What can youth offer mission?
By AfriGO Team
Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. (1 Timothy 4:12)
When we talk about mission, it’s important that we acknowledge the part young people play in fulfilling the Great Commission. Though they may not have gained much life experience yet, they have energy, enthusiasm, flexibility and a heart that longs to see others saved. They are innovative and they take risks. They don’t give up due to discouragement. They simply find another way to achieve their goal.
Naomi Mbewe, General Secretary for ZAFES (IFES work in Zambia) considers it a privilege to lead young teams involved in student ministry. “It’s a joy,” she says. “As challenging as it is, being able to deal with a youthful mind , which is seemingly at its peak in terms of discovery about what life can offer, free from parental guidance, and enjoying the freedoms that come with campus life, is very fulfilling. Students can think and do so many things that we can’t even imagine. So, before we lose this youthful mind, it has to be shaped and transformed into something positive and useful, to the glory of God. I am glad I can be one of those helping with that process here in Zambia.”
…being able to deal with a youthful mind, which is seemingly at its peak in terms of discovery about what life can offer … is very fulfilling.
The ZAFES vision is “to challenge students with the opportunity to know Christ and be nurtured to impact society for a lifetime”. Naomi explains that this happens through evangelism, Bible study, discipleship and training. “We want to see a mature breed of graduates,” she says, “balanced biblical Christians who will make a difference in the Church and in society.”
In this issue of AfriGO we feature training from Prosper Isichei for young people who are not content to sit back and wait when it comes to mission. In Perspective Timothy Olonade details a training and mentoring programme that is producing youth who “rise above the entitlement syndrome” so that they can reach out to the lost in South Sudan, China, Vietnam and other countries. “Such is the power of and love for God’s word in the lives of these young ones,” says Timothy, “that personal decision to honour God has become a singsong for them.”
Let’s not underestimate young people with a passion to take the gospel to the ends of the earth!