Church: Care for the Youth
By CCD contributor: Zhi Xian , August 15, 2017 09:08 AM
The fate of countries today is very much related to young people. However, is it the same with the church?
We see in the Bible that Joseph was loved by his father when he was 17. He also brought a bad report of his brothers to their father. From this we can tell his attitude toward right and wrong. It was also clear from his dream that he was set apart from his brothers by God .
Joshua was also young when he fought alongside Moses, however, he proved to be more loyal and responsible than others. (Exodus 33:11, 24:13)
Daniel, when he and his companions were taken before Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, was also a young man. Young as they were, they were able to withstand the festival, and God used them. Daniel served several generations of kings. God also saved Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego from the blazing furnace. These were young men that bore wonderful testimonies.
There were also Samuel, David, and more.
We can tell that God truly uses young people and they can also become vessels for God. So, how are we going to nourish the young people in our churches?
It is very obvious that teenagers nowadays are precocious, so sexual talks are unavoidable among them. Family education also plays a definite role in their life. With the divorce rate skyrocketing, it is not just the divorced get hurt, but their families. And their children are hurt the most.
Also,computer games are very attractive to teenagers with the rapid development of the internet, and the number of teen drug users is rising too because their parents are not available or they don't have enough care. The phenomenon of violence is also rather prominent on campuses and there is bullying in different areas. Young people with autism and low self-esteem account for a large portion of the students. There are even more teenagers who don't want to study and give up.
How do we face this group of teenagers?
I currently work in teen ministry and I have tried different ways to guide them. We've discovered that, according to the characteristic of their activities, they can learn the teaching of truth through those activities. By designing games related to the class, they can learn through playing. It works well since the whole course is in the control of the guides so they don't lose awe in God.
Moreover, stay by the teenager's side. One difference between work with teenagers and adults is that grown-ups are not dependent, while teenagers rely greatly on pastors. Once we have their recognition, they will listen to our teaching. They need listeners who are compassionate. Therefore, we need someone loving and patient for youth ministry, so that they can take responsibility and keep them company in every challenge of life.
Not only are we preachers behind the podium, we also need to engage with them while doing teen ministry. We need to teach them the Word of God in life. In fact, every troubled teen knows his behavior and has had too much scolding. As a teacher for teenagers, I always believe that these kids had enough hurt, they don't need us to scold them. A hug in hard times and company in loneliness are all they need.
I want to say that we need to pay a price for the next generation of the family of God. It is not easy to do teen ministry because they have their characters and likes, and they would show it without hiding. They would yell at you or even use violence and smash things. Apart from this, they're a group of lovely people.
They can be all tearful when they're seized by the love of God and they apologize when they realize they're wrong. They work hard for the family of God. As the next generation growing up in God, they need more care and encouragement.
Let's care for teenagers together!
-Translated by Grace Hubl
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