“Remember your Creator in your Youth,
when the evil days have not come"
ICGC’s Chosen Generation Youth Ministry is committed to reaching their peers and all youth in our community with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, by being a ‘Youth friendly’ community, providing a positive and affirming environment that welcomes and integrates young people into the church, values their participation, cultivates their relationship with Christ, and calls forth their gifts and talents in His service, and in the service of their community. To this end, members of Chosen Generation Youth Ministry will live and lead by example, patterning their lives after the Word of God, inspired and led by the Holy Spirit, excelling and maximizing their God-given potential, in all areas of their lives – spiritually, physically, socially and academically.
Why Youth Ministry:
Youth are most vulnerable:
The adolescent stage is a most critical phase in every person’s life. It is the stage teenagers become more conscious of themselves, as well as, the opposite sex. The desire to be rid of parental control and assert their independence, not to mention the quest for acceptance and experimentation with drugs, smoking, sex etc. is quite intense. Ironically, this is the time satan also sets his trap.
Youth face more complex issues today:
The problems our youth are faced with today are more complex than previous generations: gun and domestic violence, teenage pregnancy, abortion, aids, bullying, issues with identity, sexual orientation etc. The disintegration of the family is also contributing, in no small way, to create a new breed of dysfunctional kids, with no role models, self-esteem or sense of identity, prone to violent behavior and lifestyles. The net result is increased drug use, gang activity (90,000 in LA county alone) and an avalanche of social evils.
Youth serve as a Bridge:
The future of any society, nation or church depends on the vision and vitality of its youth. Our youth serve as vital link, a bridge, between the present and the future - little wonder satan initiates his attack at this stage(Exodus1:16-22/Matthew2:13-20) We must do whatever it takes to protect our children/youth because they are our only hope for the future.
Youth have a Hunger for Connection:
Mankind was created with an innate desire for relationship and fellowship. Young people, in particular, have a hunger for connection, to be in relationship and fellowship, and to belong. The disruption and disintegration of the family unit in our society has created an entire generation of kids in desperate need for love, and this hunger for connection. Family, peers, school, youth ministries and organizations, church, and unfortunately, gangs, are primary connections for young people.
Youth Need a Compelling Vision and Adventure:
“Without a vision, people perish”; scripture says (Prov. 29:18). Young people are always looking for a noble and compelling adventure for their youthful zeal and enthusiasm; they hunger for a challenging vision of life, a cause worth their commitment. Cults and many anti-social organizations prey on and recruit such ‘hungry’ youth, often frustrated, vulnerable and unsuspecting, into their ranks, and exploit this passion for significance within them. Youth ministries, like Chosen Generation, provide a positive alternative to this quest; a noble, bigger and challenging vision – to live for.
Reach them Now or others will:
We need to reach our kids now; if not others (the drug dealer, gang member, pimp, rock star or other kids) will. Teaching them to simply say: “No”, may not always work. We need to also teach them what they can say “Yes” to – such as, Education, Ethical and Moral Values, such as, Abstinence, Hard Work, Integrity, Good Manners, Faith, Vision, etc.
Disturbing Youth Statistics:
A Department of Justice survey showed that 25% of Youth in grades 9 to 12 had been offered drugs on school property, while 84% of students surveyed, expressed how easy it was to obtain drugs, especially marijuana.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that of the 19 million cases of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD’s) reported annually in the US, about 50% ( 9 million) of victims are youth, between the ages of 15 and 19. 50% of all new HIV infections also occur among teenagers.
According to the American Psychiatric Association, the third (3rd) leading cause of death among teenagers, aged 15 to 19, is suicide, often caused by conditions such as depression, drug use, mental illness, divorce, and bullying.
FBI, and other sources on gang activity in the US, estimated the nation-wide gang population in 2009 to be approximately 1 million. 40% of this number (i.e. 400,000), were below the age of 18. 360,000 out of the total were boys, while the girl gang population was between 32,000 and 40,000. The average ages of a gang-member were 18 and 19, with about 25% gang-members as young as 15 to 17 years of age.
