A Year of Resurgence and Expansion
I think it is safe to say that this Christmas season will be unlike any we have had before. At a time when families normally come together to celebrate the holidays, health and government officials are recommending that even the number of people attending family gatherings be limited to help stop the spread of Covid-19.
However, despite all the restrictions and concerns we are facing with the international pandemic, it has also been a year of blessings, especially as we consider YMI’s youth ministry training programs.
During 2020 there have been over 770,000 youth involved in YMI church programs, and over 48,000 of these are new Christ followers!
Foundations have been laid this year on which we are looking forward to building in 2021 – a year in which we are anticipating a Resurgence and Expansion of our international youth leadership training programs.
Some of the exciting things that are happening in our various training locations that will impact everything we hope to accomplish in 2021 include:
YMI trained youth leaders in countries like Nigeria, Ethiopia and Kenya are already forming country-wide Saturation Multiplication Strategy teams to be able to more effectively work together in reaching these nation’s youth.
This year, five seminaries, including in Indonesia and India, have added Youth Ministry BA Degree Programs.
In a country where gospel ministries are often restricted, seven students recently graduated with MA Degrees in Youth Ministry – individuals who will now be able to teach others in our BA Program.
One of the requests that YMI has been receiving for years from national leaders who we have been training in youth ministry is their desire for curriculum or books written by their own youth workers and youth pastors. Now, MA graduates in youth ministry from the Nigeria Baptist Theological Seminary have written books on how to be more effective in youth ministry.
The impact that our YMI professors have made in the lives of these graduates spurred them on to begin to write so that others could benefit from the training that they received from the youth ministry courses that our team of professors taught at NBTS.
Graduates like Joshua Ibukunoluwa who wrote Christian Fellowship – Basic Ingredient for Effective Youth Ministry. Joshua holds a Master of Arts degree in Youth and Family Ministry as well as a Master of Divinity degree from the seminary. He is the National Coordinator of the Baptist Student Fellowship of the Nigerian Baptist Convention.
Leaders like Joshua are going to make a profound difference in their home countries as they train others in youth ministry leadership. These individuals are fulfilling YMI’s Mission of evangelizing and discipling the world’s youth through the local church by “Training the Trainers” of indigenous youth leaders. (Read more about these writers HERE.)
Through your prayers and support you are helping us impact the lives of national leaders like Joshua and like Claudia Olivas in Mexico, a 2016 BA graduate in Youth Ministry from Mexico Baptist Theological Seminary.
“The skills and tools I learned through Youth Ministry International’s training have helped me impact both my own Center for Youth Ministry and Jewels of God (a ministry for young women). The effect of both of these ministries, and the training of more leaders, will show young people in Mexico what God can offer them.”
To the many who have contributed – Thank You! If you would like to give you will help us truly make 2021 a Year of Resurgence and Expansion in youth.
You can help us not only reach our goal but exceed it!
Blessing to all,
Dr. Randy Smith
President, Youth Ministry International