Youth ministry in Slavic churches looks a bit different than in the West. In America, youth ministry can tend to look like a teen club for entertainment. If young people are involved in Gospel outreach, the adults often do the planning and the youth go along for the ride.
However, Eric Mock with Slavic Gospel Association (SGA) says in churches across Eurasia, youth ministry covers teens and young adults, and they’re not there to be entertained. Instead, young people consider themselves as active members of the Church and seek out their own ministry opportunities.
Mock gives an example of young people in a Russian church who heard about nearby villages that didn’t know Jesus.
“The young people actually went out to some of these villages and started picking up trash [and] started taking the time to walk around and be a blessing to people they have never met before. They [would] go to the playgrounds and start fixing the playground equipment that might have been broken down and doing repairs and painting things,” Mock says.
“The locals couldn’t believe that someone that wasn’t from their town was taking the time to make a difference. That opened the door and they began sharing the Gospel with different people.”
Then there’s the story of Dmitri, a 23-year-old young man who saw a need in Eastern Ukraine for Christ’s hope amidst intense conflict.
Mock says, “He and his friend both went out there and not only were they delivering food, but even in the midst of all the conflict…they’re being youth leaders out there [and] enabling the youth to be used even in the middle of the conflict in Eastern Ukraine.”
SGA mobilizes the Church to be the hands and feet of Christ across Eurasia, and young people are an active part of their ministry.
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SOURCE: Mission Network News, Lyndsey Koh
CALL TO ACTION
- Pray for open hearts to the Gospel among unreached villages in the Far East.
- Ask God to mobilize more young people for His glory.
- Pray for SGA to have the resources needed for youth ministry.