Department of Teenagers and youth ministry
1. Short History
Addis Ababa Guenet Church Regional office department of Teenagers and youth have been working since 2012 in coordinating more than 22 local churches. Even though there were no teenagers and youth department before 2012; the regional office were preparing training for 2 consecutive years at two Guenet local churches (Kolfa Mebrat Haile and Ayer Tena) from year 2010-2011 for university and college students. These two successive years of training have paved a way for the establishment of existing teenagers and youth ministry at Addis Ababa Guenet Regional office level to coordinate all local church’s youth ministry in centralized manner.
As the office of Teenagers and youth established in 2012, the first person who took the responsibility of coordinating the office was Gedion Dessalegn. In his one and half year of facilitation, he was successful in laying foundation for next work that the office is going to do. After he leaves the department, the next guy who is now coordinating is Eyosiyas Eyoael. Eyosiyas Eyoael have been working since the end of 2013 till now by continuing the former work that Gedion Desalegn have started and by including brand new tasks.
|Gedion Dessalegn / Eyosiyas Eyoael|
Since the establishment of the office until now, we are doing a very encouraging work with existing local churches youth ministry; university, college, TVT and High school students. Some of the foremost works that the office is doing encompass collecting and organizing of local church teenagers and youth data by conducting preliminary survey, to cross check the current work that each local church youth and teenagers ministry doing the office is organizing monthly meeting at the regional office level that involve two youth and teenagers ministry representatives from every local churches respectively, preparing yearly camping and retreat program outside Addis Ababa (Debra Zayet city) for university and college students in every summer for a week since 2012 till now, by organizing and sharing Bible study resources for cell group; we are doing wonderful work to realize holistic development of our teenagers and youth at local church level, in addition to the above facts we are also doing work of empowerment for two local churches (Ayer Tena and Ledeta) which were passive in there ministry, and eventually we are also publishing every three month a magazine named `Dunatos` whose primary target groups are teenagers and youth. We strongly believe that knowing the essence of youth ministry is a key to address youth’s of a church in there context. The basic thing that we fail to spot in ministering youth is lack of recognizing where to start to ministry youth. Therefore, the department of teenagers and youth ministry has been doing for the last two years in equipping local church youth ministers with regards to the essence of youth ministry for the realization of holistic development of those youth.
By taking in to account the Ethiopian Youth policy, Ethiopian Evangelical Christian Fellowship manual and the current Guenet local churches teenagers and youth profile the word youth signify church members’ age range from 12-32. The word youth hold in it three main sub-groups; the first sub-group is called early adolescence. This sub-group stands for young church member age ranging from 12-14, the second subgroup called mid adolescence includes young church member’s age ranging from 15-18 and the last age range is from 19-32 which are called post adolescence. So, to minister effectively, every local church need to give their service by dividing all youth in two the above three sub-groups. But due to lack of enough full time human resource, most of our local church youth ministry are divided in to two; teenagers (age from 12-18) and youth (age from 19-32) ministry.
2. Vision of AAGR office teenagers and youth ministry
Under Addis Ababa and surrounding Guenet church regional office vision, the department of teenagers and youth vision is to see youth who is holistically developed through the mission of the church.
3. Mission of AAGR office teenagers and youth ministry
Under Addis Ababa and surrounding Guenet church regional office mission, the department of teenagers and youth vision is to be Biblical transition for holistic development of church youth by creating effective strategy that emanate from the mission of the church.
4. Objective of AAGR office teenagers and youth ministry
4.1 General Objective
To produce identical Youth ministry in each of our regional local churches.
