Youth ministry is often dismissed as something less than strategic in far too many churches. Some even view it as a kind of glorified babysitting. In their thinking, teens need just enough games and God to keep them coming back....until they are old enough to make a difference in the church.
The unspoken implication is that teenagers aren't "real members" until they are old enough to have jobs, give offerings and serve in the big boy/big girl roles of the church.
But Jesus didn't wait for the disciples to get out of their teen years to appoint them as "real" apostles. He appointed them to lead the charge while they were still in their teen years.
Do you find that hard to believe? Then check out Matthew 17:24-27 where Peter, Jesus and the disciples go to Capernaum but only Peter and Jesus pay the Temple Tax. If you cross reference this passage with Exodus 30:14 you'll see that this particular tax, originally the Tabernacle Tax, was only applicable to those 20 years and older.