Sometimes I don’t think I understand the domino effect and how the discipleship and training process actually works. It amazes me how it happens when God takes something small and moves it into the hearts and lives of others to the point where they tell someone else who is then equipped to teach it to others.
The little seed that gets planted keeps spreading, and most of the time, we don’t have any idea how far it goes.
This is happening in Africa. We started a youth ministry training program in Nigeria last December. Even this program has an origin story that goes back far beyond December. But the point of this post is to tell you where the program in Nigeria is taking youth ministry training. The short answer is that I don’t know because the students are taking training to the nations.
I saw this on my student Samuel’s Facebook page yesterday:
When these leaders leave this training, they will eventually go back to their six countries and train others. They will train others in Benin, Togo, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Uganda, and Nigeria. Their ministry will continue on and on, and while we try to keep track, it often goes to places we don’t know. It’s so exciting! I’m looking forward to see how God continues to move in Africa.
In December 2016, I taught a course in Nigeria called Youth Culture. That course is part of a larger program that YMI has started that is sure to impact the 13,000 churches in the Nigerian Baptist Convention.
One of my students, Samuel, recently wrote YMI to tell us about how the program is impacting the youth workers in Nigeria.
He writes, “The fire you kindle has started to burn in Nigeria. As you always emphasize in class that this is not meant for class or academic purpose; the wave is blowing beyond the four walls of classroom. Some of us are already applying the lessons beyond the demand of assignment. We are not really after class grades but how to impact our generation. The magic is that the more we venture into carrying out the class assignments, the more interest we develop for the ministry.”
I love hearing that they are applying what they have learned. I’ve always said that my desire is to see what is taught in the classroom put into practice in the local church.
Samuel continues, “The truth is that I have never seen and been passionate about youth ministry like this before. This is one of the most practical courses I have taken in all my theological trainings (about 10 years).”
The key to application of academic assignments is to teach in a practical manner. I pray that my teaching will always be practical and allow students to dream about what they can do in their ministries to impact the next generation.
You can read more about the program in West Africa by clicking here.
I recently went to Nigeria to teach a course at the Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary called “Understanding Youth Culture.” In the course, I sent my students out in groups to do ethnographic research. Although they all did a wonderful job on their project, one of the groups came back with an incredible story of how God worked at the local school they went to for the assignment.
Click here to read more about what happened.
I spent last week in Nigeria along with 24 new youth ministry students at the Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary. I was teaching “Understanding Youth Culture,” one of the courses in the first block of twelve classes these students will receive from YMI in order to think more strategically about reaching the next generation and train others in youth ministry.
The trip was eventful and new for me, my first time in Africa. The Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary belongs to the Nigerian Baptist Convention, which has 4 million members and 6 million attendees. The Convention has 13 schools, but before now there was no youth ministry training programs in any of the schools.