”  This is a call to the leadership of the church to ensure the word does not fall short of what it is, the more unanswered questions and confusion we are faced with, the more easier it is to be lured to seek other source which might not be right. We desire a transition from the activities and gymnastics in our fellowships to a life changing encounter that clears the questions and clarifications we have.
In wanting to satisfy our curiosity even in the multitude of advises available to us, we are likely to make mistakes. Yes, correct us but how is it done? In love? or to spite us? This goes a long way in affecting our dealings with others.
The greatest gift of God to us is love, let it lead in all our engagements. Only then can we fully come out of our shells, be open about all that concerns us and not put up deceptive acts just to pose as what we are not, all because we do not want accusing fingers pointed at us.
We want to be real but not to be dragged to the place of guilt, even when we take wrong steps, rather to be brought home just like the prodigal son.
Finally, “the way God designed our bodies is a model for understanding our lives together as a church: every part dependent on every other part, the parts we mention and the parts we don’t, the parts we see and the parts we don’t. If one part hurts, every other part is involved in the hurt, and in the healing. If one part flourishes, every other part enters into the exuberance.” 
What the youths want is an all-inclusive body, one that is concerned about us and does not see us as less important, one that recognizes us as the tomorrow and provides opportunities for us to be molded in all spheres of life, one that understands that our failure means there is no future and goes all out to see us thrive, one where love and nothing else leads.
Can we give the youths what they want? What will this cost us?
 Lao Tzu is the founder of Taoism and a Chinese philosopher
 The Voice version. Prov. 20:29
 King James Version. Luke 2:52
 A preceptor is a teacher or instructor
 Dictatorial - Of or typical of a ruler with total and absolute power
 King James Version. 1st Cor. 11:1
 King James Version. Rom. 10:14-15
 The Message version. Heb. 4:12-13
 The Message version. 1st Cor. 12:25-26
 Ebenezer serves as a Sunday School Teacher and Youth Executive in All Saints (Ang) Church Yaba.
He is aligned on being a vessel through which young ones get it right. He s a multi certified project manager who is committed to service and believes in the possibility of things no matter how difficult.
He can be reached via email - firstname.lastname@example.org
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