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Do you remember what it was like to be a teenager? Our teenage years can be full of change and trying to figure out who we are. As a Christian teenager, we’re trying to find our identity in Christ and make sense of our faith. In these moments, the leaders in our youth groups are an important resource for teaching what God’s Word says about our identity, what we believe and why.
You’ve heard us talk many times about Discipleship Essentials, but we usually share with you the impact it is having in the lives of adults. Today, we want to introduce to you the impact that DE is having in the lives of youth in the Philippines.
Our DE champion in the Philippines, Elena, is very active in sharing the DE material with pastors and churches across the region. Many times, she is talking to adults, but she also has opportunities to present it to youth leaders and youth. In the workshops with youth leaders, Elena helps them see the big picture of discipleship and what discipling youth can look like. Then, using one of the DE lessons, the leaders prepare a lesson plan and practice teaching the concepts to one another in a small group setting; this prepares them to teach the material to their youth.
Once these leaders have gone through the training, they are equipped with the DE material to go back to their youth groups and effectively disciple them. As we’ve seen through other DE training around the world, when leaders are trained and equipped well, a movement grows. The trained leaders disciple the youth, and as the youth grow in their faith and understand who they are in Christ, they share their faith with their friends, and the discipleship cycle continues.
Elena has also had the opportunity to speak directly to youth about DE. At the end of May 2018, Elena took part in the National Alliance Youth Conference, with 906 youth and their leaders in attendance. She taught on the topic of “Spiritual Movement and Multiplication,” using DE material in the context of small groups and one-on-one mentoring.
Elena was excited to be a part of this conference because it allowed her to see more of the current multi-faceted youth culture and to have some hands-on experience with the youth. This experience allowed her to confirm that DE can be introduced to meet their ever-changing and increasing needs.
At the conference, Elena distributed SD cards to youth directors for each region or district. Elena was able to speak with some of the leaders and youth who were very eager to receive the material. The youth were excited that they would be able to access the materials on their phones, and Elena commented that they are “a truly millennial generation indeed!”
Moving forward, Elena and her husband will work closely with the National Youth Director to bring DE to the youth groups and campuses where churches are doing outreach across the country. Join us in praying for the youth of the Philippines and their leaders as they dig deeper into discipleship and grow in their faith.
Perhaps you’d consider speaking with your church about bringing the DE material to small groups for adults or youth. You can check out the material available in nine languages online.