Salt & Light: A Guide to Loving Northwest Indiana

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I feel youth ministry—or any ministry—can be broken down into three categories: evangelism, teaching, and discipleship. Success in ministry depends on success in these areas under the leadership of the Holy Spirit and the guidance of Scripture. 4eP]VT[Xb\ When hearing the word evangelism, many Christians often think of going door-to-door while handing out tracts. Many of the youth who have experienced this kind of evangelism carry a ULNH[P]L ]PL^WVPU[ VM P[ ;OL ÄYZ[ Z[LW in youth evangelism is contact with youth. Most young people automatically distrust anyone older than themZLS]LZ ZV P[ PZ OLSWM\S PM JVU[HJ[ PZ ÄYZ[ made by another youth who is already involved in your ministry. It is a common practice among many churches to have big outings or special events for youth to bring their friends to. ;OLZL RPUKZ VM L]LU[Z HYL NVVK [V ÄYZ[ expose youth to a ministry, but the outreach cannot end here. We would love if the people we are reaching out to would give their lives "' } 2WX[SaT] H^dcW

[V *OYPZ[ VU [OLPY Ă„YZ[ [YPW [V V\Y TPUistry and come back purely because of their spiritual needs. But this is rarely the case. Youth need something else if they’re going to keep coming back—at SLHZ[ H[ Ă„YZ[ 4VZ[ TPUPZ[YPLZ JHUUV[ afford to keep doing bigger and better events or outings. The solution is to OLSW M\SĂ„SS H ULLK [OH[ V\Y `V\[O OH]L James 2:15-16 says, “If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace, be warmed and Ă„SSLK Âť ^P[OV\[ NP]PUN [OLT [OL [OPUNZ needed for the body, what good is [OH[&š )` M\SĂ„SSPUN WO`ZPJHS ULLKZ VM young people, we accomplish two things. First, we give them a reason to keep coming back to be exposed to the message of the Gospel. Secondly, we can show God’s love to them in a physical way. What are some of the physical needs of youth? This can vary depending on what area of Lake County your ministry is in. For example, I work in inner-city Gary with kids who live below the poverty line, so they do need food and clothing. They also need a

safe place to go after school, and we provide that. While the area you work in may not have safety concerns, having a place for youth to go after school PZ Z[PSS ILULÄJPHS 4HU` `V\UN WLVWSL struggle with loneliness and feel like they don’t have a place to belong. Coming to the ministry daily makes them feel like they are a part of something, and they start to bond together like a family. Another invaluable need that can be met regardless of area or income is after-school tutoring. The more successful young people are academically, the more likely it is that they will be able to stay away from negative things that will pull them away from their walk with Christ. CTPRWX]V In order to lead young people to Christ, good biblical teaching must be part of any program. Making Bible lessons a regular routine gives both those who are coming to enhance their spiritual walk and those who may be simply seeking answers to their physical or spiritual needs a chance to hear the word of God.