MOSCOW (RUSSIA) - On November 11th through 14th, regional coordinators of youth ministry of the Russian Church of Christians of Evangelical Faith gathered in Moscow for their annual meeting.
35 key youth leaders from different regions – from Smolensk to Magadan – got together for a few days at the Moscow Theological Institute, to pray together, to hear from the Lord, to discuss plans of youth ministry for the next year, to learn from each other and share experiences.
On November 11, at the openning session Head Bishop Edward Grabovenko addressed youth ministers with the words of exhortation and edification. Answering questions of the leaders about youth ministry, the Head Bishop shared the testimony of his own life and gave some advice.
“How can you win hearts of youth? Find something that interests them and do it with them. But in such a way that they would turn to God. If they want to play – no problem, let's play, if they want to dance – no problem ... but make sure that it is not just entertainment, let this activity glorify God. Our goal is to help them find the right direction in life, to help them to know and love God.
For young people you must become those who love them, cherish them. We must look for something that is attaractive to them, and wisely guide them in the right way. While they are young, they tend to do what they want to, let's direct their desires to what they should do.
Jesus knew about Peter's denial, but he was able to forgive him and accept him. But we sometimes behave ourselves in such a way as if we are sinless ... It is much better if they know that they can come to us with their problems and shortcomings – only then we can help them – rather than they show fake holiness and lie.
Learn to accept them the way they are with their shortcomings and mistakes, learn to support those who stumble. Nowadays, anything can happen with young people, but they should not be turned down... They get enough troubles in the world… You should rather think, how we can serve them and help to transform their lives? There is only one way – to geniunely love them, believe in them, encourage them, and help to know Christ personally.”
In conclusion, Head Bishop prayed for youth leaders and blessed them.
The Russian Church of Christians of Evangelical Faith