Missionaries in South Africa, Reaching Gen Z & Actively Waiting On The Lord
The summer before Leslie Montgomery started 8th grade, her church hired a youth pastor whose parents served as missionaries in Tanzania. The new year brings new beginnings, but a lot needs to be said for consistency. Ministry needs to be face-to-face as much as possible and Gospel-centric, not activity based, veteran youth leaders say. And, an Lifeway Bible Study reminds us, “No one likes to wait for God to move. We are an impatient, impetuous people. But waiting is often a necessary step for our growth and ability to receive God’s blessings.”
The summer before Leslie Montgomery started 8th grade, her church hired a youth pastor whose parents served as missionaries in Tanzania. Hearing them share what they had experienced and what God was doing in Africa at camp that summer “literally changed my life,” she said.
Life happened. She didn’t feel ready as a teenager or college student to go on a mission trip. Then, she got married. She had a baby. There was a global pandemic. Leslie had no idea when her young family would bring the gospel to Africans who needed to hear it.
But in the spring of 2022, things changed. Leslie’s husband Luke told her God had been working in his heart and he believed they were being called to go on the mission field. So they did.
By the next March they were headed to South Africa where they are helping university student grow as disciples of Jesus.
The new year brings new beginnings, but a lot needs to be said for consistency. Ministry needs to be face-to-face as much as possible and Gospel-centric, not activity based, veteran youth leaders say.
Due to scheduling conflicts where the church often loses out to sports and other activities, it’s important to maintain contact with students as much as possible, said Jonathan Meyer, a veteran student ministry leader who started in 1994 and is currently senior high pastor at Grace Church in Des Moines.
Chris Trent, whose 30-plus years of student ministry led to his current role as Next Gen catalyst for the Georgia Baptist Mission Board, cited a 2020 study by Springtide Research Institute that addressed young people’s desire to have a mentor.
When there are five or more mentors involved such as parents, family members, pastors, teachers, coaches…he added, 91 percent of young people say they feel their life has meaning and purpose.
Every day, hundreds of thousands of people die without the hope of Jesus. Your faithful prayers will make a difference. That’s why the IMB created a free 18-month calendar, called “Impacting Lostness Through Prayer”. It provides guidance, reminders and encouragement as you pray for individuals and communities who have yet to hear the gospel. Learn more about this free resource at IMB.org/prayercalendar.
A Lifeway Bible Study reminds us, “No one likes to wait for God to move. We are an impatient, impetuous people. But waiting is often a necessary step for our growth and ability to receive God’s blessings. Waiting goes against our fallen human nature, which is why there is a spiritual gift of patience (Galatians 5:22). But waiting need not be idleness, nor does patience need to be marked by inaction.
We are instructed to wait for the Lord and keep His way (Psalm 37:34). Like a farmer who plants seeds and awaits a crop, we are to wait for the Lord’s second coming with patience, trusting that this promise will come true. Farmers are not known for idleness, and neither should believers be as they wait upon the Lord.”
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