RAISING A GENERATION OF BORN AGAIN YOUTHS
It is also recorded in the bible that after Jesus came from Fasting for 40 days and nights in the wilderness, he went out to look for people he would work with in his ministry; that is how he got people like Peter and Judas. After he got these people he made them his disciples. Therefore, it is hard to separate evangelism and discipleship. The modern church continues to maintain the principle of evangelism and discipleship so as to bring in new members into the kingdom and then nurture them. One of the ideal target groups for this program is the youth. A youth evangelism and discipleship plan should, therefore, provide a clear way on how evangelism and discipleship will be achieved in line with the principles of youth ministry2.
A youth ministry program should contain, in the very least, the following key principles: Advocacy, education, pastoral care, prayer and worship, evangelism, leadership, justice, and community life3. The program runs from August through to July of the following year. The program is divided into months, with each month focused on a given topic and activities. The activities are set in such a way that new youths can join the program at any time. There will also be a new believer support fellowship that will deal with the new believers who come from the outreach program. The outreach program will be achieved through door-to-door and music concerts outreach activities. The church will organize a music concert where renowned gospel artists will be called to perform and then the church will take that opportunity to evangelize.
The music concert will be organized with help from the church and willing sponsors. The performing artists will also go through some training to ensure they help in reaching out the crowds to Christ. The believers will be taught the scriptures so as to develop their faith as mentioned by Paul in Romans 10:17[KJV]; “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God”7. The team will undertake one more music concert to promote final evangelical work. The team will then begin having meetings with the groups of youth who have decided to give their lives to Christ. This will ensure that the new believers are able to have their faith strong. The youth ministry team will also divide the team into groups to deal with different concerns form the youth.
The best teams will walk away with prizes so as to encourage the participation of the youth. The word festival will also be coordinated by a born again celebrity. In the month of November, discipleship will be undertaken at an advanced level as the youth will have read the word of God and their faith will have increased. The training sessions in this month will be walking with a new believer, counselling, and mentors training. Walking with a believer will be training sessions focused on empowering the youth through linking them up with the youth from the church. The month will be focused on a personal mentorship program for the youth. The mentors will be the salvation partners that the youth had been assigned to during the partner’s dinner at the end of November9.
The sessions of this month will be arranged by the mentors so as to improve interaction at a personal level with the youth. The mentors will be tasked with providing guidance and prayers to the youth. Mentorship is an important practice when raising youth. In the month of January, the program will shift attention to talent development. It is important to empower one to become a fisherman rather than giving them fish. The youth will go through a month long period to nurture their talents. The mentors of the youth will be given chance one in a while to help in running the program over this month. The training sessions will be mainly motivational talks form top achievers in the neighborhood.
The church will work with the relevant authorities to ensure that the youth who participate in the community service activities are rewarded. The events of the month will be a blood donation drive to boost the blood banks of the local hospital and visitation of the homes of the elderly. The community will also be invited to such activities. March will focus on Leadership development. It is assumed that after the months of mentorship, community service, and talent development, the youth will be fit to serve at leadership positions in their lives. It will have less activities as the youth will have improved their leadership abilities. The month will expect the youth to be given the chance to implement what they have been studying for the past months.
The church will, however, organize a school outreach program. This program will be undertaken in such a way that the student will be expected to organize a small event or meeting within their school environment or place of work. Prayer meetings will continue whereas bible study will be suspended. The youth who have undergone all stages of the program hitherto, will be expected to take up leadership roles during the camp. The camp will also give a chance to those with talents to use them accordingly14. The camp will also have an event where all the youth will come up with a simple project to help the community in the location where the camp will be held. The camp is expected to take about 10 days.
After the camp, the youth will undertake one more guidance on outreach during the month of July. The new believers are also encouraged to undertake the whole program. It is important to note that the youth will be asked to participate actively in all events especially thee outreach program. The church community will be involved at different capacities. The church members are asked to offer maximum support to the program by providing financial assistance to help run the program. The church staff will interact with the youth throughout the year. In the event that conflict occurs, the matter will be dealt with by the mentor. The mentors of both parties in conflict will handle the issue in accordance to the word.
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