When I was in Nigeria teaching the Youth Culture class in our Master’s program there, I gave the students an assignment to go research the youth culture and subcultures around the Seminary. I sent out six groups, and the assignment was given so they would come back and report what they learned along with strategies to minister to the various subcultures in the city. They did great work and came back with some incredible stories. All six presentations were great, but one of the stories stood out above the others.
One of the groups interviewed the students at a local middle school. They went through the trouble of getting a letter from the Seminary administration so they could receive permission from the middle school principal to be on campus, speak with the students, and interview for the assignment. The students at this school were from a mix of muslim and Christian families. Some of them weren’t really sure what they believed. As my students were interviewing the middle schoolers, they noticed that one girl wasn’t sure what she believed to be of value for her life. She was very confused about many things. One of the women in my class took her aside and began to talk with her more, sharing with her about Jesus and how he loved her enough to die on a cross for her. After talking about the gospel, the girl prayed to receive Jesus as her Lord and Savior. This happened with another girl also in the same school.
My students came back and reported the great things that God had done during their projects, and we were all reminded that the reason we go out to study youth culture and understand young people is so that we can use their culture to reach them with the life-changing gospel of Jesus Christ.
The world has 2.3 billion youth who have not heard the gospel, and our desire is to train up those who would take the gospel to them and allow them to respond and grow into fully mature followers of Jesus.
(Written by Dennis Poulette)