“The large wooden doors shut behind me with a creak and a heavy thud. Outside, the incessant river of life continues to flow as millions of people jam the sidewalks and rush toward red double-decker buses. But inside, I can hear each of my careful footsteps echoing in the dim quiet. I inhale deeply, taking in the aroma of ancient stones and old books. I see rows and rows of ornate pews – seating for more than 3,000 – yet I am ushered into the small foyer area where around 30 chairs are set up and where I join a handful of elderly people with their heads bowed. Humbly and faithfully, those beside me say their prayers and listen to a brief message by a man who speaks of hope – but whose tired eyes seem to feel none of it. Where is the energy and excitement of the younger generation? How have we lost the whole generation?” This is an excerpt from the book, Already Gone, by Ken Ham. Ever since I read this story for the first time, I have never forgotten it! God used it to build within me a passion for the church.
There is nothing that discourages, challenges, and motivates me more in the ministry than when I see a church that is dying with very little or no signs of growth! My heart aches to see churches simply waiting until the day that they must close their doors. Surely there is something more! Surely there is something we can do to keep churches that were once thriving from closing their doors forever. I began to ask myself, ‘is there anything we can do to save churches from this heart-wrenching disaster? After much thought and prayer, I settled on this thought. How will the church ever survive and grow if we lose our children while they are still young? If the vision is not properly cast to our children, how will they ever know? Deuteronomy 4:9 says, “Only give heed to yourself and keep your soul diligently, so that you do not forget the things which your eyes have seen, and they do not depart from your heart all the days of your life; but make them known to your sons and your grandsons. All throughout scripture we read about training up a child or young person, but what are we really doing about it?
God’s Missionary Youth Crusaders has adopted a 3-point emphasis in our efforts to encourage and challenge the young people of the God’s Missionary Church conference to be ‘all in for Christ’.
- Equip our young people with the resources needed.
- Engage our young people in the cause of Christ.
- Empower our young people to strive and achieve success in the eyes of God.
I have noticed over the last several years, that many young people use the excuse that they don’t know how to do something, or they don’t have the resources in order to do it. However, there are so many programs, free resources, and even many of our local churches that would be more than happy to provide guidance. Youth Crusaders’ goal is to provide access to these resources and/or point our young people in the right direction.
Secondly, to engage them in service for the cause of Christ! When I was younger and someone chose to take me under their wing so to speak and invest in me, it changed my life forever!! The goal of Youth Crusaders is to provide events, special trips, and other specific moments where mentorship of our precious young people can be achieved.
Last, but not least God’s Missionary Youth Crusaders has a goal to empower our young people with a passion and deep settled desire to pursue success in the eyes of God! To find and equip themselves to fulfill the calling God has placed on their life and to BE the church of tomorrow, today!!
Lord willing, we will continue to work to improve the youth track of Penn’s Creek camp, with the goal of providing the best opportunity for our young people to learn about God and find His purpose in their lives. Outside of our Conference Camp, The Crusaders board has approved several short, 3–4-day vision trips a year to local and home missionary churches with the purpose of engaging our young people in ministry that is right outside their doors. And by the Lord’s help, casting a vision that our young people will realize that they have a place in the kingdom of God and if they surrender their lives to Christ great things can be accomplished!
Join us with prayer and financial support as we enter a brand-new year of pursuing the call of Christ and raising up a generation that will change the world!! Training and equipping the church of tomorrow today!