TWR has been engaged in the ministry of spreading the message of Christ for over three decades. Nevertheless, the percentage of believers in this diverse land remains paltry which makes the task ahead of us herculean. What can we do to improve our methods of disseminating God’s Word? How can we reach all sections of the society, youth in particular?
More than 50% of our country’s burgeoning population is below the age of 25, they comprise a vital category that we cannot afford to put on the back-burner. Youth being an essential member of the body of Christ, need to participate; or else the body will suffer. Given that it is easier for youth to find other endeavors to pursue apart from the Church; and with Christian parents seeming more than willing to help, the matter needs urgent address. And for Youth Ministry to be effective, youth should actively participate in it.
Significantly, the world has changed so much and there is no going back. We need to think ahead and change with the times and stay in step with the youth of today to understand and relate to them so that we can cater to their needs. Today, young adults are not satisfied with what they have; they are bored with monotony; they seek new ideas, creative options and challenges every day. They think and act differently and to stay on par with them, we need to think of ‘out of the box’ ideas; fresh and novel ways of working; as well as renew our enthusiasm and commitment to the ministry. We need to think of ways by which we not only attract youth but also provide compelling answers to their many questions to influence and involve them more effectively.
For youth to play a key role in ministry, the church should lay increased focus on youth groups which while providing a spiritual environment for growth should serve as a training ground for service in ministry. It should be a place where they make godly friendships. Many a time, the Church is reluctant to encourage and involve the youth as they feel that such a group cannot be adequately handled by them. The Church is unable to provide them with answers to their never ending questions and doubts and this in-turn gives them a reason to go after philosophies and religions and end up in Godless conclusions.
For us at TWR-I, whether it is by using new forms of media or changing the format of presenting God’s Word and revealing how it is relevant to the present, it may require of us to make drastic changes to reach out to the youth of today and keep up with them in this fast paced, ever changing world.
As we renew our commitment to make disciples of all people, we seek God’s guidance and wisdom from above.
India completes 65 years of freedom on 15th August, marking the nation’s freedom from several centuries of colonial rule. We need to be always grateful to those who sacrificed all they had, including their rights to make our freedom possible.
Even as the nation prepares to celebrate the momentous occasion, we thank God for our freedom as a nation. However, one question comes to mind: are we truly free? It is often the case that when we are released from certain bondage, we are caught in the clutches of another kind of bondage.
Take the story of Onesimus the slave in the epistle of Philemon. Onesimus had been one of Philemon’s slaves who had run away. But never had he envisioned that he would be a slave to hunger, insecurity, fear and ridicule. Ultimately, losing all that he had, he finds himself in prison where he meets the apostle Paul who leads him to true freedom.
Each New Year brings new and exciting opportunities. For some it may be a year of beginning something new such as a new course, a new job or a new life. For some it could be a matter of turning a new leaf as they launch 2012 with lessons learned from the past year with new resolutions, new commitments, and new relationships. But for some the New Year may have started with challenges – loss of a loved one, ill health, perhaps an accident.
Whatever the challenge, life throws at us, we can take heart from the verse in Deuteronomy 33: 27 – “The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.” As we see in that verse, the word of God is filled with metaphors such as ‘refuge’ that describe God. Both David and the sons of Korah too used a number of them in the book of Psalms as they called out of God. Prophets like Isaiah and Jeremiah have also used this metaphor to describe God.
Through the ages, there are evidences of various seemingly insignificant characters or events that make an enormous impact on life. History is full of obscure events that have changed the world; small coincidences, seemingly insignificant events that have changed the path of history many times, sometimes affecting the lives of millions.
The Bible makes a brief mention of a nameless Innkeeper who turned down Mary and Joseph’s request for a room in Bethlehem, the night that Jesus was born. Hence Jesus was born in a stable, wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger. If he had the slightest clue that the soon-to-be-born Jesus was the Saviour of the world, the inn keeper’s actions may have been different. Perhaps he would have reserved the best room in the inn for them and welcomed the couple with great pomp and show.