Over the past several years, I’ve been privileged to travel with teenagers on eight mission trips. One thing I’ve learned in those excursions is that teens are not too young to make an impact for Jesus—either on me or on others whose lives they touch.

I’ve also noticed that the teens who make the biggest impact for Christ match the characteristics Paul told Timothy about in 1 Timothy 4:12. Trying to convince Timothy that his relative youth did not have to be a deterrent to his ministry, Paul told him to “be an example to the believers” in several areas.

In word: Young people who make a difference for Christ control what they say, avoid negative talk, and speak words that honor God. In conduct: Teens who practice discretion in their behavior shine for all the world to see. In love: By taking heed of Jesus’ words to love God and their neighbor (Matt. 22:37-39) teens please Jesus and touch hearts. In faith: Those who put their faith into action change lives. In purity: It’s tough to be morally pure and doctrinally sound, but kids who are can set the bar for the rest of us.

Paul’s words aren’t just for the young generation. All of us should be an example in word, conduct, love, faith, and purity. That’s how we make an impact for Christ.