Finding where we belong, finding our purpose, finding hope…these are things that we struggle with no matter the age and no matter what society. The Church is suppose to be a place where we find all these things in the person of Jesus Christ, but still many youth today are not a part of the Church at large. In Zambia this is a serious issue, especially in Kapopo where Project Samuel finds itself. Children go to church but are disengaged, teenage youth go to church but find no place to fit. These youth need a program to help them find themselves in the body of Christ, a program to show them just how much they’re worth to God!
The way youth ministry is done must change! These youth need to be encouraged, empowered and shown that they have something that the church needs! It is not for lack of passion that these youth are not stepping up in the Church, it’s the lack of an avenue to release that passion. Ever since I’ve arrived here in Zambia I’ve been asking these children what they want to do in church, what do they want to learn, what is it that motivates them? The first thing that came out was the desire to have a “Youth Sunday”. So right then and there we made plans with the Pastor of the church we’re working with to practice every day for a week in order to prepare for the “Youth Sunday” the following weekend. I keep asking myself: “These youth aren’t active in the church? Why? They want to run a whole church service but why don’t they serve now?” Well, this was only the beginning!
After much preparation and dedication from the youth they pulled the service program together! The youth lead worship, one girl preached with the assistance of the Pastor and they even performed a skit! Start to finish the youth performed beautifully! Regina, Lizzy, and Patricia took turns leading the youth in song while Abigail gave the sermon focused on children honoring their parents and parents encouraging their children in The Lord. The skit was a hit! No pun intended. The congregation laughed and clapped as the youth performed their skit about a father who had a son and three step daughters that were mistreating the son. Eventually things were set right and the son was saved from the treatment of his step sisters.
But that’s not the best part! Ever since that “Youth Sunday” at the end of April, the youth have participated in leading worship every Sunday and even the younger children participated in skits at church! This isn’t just a program to make the children behave or do something that’s expected of them. Through this ministry the youth will find not only their purpose in the Church, but also become encouraged to step out in service and leadership to the youth of Kapopo! The goal isn’t changing the world, but changing lives. These youth are changing mine, and I know they can change others!