If the statistics are true, up to 75% of the population of Zambia are children and youth under 20 years of age! To break this down a bit more, we are told that 49% of the population is 15 years old or younger. This all means that there are approximately 8.25 million young people in our country! If our local church does not have an aggressive, organized, and purposeful outreach to the young people in our city we will not only fail to impact the next generation, we will limit the scope of our ministry to only 25% of the population.
It is easy for a local church to overlook children and youth in the community. Adults often get caught up in the busyness of our daily lives, the pressures and problems that are so often part of life and fail to be intentional in our relationships with youth. We look at young people through the eyes of a traditional mindset and assume that kids will just grow up and then we will begin to interact with them. Parents may assume that if they provide food, clothing, and education they have done their job as parents… and the local church – made up of those same parents – adopt the same mindset.
We Want To Teach Our kids The Holy Scriptures
2Tim. 3:15 – Provides our theme verse for the Children’s Ministry @ KC. “And that from a child you have known the Holy Scriptures.”
It was the urgent duty of Hebrew parents to train their children in the Scriptures. Many Jewish writings refer to the importance to this task. Rabbi Judah says, “The boy of five years of age ought to apply to the study of the sacred Scriptures.” Rabbi Solomon, on Deut. 11:19, says, “When the boy begins to talk, his father ought to converse with him in the sacred language, and to teach him the law; if he does not do that he seems to bury him” (Barnes Notes).
It is unclear what age Timothy began to be instructed in the Scriptures; but the same word translated “child” in 2 Timothy 3.15 is translated “babe” in Luke 1.41, 44 and refers to an infant in Luke 18.15. It is also used to refer to young children in Acts 7.19. It is safe to infer that Timothy was taught the Scriptures as soon as he was capable of learning anything.
While we concur that it is the primary responsibility of the parents to teach their children and rear them in the fear and admonition of the Lord, (Eph. 6.4; Deut. 6.6-7) we acknowledge God has given the local church with her gifted pastors and teachers to, among other things, strengthen the work of the Christian parent in their task of training their children to know and fear God. We also recognize that there are many lost children and youth in our community who need to know of Salvation through Jesus Christ alone. Because they are living in homes that are not genuinely Christian, we must be moved by compassion and take the gospel to them.
This instruction given to young Timothy was “able to make you wise unto salvation.” This Scriptural instruction was focused upon instructing the youth in the way of salvation and thus finds the path to life. It is clear then that the Scriptures have life-changing power. It has the power to change hearts, convict the conscience, and stimulate the intellect to understand the things to God.
“Through faith which is in Jesus Christ.” There is no salvation except through the Lord Jesus Christ. It is implied in this text that the early instruction in Scriptures produced genuine saving faith in Jesus Christ in the heart of young Timothy. We want the youth in our city to be instructed in the truths of Scripture at the earliest possible age, so that they too will come to faith in Jesus.
Our Philosophy of Ministry to Youth @KC
The Christian Education Program at Kitwe Church extends to all Bible Studies including Children’s classes and youth. It exists to train men, women, and children the truths and principles of God’s Word which will enable them to bring glory to God in their lives and achieve God’s purposes for their lives.
Our Purpose: What are we trying to achieve:
- We are seeking to evangelize children and youth to Christ.
- We are seeking to disciple children and youth through practical application of God’s Word to their everyday lives. This is done with sensitivity in the process of the application of Scripture to their lives. This presupposes that the youth minister has an understanding of the age group to which he is ministering.
- We are seeking to grow our class through outreach into the community, personal visitation, and follow up of contacts which will provide us additional opportunities to evangelize and disciple. This process results in the growth of the local church.
Philosophy: How are we going to achieve our purpose
- Everyday Evangelism – we seek as leaders to share the gospel every day. We also seek to challenge our children and youth to purposefully share the gospel each day.
- Expository preaching and teaching – to confront the young person with the Word of God which alone has the power to bring salvation and conformity and obedience to Christ.
- Biblical balance – Young people will quickly identify if we are hypocritical or out of Scriptural balance. We must teach the “whole counsel of God.”
- Dedicated discipleship – We must have an undying commitment to “making disciples” of our youth. Remember that today’s youth are tomorrow’s leaders!
- Training of others for the work of ministry – Young people must be given proper opportunities for legitimate ministry under the guidance of mature and godly adults.
Methods: What we are going to do guided by our philosophy to achieve our purpose.
- We are going to break down our ministry into small groups, preferably not larger than 20-25.
- When a group grows to 30 or above, we would like to split the group in half; it is the best way and begin a new class. We will keep in mind that in certain situations this may not be feasible (i.e. Young adults, men, women); however, in those ministries we will break down into smaller accountability groups.
- We will develop OWNERSHIP of the ministry by having one Teacher who assumes complete responsibility for that class or ministry.
- We will develop a TEAM by working to develop one group of ministers responsible for each class under the direction of the teacher or ministry leader.
- We will develop MOMENTUM by leaving this team to minister with one another, thus coming to understand their own strengths and weaknesses, finding what works for them in the achieving of our purpose.