Youth Training in Zambia
by Sean Marston, Champion for Youth and Young Adults
30 September 2009
I have just come back from two weeks in Zambia where I travelled around various parts of the country and met youth leaders and pastors, and ran some youth leadership seminars. It was a fantastic time and I loved the connection and interaction I was able to have with so many keen youth workers.
There was such a large desire by many to want to reach out to young people and to provide relevant youth ministry—to young people inside and outside the church community. The thing that they lacked though was good training on understanding youth culture and leading youth ministry.
In Zambia, there is no denomination or organisation that provides consistent youth leadership training. Occasionally a group might run a seminar, but there is nothing consistent where youth leaders can start to really grasp the basics of leading a youth ministry. But Zambia is not alone in Africa—I am not aware of many countries in Africa where there is structured training in youth ministry. It is just a blank sheet.
So the many youth leaders I came in contact with around Zambia are looking for ways in which they can even learn the basics of youth ministry—what I call Youth Ministry 101. These youth leaders want to be relevant in their youth ministry and in church. They can see the possibility of what could be, but for many of them this reality is far away because they do not have a way to learn and grow in developing and running effective youth ministry.
I came away from Zambia even more committed to work out ways in which structured youth ministry training can be provided in countries where it doesn't exist—countries from the majority world, countries where they do not have the same access to resources, countries where you do not have a place in society until you are 30-years-old. This is the journey I am on—a journey to provide quality and consistent youth ministry training to people in places where it doesn't exist. Ummm—okay so where shall we start …
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Youth and Young Adults
Champion: Sean Marston
Sean Marston’s 22 years in youth ministry (part of that time as Short-Term Mission Coordinator for SIM New Zealand) have informed his passion for reaching those growing up in a “post-mission and post-church environment.”
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