wceu: March 11, 2015

CE Basics: Youth in Ministry

One ‘trademark’ of CE youth ministry is putting youth in charge of their meetings and activities. F.E. Clark had seen the vast potential in letting youth taking initiative, developing activities and bearing responsibility. He saw a need for a place in the church where youth could learn the life of a disciple by practicing it in real. There was and is a lot of concern and objection to the concept. But Clark was confident the Holy Spirit would also work through young Christians. History proofed him to be right. Of course there will be mistakes, weak performance, and shortcomings if somebody ventures into something new. But that is the way we learn. Christians tend to forget that the church is a flock of pardoned sinners and is not the club of perfect saints. Adults make mistakes too. We only do not like to admit that in public. CE is part of a local church and not a separated body. Interaction with the older generations is necessary, healthy and rewarding. And CE activities serve the church and reach into the local church. These correlations need to be considered by the CE youth. Experienced Christians are a tremendous help for the young endeavorer. They should give advice if asked and in a way that builds up the youth and encourages them. Mentoring is a great way to teach young Christians without denying them to make their own decisions. In the Eastern and African cultures with strong dominance of elder leaders the CE concept needs a lot of humility by those church leaders. Allowing youth certain independence is rather unusual. The Indian CE has for senior leaders the office of an advisor. This secures influence of the senior leader but gives also independence to the regular board of the respective CE unit. An advisor is expected to counsel the board, but not to direct.

March 11, 2015, 10:59 h by Andreas A. Rudolph, General Secretary of WCEU.