96658 Youth Ministry Capacity Building

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Project Vision: The Africa Evangelical Church (AEC) in partnership with SIM desires to serve youth groups and youth leaders by providing effective training and mentoring. We are very committed to growing a youth ministry based on Jesus as the foundation of any good church ministry.  Our vision is to see youth in Malawi come to know and worship Jesus Christ as Lord through His Gospel; and to become passionate growing disciples of Jesus, reaching out to the lost, bringing hope and transformation to a broken world

 

Progress

By God’s enabling, the AEC youth ministry continues to progress steadily. We are confident that God is continuing to bring about real life transformation in the lives of the youth in Malawi. Hence in all that we do, we emphasize the centrality of the Gospel for evangelism, discipleship and leadership development. 

Here is a summary of events that occurred during this reporting period:

National Youth Camp =-8th – 14th August 2016

The inaugural National AEC youth camp was held on the 8th-14th August 2016 at Chilomoni AEC, where approximately 400 youth from across all three regions in Malawi attended. The theme covered during the week was “Living a Life of Worship” based on Romans 12:1-2. A short-term team of eight people from Restoration Fellowship from the USA led by Rev Bob and Grace Setor came specifically to serve at the youth camp by giving talks, testimonies and leading praise and worship time. It was a significant youth camp for the team from Restoration Fellowship as it was the first African -American team to visit Malawi with SIM.

The youth camp continues to be a highlight for many youth groups, and serves as a good platform for the youth to receive good Biblical teaching on a wide range of issues pertaining to youth.

Youth Ministry Seminars

One of the new initiatives of the project is the establishment of the Youth Ministry Seminars which are designed for Pastors, Patrons/Matrons of local churches who work directly with youth to equip them to tackle the specific issues that youth in Malawi face. Two seminars were organised for this reporting period.

Malawi Youth Culture – Implications for Christian Discipleship - 18th June 2016

The first youth ministry seminar looked at the topic of Malawi Youth Culture and explored the implications for discipleship. The seminar covered the findings from the SIM Malawi Youth Coordinator’s Masters project on this topic. There were 8 participants who attended. Many of them found the findings eye-opening and felt that there should be a continuation of such seminars to explore in depth some of the topics that were raised in this first seminar. The pastors who attended were challenged to make discipleship intentional among the youth in their local churches.

Discipleship of Girls in the Church - 24th September 2016

The second seminar dealt with the topic of discipleship of girls in the church. For this seminar, over 30 participants attended which included pastors and their wives, matrons and patrons from the AEC Blantyre Area Council churches. The keynote speaker for this event was Ms Cynthia Sundman, SIM Point Person for Youth and Young Adults. She spoke on the importance of discipleship of girls and laid out some key principles on how this could be done. The participants were also privileged to have a panel of youth girls from the local churches to share their experiences of growing up in Malawi. Another key component of the program was to have the leaders from each of the local churches undertake some action planning together on how they may disciple the youth girls in their churches.

neXGen Youth Leadership Conference – Southern Region - 29th August to 1st September

The neXGen youth leadership conference for this year was meant to be one combined national conference where delegates from all three regions in Malawi could come together for networking. In the past two years, the conferences were held in each region. However, due to the financial challenges of transporting all the delegates to one central location, the decision was made in consultation with the AEC leadership to split the conference into two (Southern and Central/Northern). The first of the two conferences were held in Blantyre for the Southern Region delegates. The theme for the conference was ‘Spreading the Gospel through Music” and the delegates who were invited to attend were the choir leaders from the local youth groups. There were about 100 choir leaders from the local youth groups who attended.

Prayer requests:

Give thanks for the lives impacted by the youth camp and the neXGen youth leadership conference.

Pray for the ongoing spiritual growth among the youth in the AEC.

Pray for intentional discipleship of youth to happen in the local churches

Pray for God’s provision of funds for the youth ministry to keep going in 2017, and for the AEC to co-contribute through local income and fundraising.

Pray for the youth leaders in the local churches to grow in servant leadership, by passionately serving the youth in their local churches.

Pray for the neXGen youth leadership conference 19-22 Dec, and the Prayer and Planning Retreat in January 2017.

Pray for the AEC as they review Pastor Bridge’s role and to determine the course of action for next year regarding the National Youth Coordinator’s role.

Project background

68% of the population of Malawi is under the age of 25. Most church programmes focus on adults. Little attention is typically given to the youth. The youth needs a ministry that is specifically focused on their mental, emotional and spiritual needs and meeting them where they are. The AEC Youth Department serves about 150 local churches, grouped in ten area councils (seven in the southern region, two in the central region and one in the northern region of Malawi). Not all of the local churches have functioning youth groups, and often there is no distinction between children and youth ministries.

 


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