Viacom Global Insights is a company that does market research around the world. They have been studying global youth for a while, and, in their latest project, called “My Teen Life,” they spoke to 5200 teens from 32 countries.
Through their research, they have found many things about young people. Many of the results are talked about in the following video:
Some of the things from the video that caught my attention are:
- Stress is a part of life
- Failure is part of life…but it’s important to try again
- Social media brings them up to speed about what’s happening in the world
- Everyone’s voice matters
- Many are optimistic about the future and are willing to change things
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.
One of the things I teach all the time is that God wants to use young people. He wants to take their gifts, talents, and interests, and he wants to allow them to be free to serve him with those things he has graciously given them.
While I was in Cuba, the youth group girls had a brilliant idea to open up one of the church meme era home as a hair salon and offer free hair-styling to the community. It was an incredible way to invite people in and share the gospel while meeting a need.
My favorite part is how they used their talents and gifts and interests for ministry.
They were excited to do it and worked hard to organize everything they needed to get it done. They took their time styling hair and talking to those who came in, and it was obvious that they genuinely enjoyed what they were doing.
As a result of their use of their gifts, a few girls from the community responded to the gospel and many others heard the message that they may not have otherwise heard.
If you don’t sing or play an instrument, you can still be useful for the Kingdom!
I created a full report of my trip to Cuba and would love it if you’d take a look at it. Please continue to pray for the work there. God is doing many great things, and we are blessed to be a part of it.
Click below to open the report.
I just woke up to this email that I received as a reply to the latest post on ministeriojuvenil.com. I had posted an overview of what I taught in Miami this past weekend about how the incarnation of Jesus gives us a blueprint for being relevant in the lives of young people. The message said,
“Good evening. God bless you. I wanted to tell you that your message was very necessary. It helped me a lot. It made me reflect on the fact that I need to be patient and, just as we are rescued young people there are other youth that need to be reached and rescued! And I learned that we must enter the world of youth and not expect them to enter our world!
Thank you very much. I would like to receive more emails like this one! To help the youth of Aruba!
God bless you!”
These emails are fun to receive. Please pray that we can continue to find the time to write to these youth workers who need encouragement and support.
I’ve been invited to participate in a missions emphasis month at Horizon Baptist Church in West Palm Beach, a church that has supported our family’s ministry for some time now. I will be there this coming weekend, sharing about our ministry with Youth Ministry International.
In the sheet they asked me to fill out to tell about our ministry, they asked what country we are serving. This is a standard question that I used to always answer with, “Mexico,” even though my official title has always been “Director of Latin America.” Since we moved back to the USA from Mexico two years ago, this answer has become even more complicated. We are involved in a global ministry that impacts many different places. It’s exciting!
I wrote something this morning on my Facebook page that sums up the answer to the question,
“It’s crazy to be getting emails with assignments from students from Mexico and Nigeria at the same time while getting a reimbursement for a missionary for a trip to Eastern Malaysia to do youth ministry training this week and planning on the best way to send someone to Tanzania to encourage youth workers. Oh…that and the conversations with missionaries to Ukraine and Romania in between–not even counting the time I had this past weekend talking about hispanic youth ministry training in Miami. It’s fun to be part of this movement.”
To be honest, there are even more countries that are being impacted by our ministry. I didn’t mention trips to Cuba or even what is happening in various Asian countries that we are not allowed to mention.
It is so fun to be part of what God is doing around the world. I still LOVE ministering in Spanish, but to be a part of ministry to Asia, Africa, Europe, and Latin America is an incredible experience. All of the activity that we have in our ministry is the result of what God is doing. We’re just along for the ride.
Please pray for me as I try to keep up with what God is doing through YMI. I have a lot of responsibilities and need as much prayer as possible. Thanks!