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MOBILIZING YOUTH IN LOCAL MISSIONS

PURPOSE: To present ways and means utilized by our church, the Living Water Christian Baptist Church, the efficiency and productivity in mobilizing our own youth group for local missions within the community and in other parts of the country as well.

To help youth leaders from other churches define a ministry that will help their church youth group be involved in their own local missions.

IMPORTANT DATA:

Church Composition
  • Baptized Adult members -­‐ 15
  • Associate adult members -­‐ 5
  • Baptized Youth members -­‐ 45
  • Associate youth members -­‐ 20
  • Children members -­‐ 200
  • Children’s Ministry Outreach -­‐ 3

The above figures speak a lot about our church characteristics. Focusing on two specific ministries will create opportunities to serve and grow in the Lord. To understand this further, let me introduce to you an important ministry that made our youth actively participate in local missions.

PRESENTING THE CHILDREN’S MINISTRY:

This kind of ministry is considerably very effective in the Philippines especially those located in depressed areas. On average, families from depressed areas consist of 60% children, 30% youth and 10% adults. Just imagine how big the actual number of children in a community. This is the reason our church prioritized the children’s ministry. Children grow fast and that is our focus. Right now, we have 200 children attending our children’s worship regularly. Aside from the regular children attendees at our church, we also have three mission outreaches for children’s ministry. One of which is in Smokey Mountain, Manila accommodating about 150 children monthly, another in the province of Cavite with 70 children and in Cabuyao, Laguna with 50 children. Considering how small our church compared to other big churches in the vicinity how are we, you may ask, able to cater such huge number of children. This is where our youth group comes into the scene. In order for us to effectively minister to these number of children, we need to have 30 committed workers constituting of teachers and assistant teachers. But one important thing that we have to understand is that 80% of our teachers and assistant teachers are products of our children’s ministry. After three years of ministering to these children, they are the ones handling the ministry where they came from. What are the children’s ages, you may ask? Children’s ages range from 12 years
 
old up to 21 years old. Are they credible leaders? Yes, definitely. They were able to see the importance of what we were doing. The burden that we had as church leaders were passed on to them. Nowadays, it is not that hard to work with them and  accomplish  our goals as a church.

PRESENTING THE TRAINING MINISTRY:

Do you think you will agree with me if I say that a church with the most number of youth will grow faster than a church with mostly adult members? It’s happening in the Philippines and I believe that it’s also happening in different countries. It is therefore recommendable for pastors and leaders to focus more on such demographics in the church.
I’ll be presenting a schematic diagram that helped our church work orderly and effectively:

The diagram indicates that the two major ministries go hand in hand and this is the only program that the church designed for our young people. After two years of focusing on these ministries alone, it gave us great results in the form of additional church attendees and more baptisms which added to the number of members.

The Children’s Ministry became the training ground for our youth. In this ministry, they are called to perform and enhance their skills. It gives them the opportunity to serve people younger than them and in the process creates and develops leadership.
 
The Training Ministry which we also call S.E.E.D. stands for Sending Educated and Equipped Disciple is a Bible School of Living Water Christian Baptist Church for younger generation having the heart for serving the Lord. All youth workers for the Children’s Ministry undergo training from said school in both spiritual and academic disciplines. Soon, more youth will be enrolled in SEED. These numbers of youth will come from our Children’s Ministry. When they reach the age of accountability based on our assessment, they will be transferred to the Bible School to be trained and eventually be sent for mission work. Four years from now, we will be producing our own missionaries and workers.

THE EFFECT OF THESE TWO MINISTRIES IN LOCAL MISSIONS:

When we started to operate with our two ministries, we only have one goal in mind and that is to win more children for the Lord Unknowingly, that goal was totally changed after sometime. The Lord will surely use us in many ways. After two years of performing, the Lord suddenly opened opportunities for us to minister not only in our community but even in other parts of our country. The data mentioned above tells that our 2010 mission outreaches gave us 3 places which we found successful based on the number of children won for God and number of youth trained for the Children’s Ministry. We learned to bring our Children’s Ministry to different places as part of our missions program. Our view of reaching people changed from our backyard to the vineyard. A vineyard is Jesus’ concept of Him being the vine and us as the branches extending and moving to places where Christ is needed. In 2011, our church’s goal is to reach 10 more places. Our youth leaders are becoming more involved and more excited to attain such goals. A grand celebration will be held for the Children’s Ministry on May 2011 to be participated by our church’s outreaches, mission partners and we are expecting more than 500 children to come. As early as December of last year, preparation by our youth group has already started.

To mobilize our youth in local missions is a tough job. It needs total dedication and commitment on the part of the pastor, church leaders and the whole church. We are now dealing with different kinds of generation ― a generation of ipod’s and PSP’s.   If we are not going to compete with these technologies, our youth will spend the rest of their lives holding their toys more than their BIBLES. That’s why the church should start investing on them now. It is really a very expensive ministry but we have to understand that after sometime, these kids will become our leaders. If we will only teach them the concept of backyard to vineyard ministry, they will surely enjoy doing mission work. Since young people are very adventurous, then, lead them to doing something adventurous ― winning more souls for Christ and going to places where Christ is needed.

Before we end up our workshop, I want you to spend some time formulating your own ministry which will mobilize your youth in your respective localities. Come up with something that you know your church can handle and make good of it. Time is of essence. If you start with your plans, don’t stop until something happens. Inventories are also needed. Learn to  help the children discover their talents and gifts. They all  have different ones. You must be ready to give them the opportunities to use their talents and gifts in accomplishing the goals you set.

Whom do you think Jesus wanted to be with at all times when he ministered here on earth, the disciples or the multitudes? Actually Jesus wanted both. But He is a very realistic person. He cannot have the multitudes all the time. So he trained the twelve to reach the multitudes. Start with twelve and then, reach the multitude.

I remember the words I learned from my preaching class professor. Clusters of ideas are very disturbing in preaching. No direction at all. Message should always have one specific direction and focus on it.

Youth ministry should always have one direction and that is to win more souls for Christ ― souls within and outside their boundaries.

So now, GO, and start fulfilling the goal of your existence. To God be the glory……….

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Pastor Michael A. Sanchez is the Senior Pastor of Living Water Christian Baptist Church, Philippines whose main ministry is with the children and youth. He organized Kids for Christ Ministry with 500 children now being ministered to monthly. Working with him are 40 young people who has been trained under his leadership. Most of these young people are students also of S.E.E.D. (Sending Educated and Equipped Disciple) whom Pastor Mike established a year ago. They are being trained to do mission work.