Adolescent childbearing is more common in the United States (22% of women reported having had a child before age 20) than in Great Britain (15%), Canada (11%), France (6%) and Sweden (4%); differences are even greater for births to younger teenagers. According to Planned Parenthood, American teens become pregnant at a rate, 12 times higher than the Netherlands, and other industrialized countries. 11% to 12% of total births in the United States are too teenage mothers. Approximately 750,000 to 900,000 pregnancies occur each year to teenage girls between 15 and 19 years in the US. Approximately 112, 000 abortions occur among teens aged 15 to 19 in the US.. The age of sexual debut varies little across countries, yet American teenagers are the most likely to have multiple partners. Teenage mothers are statistically less likely to graduate from High School, much more go on to college. Teen mothers are more likely than women who delay child bearing to live in poverty and to require public assistance. Children of teen mothers are more likely to be born at low birth weight, to have health and developmental problems, and to be abused and/or neglected. The cost of teen pregnancy amounts to an estimated $7 billion annually in lost tax revenues, public assistance, health care, and other costs.
YOUTH MINISTRY GOALS & OBJECTIVES:
Personal/Spiritual Development: To help foster the personal and spiritual growth of each youth. Adolescence and young adulthood are important times for mental, spiritual, social, and physical growth. Their relationships and experiences greatly influence their healthy and positive development, as they mature into full adulthood.
Personal Faith Commitment: To help youth become aware of God, as revealed in Jesus Christ, to respond to Christ in a personal commitment of faith, and to follow God’s will in the full meaning of church membership and Christian fellowship.
Life-long Walk with Christ: To prepare youth for a life-long walk with Christ, by developing a heart that loves and pants after God, a mind that knows God’s Word, a will that commits to the Gospel and to ongoing discipleship, and a Life that cares for and connects with, believers and non-believers within the youth ministry, the church, and our society.
Discipleship: To empower young people to live as disciples of Jesus Christ, in an overtly perverted world today, by providing them with the faith skills for discipleship and the accountability necessary for life-change and character transformation. Such skills include, the ability to do personal Bible study, correctly interpreting scripture, (the bible), applying these truths to every area and relationship (with family, authority figures, the opposite sex etc.) of life, and the ability to lead a Bible study, small group discussion or teach a lesson.
Evangelism & Personal Witness: To guide youth to confidently state their commitment to Christ, boldly share with, or witness to their friends and peers about their personal faith in Him (Jesus Christ), and to invite others to respond to Him.
Prayer Life: To help and encourage our Youth to develop a meaningful, devotional prayer life, through the cultivation of a consistent and personal prayer life and quiet time.
Worship Experience: To help youth experience worship, both celebrative and reflective, in private (i.e. on a personal level), and also in corporate (i.e. church) settings.
Christian Stewardship: To guide youth in exploring, discovering and nurturing their abilities and talents, and deploying them for service in the church, community and world. Stewardship regarding career or vocational choices, as well as, stewardship of their money, time, including pleasure time, and abilities will be emphasized.
Self-Acceptance & Esteem: To help youth grow in understanding and acceptance of self, by affirmation. Offer our youth, biblical concepts of self-image, and giving them positions of service and leadership, suitable to their gifts, talents, abilities and mission.
Develop Social Skills: Offer our youth opportunities to develop their social skills, through integration, interaction and full involvement in Christian fellowship and church activities. Our youth will be equipped with insights that will enable them deal wisely with life’s pressures, make right decisions and choices, develop self-respect as a pre-requisite to learning how to respect other forms of authority (parental, the law, teachers etc.).
Vision, Purpose & Passion: To provide our youth with a sense of Mission, Vision and Purpose, i.e. something to believe in, live for and die for. Talk to the average teenage drug user, gang member or juvenile hall inmate, and one thing becomes clear: He/She has no sense of purpose, direction or hope. Idealism and Passion are primary characteristics of youth. This passion, left unharnessed, undirected or misguided, can have terrible consequences. Our goal is to provide guidance and direction to our Youth, and thereby channel their passion and idealism into productive or fruitful ventures. (Proverbs 20:29).
Healthy & Positive Inter-Personal Relationships: To provide a forum where our youth can develop healthy and positive friendships and associations. “Bad company ruins good character” (1Cor.15:33). The adage: “Show me your friend and I’ll show you your character” holds true especially, for our youth.
Recreational Activities: To provide recreational activities in a healthy social environment where our youth can bond, unwind and develop a healthy social life. “All work and no play, makes Jack a dull boy” goes the old saying. Such recreational activities may include Christian concerts, drama, movies, sports, picnics, excursions/hikes, group visits to amusement parks, (e.g. Disneyland, Raging Waters etc.).
Youth Center: Consistent with our mission, vision and core values, ICGC will establish a Youth Center that will provide support to at-risk youth and their parents. We will promote the Christian values we espouse, and offer programs that provide alternatives to teen delinquency, gang activity and life on the streets.
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