The one who had five loaves and two fish

November 25, 2020 | by Erich Grimm-Schmitt

The one who had five loaves and two fish

As Youth Ministry Coordinator at Pacific Beach United Methodist Church, the importance of young people always rests on the forefront of my mind. It’s a wonderful blessing bestowed upon me to have the privilege of guiding children and youth through the scriptures and should be done with great intentionality and great care nonetheless.

One of my favorite scriptures for this month of November for the “Where Love Lives” campaign is of the Feeding of the 5000 in the book of John. Though the synoptic gospels often share parallel stories, what makes John’s version interesting is that it centers on a young person, a young boy, and still has relevance today. It’s a familiar story where a large crowd gathers and Jesus and the disciples are challenged with an opportunity to show hospitality without much of anything to provide. The disciples go out to the nearest town and find a boy with just five loaves and two fish. The boy gives what little he has to the disciples and Jesus provides.

I’ve been grateful to work in this ministry because young people give me hope. I am proven many times over of their tenacious, community-minded soul that when you entrust youth with the freedom to simply do, the return is much more. You see this in the youth-led worship at your local church and annual conference, you see this when they mobilize for a cause they care about, and you see this in how they interact with the world around them as they invite all to have a place at the table. Youth give with all their heart, just as the boy did and Jesus will always provide and multiply.

I choose to be like the disciples and put faith in the young boy and be led by youth because if you look closely you can see through their actions that scripture is primary in how they live and through their love. I can’t help but to feel hopeful for the now and the future because we are indeed in good hands when we put faith in our young leaders to simply lead.

Erich Grimm-Schmitt serves as Youth Ministry Coordinator, Pacific Beach United Methodist Church in the California-Pacific Conference.