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What is Youth Ministry about?
Youth Ministry is all about Jesus.
Youth Ministry is about young people coming to know and follow Jesus.
Youth Ministry is about each and every young person knowing they belong, they are valued, and they are loved by Our God.
Youth Ministry is about each and every young person knowing the love of God.
Youth Ministry is about loving God and loving others.
Youth Ministry is about sharing Jesus with each and every young person.
Youth Ministry is about discipleship.
Youth Ministry is about love, forgiveness, redemption, grace, repentance, and hope.
Youth Ministry is about becoming more and more like Jesus.
Youth Ministry is about glorifying the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Youth Ministry is about young people growing, learning and becoming who God has called them to be.
Youth Ministry is about young people becoming disciples who make disciples.
Youth Ministry has a purpose.
It is to love God and love others. (Mark 12:30-31)
It is to make disciples of Jesus, who make disciples. (Matthew 28:19-20)
The purpose for youth ministry in the Diocese of the Arctic is found in 3 scriptures:
- Our mission statement and the great commission, Matthew 28:19-20:
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.
- Colossians 1:28-29:
Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that
we may present everyone mature in Christ. For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.
- 1 John 4:19-21:
We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.
We have several active youth ministries across the diocese. Please pray for all our youth leaders and youth committee members.
Teens Encounter Christ
God was amazing! God provided in spectacular ways. Teens Encounter Christ (TEC) 2018 was September 1st -3rd, 2018. The theme was ABIDE. “Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us.” 1 John 3:24. It was out at Trappers Lake Retreat Center (11 km out of Yellowknife), provided by the generosity of the Mackenzie-Fort Smith Catholic Diocese. We had 47 people involved in TEC including our 13 youth. Yes, you read that correctly, we had 13 youth! God is so remarkable! Two from Taloyoak, NU, 2 from Behchoko, NT and 9 from Yellowknife, NT. Each youth encountered Jesus. There were two that accepted Christ for the first time, and the 11 others made a choice to be serious in following Him, choosing to seek Him and become obedient to Him. There were 3 volunteer leaders who came to Christ for the first time and the rest of the volunteer leaders encountered Christ on a deeper level. This TEC weekend was awesome, and all glory goes to the Lord. This was all His doing.
The goal of Teens Encounter Christ (TEC) is to provide a safe, non-judgmental place where young people ages 16-21 can take time from the pressures of the outside world to think about and maybe decide where Jesus fits into their lives. The weekend is filled with talks, worship times, and open space for reflection. The prayer and desire are that each teen will encounter the living Jesus during his/her TEC weekend. And they each youth that attended and volunteer leader surely did.
We had volunteer leaders to serve over the weekend in different capacities. There were volunteer leaders serving in the background on the kitchen team for meal prep, on the shop team for clean-up and set up, and on the prayer team praying over youth talk speakers, worship leaders and all other volunteer leaders. We also had table leaders, worship team members and our talk speakers. Over all we had an amazing team serving from four churches in Yellowknife: Holy Trinity, Alliance, Church of Christ and Calvary Community.
Youth Ministry School
We invited youth leaders and those interested in becoming youth leaders in their home communities to attend this youth ministry school. The dates were September 16-23rd, 2018. The training taught the youth leaders how to lead a youth ministry and trained them to become disciple makers of disciple makers. The purpose of the training was to give the youth leaders more confidence, knowledge and skills for being youth leaders. There were 30 sessions varying in topics from what is the diocese and its mission, to right roles and adolescent psychology to vision for youth ministry. We had a session on Dene culture and, as well a session led by Esther Wesley about traditional Indigenous knowledge. It was a heavy week of deep knowledge intake. The youth leaders each went home with over $4000.00 in resources. We had five youth leaders who completed the training, including our diocesan translator Matilda. Our speakers were Rev Jon Davis PhD, Sarah Swan BA, Rev. Steve Swan, Esther Wesley from the Healing and Reconciliation of the Anglican Church of Canada, and Deanna Fillion. We took the youth leaders to Blue Lake on a fishing trip by float plane. We used nets and fishing rods to catch a few fish. It was an amazing week of learning together to be disciple makers.
There were a few key concepts that stuck out over the week that I would like to share:
- “People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.” (quote from Young Life)
- Young people imitate.
- Youth Ministry is all about Jesus!
- Youth Ministry is relational!