I was in a church in Cuba where the average person makes less than $20 a month, and the sign on the wall says “A church blessed to be a blessing.” I’ve always believed that we receive blessings (finances, opportunities, resources, etc) in order to be in a position to bless others.
The profession of youth ministry has been blessed to be a blessing. Many of us who are in youth ministry have received numerous opportunities. Some of us have been educated in youth ministry. We have experience in ministering to young people. We have learned a lot and been offered a lot. Now it’s our turn to be a blessing to others around the world.
Global youth ministry is important for many reasons. Here are some of them.
Because of the need
When we talk about the need for international youth ministry, I am often reminded of the statistics that I first heard when I was a youth ministry student at Liberty University.
Ninety-seven percent of the world’s trained youth workers live and work in the United States, ministering to less than 3% of the world’s youth population. In the United States, there is one trained youth worker for every 600 young people. In the rest of the world, there is one trained youth worker for every 400,000 young people.
While I’m not denying that the young people of America need youth pastors, the American church, who has focused on missions for quite some time now, has not yet turned its focus towards impacting the next generation with trained professionals in youth ministry.
Because of the blessings we’ve received
Training in youth ministry at either a graduate or undergraduate level is available from more than 140 accredited institutions in the United States (link). There are countless conferences, training sessions, and resources for youth workers. However, there are very few organizations who are focused on training and resourcing those outside of the English speaking world.
Because of invitations
New requests come in every day for training in other parts of the world. Youth Ministry International could use full time youth ministry trainers in all of the countries in which we are working right now, and there are other countries asking for our help.
We have invitations from at least three other countries in Latin America alone who want youth ministry training, but we are unable to respond to these requests for lack of trainers. There’s just not enough time or personnel to keep up with the invitations we are receiving.
Because of the commands.
God has commanded us to make disciples of all nations. Youth workers are doing their best to obey God and bring young people to follow Christ. If you’re a youth worker, I commend you for the work you are doing. I believe youth pastors are some of the most under-appreciated people on the planet. Thank you for doing what you do.
Now I’d like to ask you to consider what you are doing to be a blessing to others in the world who could benefit from your experience and training. We are praying that the Lord of the harvest will send out workers into His field. There are multitudes of young people who are in desperate need for people who have the ability to come alongside them and help them.
You have been blessed. Now be a blessing.