Beginning in Genesis, God reveals Himself to be a God of generations. He honored Abraham because He knew that Abraham would take his knowledge of God to his children and grandchildren.
As a ministry, we focus on preparing the next generations to know and serve God. Here in Kenya, we emphasize to all of our pastors that their children’s ministry needs to be consistent and effective.
In addition to ministering to our pastors, we have a Youth Retreat once a year. We use this time to show our youth who we are as a ministry, to show them that they are part of a family of churches, and to teach them how to live as strong Christians in this current generation.
This year, the focus of the retreat was on the Body of Christ. We desired to see the youth embrace the local church as the necessary element that Jesus uses to build His church universal.
There is great pressure on Kenyan children and youth to excel in their education. The emphasis is so strong, that a very large number of students are sent to boarding schools to be educated. Because of this, families and churches are fractured and become weak.
The teachings at the retreat began with who the Body of Christ is, and how a person becomes part of that Body. I showed the differences between the early church and what the professed church has become. the Bible shows the early church to be one that is full of power, desirous of the teachings of Jesus, and dependent upon each other.
There was a specific challenge to the youth about boarding schools. Historically, students who go away to school seldom return to the church of their parents. Because of the lack of understanding of commitment to a local church, they see their lives as dependent upon higher learning, opportunity, and advancement.
The teachings were well received by those who attended. We’ve received many testimonies of youth who went back and asked their pastors how they can serve and be more involved in their church. Some have determined that they will not go away to school again in January, even if the schools in their town offer less opportunity for them.
We believe that the Word of God will strengthen this next generation of young Christians to commit themselves to strengthen their local church.
Pastor Forbe Carlson