Passing The Baton
Reaching this, and future generations for Christ.
In a very real sense, each generation of Christians passes the baton of spiritual responsibility to the following generation, and to generations beyond. Youth Ministry International is focused on reaching youth for Christ today, but with the added motivation that youth reached today are the youth leaders of tomorrow – youth leaders who continue to reach youth who in turn become youth leaders of the future.
Raresh (on right in photo) is an excellent example of how young lives are being changed as a direct result of the ministry of youth leaders being trained through YMI. Now an engineering freshman at the Polytechnic University of Bucharest, Romania, Raresh came under the ministry of Teo, a youth pastor trained by YMI.
Referring to his time under Teo’s leadership, Raresh stated,
“I was exposed to the Gospel, challenged to dedicate my life to Jesus and encouraged to cultivate a sincere relationship with the Lord. For the last seven years I have participated together with the church youth in meetings, trips, youth camps and other activities. I realized that with them I matured to better understand the Gospel and I started to have a different perspective on life and spiritual things. Teo encouraged me to think more about my testimony as a young Christian not only in the church, but also in the public sphere among my generation.”
Lisa, age 15, from Ukraine, feels privileged to have her sister, Paulina, as her youth leader (Lisa is in front of photo with Pauline behind). Paulina is in the Youth Ministry program at Kyiv Theological Seminary, a partner school with YMI. Describing her sister, Lisa said,
“I have seen up close how Paulina’s studies have influenced her life and ministry. First, she has become much more responsible and serious about her ministry at church. This is seen in how she prepares to lead worship, choosing the right spiritual songs, and keeping a spiritual atmosphere when practicing with the team. Speaking of the spiritual atmosphere, more than ever she seeks to listen to the Holy Spirit to even select the songs for the worship service! Her example inspires me. She has a close relationship to God – and I want that!
“I want to thank YMI for investing in my sister Paulina as she studies youth ministry at the seminary. She is a great youth leader!”
I could share so many similar stories with you. I can only imagine the impact these young people will have on their generation, and generations to come.
Several factors come together to reach young people like Raresh and Lisa, beginning with YMI trainers who are committed to training youth leaders; Bible colleges and seminaries partnering with YMI that have come to understand the importance of providing quality education for these leaders; Local churches which have developed the burden to reach the young people in their communities and are looking for trained youth leadership; The youth leaders themselves who are disciplined to be involved in the training, and who then go on to become spiritual leaders in the local churches; and people like you who stand with us through prayer and financial support.
There are not enough words to express my gratitude for everyone who helps make the ministry of Youth Ministry International possible. Your gifts and prayers make a difference in so many ways, in so many lives. Never underestimate the value of your gift and prayers!
When you give, you share the impact being made in lives around the world. Charles Juma from Kenya, East Africa, the first youth pastor trained through YMI, sums up the thankfulness individuals have regarding the impact YMI made in their lives:
“I am all that I am today because Youth Ministry International believed in me and prepared me for the work of the ministry in Africa. I will remain forever grateful to God for the way He continues to use YMI to produce and prepare many more individuals like myself around the world for His service and glory!”
Thank you for taking the time to consider how you can make Youth Ministry International even more effective in the lives of individuals like Raresh, Lisa and Charles.
Dr. Randy Smith
Youth Ministry International