4.2 Specific Objective
To implement the general objective it’s important to have common awareness consciences on the meaning and the nature of youth ministry among existing local church. Therefore, to have such similarity throughout each local church, it’s important to:
Develop similar understanding on the meaning and nature of Church mission; this includes
1. Church Development;
1.1.1 Cell group
Theology (Bible study),
Apologetics (Defending Biblical truth)
1.2 Capacity Building
1.2.2 Micro-finance and Self help Group (SHG),
1.2.3 Income Generating Activity (IGA),
1.2.4 Academic Training,
2. Work of Mission;
2.2 Social concern,
5. Structural Organization of Addis Ababa Guenet Churches Teenagers and youth Ministry
6. Church Mission
As we can clearly sees from Addis Ababa Gunet regional office teenagers and youth ministry structural organization, the foundation for youth ministry is the gospel of Christ. Gospel of Christ Jesus is the corner stone of Church Mission; church mission by itself has included church growth and work of Mission in it. Church of Christ Jesus has two main pages; the first page is mainly concerned for holistic growth of local churches teenagers and youth within their fellowship. Whereas the second main section of church mission is about Work of Mission. Generally speaking, the work of mission is all about spreading the message of gospel and has in it two divisions, which are social concern and evangelism.
I. Church growth,
As we already reveled the meaning of church growth before, church growth is related with holistic growth and development of teenagers and youth. To take in to practice church growth, we have designed effective dual mechanizes called cell group and capacity building. We are highly working in every local church to have cell group that will serve as a platform to equip all our teenagers and youth through Christian fellowship, worship, mentorship, theology, and Apologetics. In addition to cell group, we are also running capacity building activities through preparing and giving Entrepreneurship and academic training. Even if our financial resource is limited we have a great hope that youth ministry has a good opportunity in reducing the problem of unemployment rate at lease at each local church level and the surrounding community. To contribute for the reduction of unemployment at local church level, we have planned to have bilateral communication with Christian organization and government also. Even though, we have limited resources we didn’t keep silent and stop working. Rather to make the possible future communication with those organizations we have prepared refined data from each local church of youth who are unemployed and ready to work after they acquire technical and financial support through Income generating activities and Micro-finance service. Here are some of the works that we go together with the structural organization,
List of works that are doing on Higher education youth
Since a year 2011the regional office have been preparing retreat and camp program for TVT, university and college students who come from every local churches. This large scale program is held in every summer by arranging training with topics including academic excellence, youth challenges and so forth.
|Camping and Retreat Program at Debre Zeit in 2012|
|Camping and Retreat Program at Debre Zeit in 2013|
In addition, the program also serves as means to establish Guenet church family group in every college and university. In establishing this family group at every college and university, we will be able equip our youth in every area of life through this small family group. To do this, we were very much effective in selecting and giving helpful training for two students from every college and university; who are working in coordination of those family groups.
|Training for University and college students family group leaders in 2013|
|Holistic Training for secondary and Preparatory students|
|Training for all local church teenagers and youth ministry leaders|
II. Work of Mission
We strongly believe that Mission is all about evangelism and Social concern, which rests on two Biblical verses; Matt. 28:19-20 and Luk.10:27/ 30-37, both evangelism and social concern are mostly done out of the church compound,
As we can define word evangelism, it’s root word is derived from Greek word, evangelio (which means speaking good news loud), evangelism is all about telling good news done by Jesus Christ (As St. Paul put it on 1 cor. 15: 4-6 and Rom.1:1-4- Gospel is all about son of God Incarnation for ramification of sin, Death, Burial, Resurrection and Appearance after resurrection) in mouth through different means. It could be through proclamation, preaching, teaching, or witnessing. Therefore, to make our youth involved in work of evangelism, we are training our youth on;
1. the essence and meaning of Gospel,
2. different ways of effective evangelism strategy for this century,
Biblical base for social concern is found on Luk.10:27/30-37. The foundation for this ministry is Love of God (Agape). If we love our God with all our heart, soul, strength and mind, the love will be easy to be manifested in loving fellow human being. As we can see from the above text Love is not merely emotional stuff rather it involves helping others through stretching our hands in all we have without taking in to account their religion, knowledge and so forth. To be able to realize this ministry we have categorized social concern in to two subgroups, social service and social action. Social service could be done by any individual with what he have for helping those individuals who are waiting his or her help by sleeping with no dress on the road, but social action demand a great deal of capital and professionals (skilled man power) and it requires constricting sustainable structures for sustainable reduction marginalized people’s problem. As we can clearly see from the above clarification social concern is a concern come from problem or need for help.
AS we already put it before, we have every detail how social concern is implemented at local church teenagers and youth ministry level but the thing that we lack is finance, so we are so eager to work with organizations who are interested to show their social concern together.