Encouraging Our Youths
Written by Jacqueline Lie
It has been strange times, with uncertainties aplenty for us all. Even more so for our young ones! It has been challenging especially with the fluctuating guidelines, limited interactions in school and the default staying at home.
In these strange times, it is all the more crucial to be encouraging one another, as the household of God. But beyond offering comforting words and practical help, how do we exhort each other in the Hope that our faith in Jesus offers? Particularly, how do we share this Hope to the younger ones? And the timeless question remains, and is even more pertinent in this season, how do we encourage youths to move from “I go to church because my parents bring me” to “I want to come together with my brothers and sisters in Christ, to encourage each other in our walk with Jesus”?
At the wider church level, during these strange times, we are providing platforms for all to come back to worship and grow spiritually together, reminding one another that Jesus is our anchor. Similarly with the youths, we keep reminding them that they can always turn to their Father in Heaven, that they can come together as a household of God, to do life together with their brothers and sisters at Zion Bishan. How apt that the theme of this year’s youth camp is “Homecoming”. Through the year-end camp, we pray that the youths at Zion Bishan will experience the heart of the prodigal Father towards them!
Our weekly Youth Fellowship (YF) and Youth Discipleship (YD) classes are also still happening, thanks to our trusty youth leaders who have been really consistent in their service despite the flip-flopping between virtual and in-person meetings. Regulars at YF have been encouraging one another with the foundations of the Christian faith, and even exploring tough questions together! The YD classes are persevering in their study of God’s word, equipping the youths such that they can glean biblical truths themselves.
If you personally know a YF small-group or YD leader— share some words of encouragement with them! If you know a youth or two— offer to pray with them, and invite them to register for this year’s homecoming camp! zionbishan.org.sg/youthcamp2021
The teenage years are when we begin learning to navigate Life— how to deal with relationships at home and school, amidst peer pressures and influences of the world. These are still impressionable years. So how do we provide a biblical worldview to counter various worldly influences and offer tangible encouragement while holding out gospel promises?
The way we think, process information, treat others, what we value—these we pick up in our youth and they stay with us for life. But from whom can youths pick things up from? Parents and family, definitely. Yet, in the teenage years of growing independence, teachers and other adults forge deeper impressions than they dare notice. Recently I received a text from an ex-student, “Cher, look at this cool pic i took, inspired by some of your pics in ur feed” Wow, if sub-par photos can inspire a youth, how much more could a Christ-centred life be an open book from which youths can be influenced?
We may not be perfect role models, but I know that it is not us who works but Christ works in us. Then, if Christ works in us, instead of fear and timidness, is it not a privilege and joy to make space for younger ones to journey with us?
Looking ahead, the body of Christ will continue building one another up in love. What about the next generation of faith? They too are part of the body, and members of the body need to rise up to build them up in love as well.
We are looking for more to step forward to serve as YD leaders and at YF!
If you have a desire to serve the youths at Zion Bishan, here are a couple of things to consider:
- Do you find yourself free for a few hours every week? Beyond routinely setting aside time during the weekend for church, you may want to avail yourself to journey alongside others.
- Are you active in your own spiritual community and AG? Serving and ministering our younger ones is one means of an overflow from our walk with Jesus, our source of wisdom and love.
To chat more about Youth Ministry, or find out how you can serve, get in touch with Dns Ee Wern (9650 5440) or Jacqueline (firstname.lastname@example.org).