In order to prevent losing an entire generation, the Church needs to assert itself and strategize how to be effective in reaching its youth.
In our Egypt scenario, there was a dire need to develop a national plan to reach and disciple youth, conduct youth leadership training programs, and ensure collaboration across denominations. How could we make something like this happen?
When we want to know something, we start asking questions. We asked the young people. They spoke. Leaders listened. The idea of an Arts Festival was birthed and launched in 2008. The cross-denominational arts initiative was designed to:
- Engage youth in direct leadership and responsibility
- Leverage ministry avenues (film-making, music, creativity, etc.) identified as most meaningful
- Provide solidarity among young believers giving them more courage to witness and live out their faith
By 2010, participation tripled. It takes over 150 churches partnering together to guide youth participants through the camps teaching them not only how to make an impact on their community through their art, but what it is like to live as a modern-day Daniel in the Middle East.
Camp culminates in an arts festival finale where participants invite their friends toattend for a night of praise, worship, and an awards ceremony. Guidebooks double as evangelistic material as they contain not only the schedule of events, but also the scripture portions used in the Bible studies.
OneHope’s shift to implementing research to gauge and guide our mission has dramatically increased our effectiveness_ in reaching our goal of God’s Word, every child.
It has not been easy choosing to do what no one has ever done before. Taking steps to overhaul our ministry mindset and invest in building in outcomes-based mechanisms.
But knowing that we are effectively affecting destinies by distributing the Word of God to children in a way they can understand it and amassing a track record of stories demonstrating lasting life change, we can honestly say it has been worth it all. In the words of Robert Frost, we “took the [road] less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”
Whether we are in the field purveying Scripture engagement tools and programs or lending our expertise and resources to other Kingdom-minded people, we are simply passionate about transforming lives through God’s Word.
To that end, we offer a wealth of free resources—research, workshops, and access to partner networks. We’ve done a lot of groundwork, and want to share what we’ve learned to help equip others seeking to share the Gospel and disciple children and youth.
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