Young people can serve and make a significant impact both in their local corps and in their community.
In the early days of The Salvation Army, you’ll find teens who took on large responsibilities and made significant impact; their age was not important.
Matthew began serving as a teacher in his corps (church) at age 13. “Looking back,” he says, “it seems pretty crazy,” but they needed teachers and he wanted to serve. Having started learning music at age six, Matthew was able to help by teaching music theory, guitar and even leading the choir when they needed extra help. Some of the students were older, but it worked. For Matthew, this was a natural part of faith. He had begun to take his relationship with Jesus more seriously around age 12 and service naturally outpoured for him. But life, as it often does, took an unexpected turn.
Around this same time, Matthew lost both his father and grandfather. His young heart didn’t know quite how to deal with these losses, and he began to shut down, becoming almost cold to those around him. Within a year, Matthew received news he had to undergo open heart surgery. This was a scary time for such a young kid and for his family. But, Matthew says, this is when he recognized God at work in his life for the first time. People from around the country, and even outside of the country, began to send him notes of encouragement, praying for him and surrounding him with love. God used this time to bring healing, not just physically, but spiritually and emotionally as well.
Matthew continued to grow in faith. He attended college to study finance and, while there, continued serving faithfully at his corps—which some saw as a detriment to his future. His classmates would encourage him to cut back on his service so that he could get more finance experience, but Matthew continued to make his relationship with God and his service to the church a priority. Within a month of graduation in 2021, Matthew landed an amazing job. In the future, Matthew hopes to be able to use his job and experience in finance to serve others and honor God. “Everything I have is Yours,” he says. “Lead me where You want me to go.”