Youth Directorate of The Church of Pentecost held a two-day virtual retreat for Youth workers throughout Ghana.
The programme which was held from 24th – 25th August, 2020 was under the theme, “Grounded in Christ, Unleashed for maximum impact”.
Pastor Ebenezer Hagan, Director of The Church of Pentecost Youth Ministry in his theme exposition, read from Colossians 2:6-7, Zechariah 9:13-15, 2 Kings 13:14-19 and Psalms 127:4-5. He explained that, arrows represent young people which must be released for the things of God. He entreated Youth Workers to build rapport with young people and deliberately enact mentorship systems to unleash the youth for ministry in the local church and on campus.
Pastor Hagan stated that, the first year of the Ministry’s Vision 2023 was used to initiate intentional discipleship of the youth and that, the second year of the vision, will focus on unleashing the youth for service in God’s Kingdom.
Professor Paul Kelly, Association of Youth Ministry Educator in the USA presented on the topic, “The New Form of Youth Ministry Under and After COVID-19”. Reading from Acts 11:27-30, he stated that the early church was confronted with famine, persecution and sickness. In all of these, the Church’s response has been prayer, caring for the needs of others and fervent preaching of the word. He further intimated that, in a COVID-19 season where people are gripped with fear, suffering, disorientation, loneliness and helplessness, the response is in Christ who gives hope, endurance, trust, care and faith. On effective strategy for Youth Ministry during this era, he proposed meeting the physical needs of young people, online youth camps, nurturing relationship online and prayer.
Pastor Clement Achim-Gyimah, District Minister of Roman Ridge in Accra, addressed the subject, “Pastoralia: What Every Youth Worker must Know”. He admonished Youth Workers to see themselves as Missionaries to the Youth. In addition, they must be creative; strategic in planning, programming and implementing interventions; build physical and spiritual capacity of young people; embark on regular visitations; respect and involve their wives in youth work; and ensure cordial relationship with all stakeholders in order to maximize results.
Taking his turn on the second day, Apostle Professor Opoku Onyinah (Rtd), immediate-past Chairman of The Church of Pentecost, spoke on the topic, “Ministry to Young People in Unusual Times: The travel of Technology and its Relevance for Youth Ministry”. He explained that challenges and problems are part of life, but the Holy Spirit helps believers to go through such storms. Reading from Matthew 16:1-4, Apostle Opoku Onyinah explained that, every generation has its unique challenges. He explained that, the church was confronted with fierce opposition against Bible translation, erroneous doctrine, activities of humanism and in recent times artificial intelligence (AI).
Elaborating on Artificial Intelligence, Professor Onyinah called on Christian Engineers to venture into AI to assist with feeding the various systems with Christian beliefs and practices. This, he said, will boost propagation of the gospel when AI technology is fully unleashed in society. He also encouraged Youth Workers to absorb modern technologies in their work. He concluded his message by sounding a clarion call for Youth Workers to pray and also teach young people to pray the right way.
Elder Evans Sallah, an IT specialist spoke on the topic, “Navigating the Digital Space for Youth Ministry”. Reading from 1 Chronicles 12:32, he intimated that like the sons of Issachar who understood the signs of the times, Youth Workers must get into the digital space where young people are active and disciple them for Christ. Sharing research finding from January 2020, in a global population of about 7.75 billion, 4.54 billion people representing 59% are internet users and a total of 3.8 billion representing 49% are active on social media. He shared practical relevance of data collection tools and mobile applications which are essential to grounding young people and unleashing them to possess the nations both in the physical world and digital space.
Rev. Eddie Ebo Annan, National Coordinator, International Central Gospel Church (ICGC) Campus Pastor, presented on the topic, “Top Essentials in Youth Ministry”. He explained essentials as something which is absolutely necessary. Rev. Eddie Annan provided in-depth explanations that, the essentials in doing youth work are; knowing the purpose of Youth Ministry, understand the people that are ministered to and the need for Youth workers to see themselves as providers. As providers, they are expected to recruit young people, provide holistic training and develop their spirituality. He concluded that, in spite of the challenges of being a youth worker, it is always rewarding to work among them when it is done with genuine love and hard work.
Provision was made for interactive sessions after every presentation. The two-day programme witnessed fervent prayers for grace to accomplish the vision that God has commissioned the Ministry to achieve.
Aside the National Executive Committee of the Ministry, other participants for the programme were Pentecost Students and Associates (PENSA) Travelling Secretaries, Youth Workers, Area Youth Leaders and their wives.
Report By: Pastor Gordon Ansah