It was back in 1997/1998 when a group of young Colombians from the Covenant churches began to dream, plan, and organize a national youth ministry team. Julio was a part of the organization in its early years and was able to see it grow and take shape. Over the years this team, and what is now a youth organization, has played a big role in supporting youth ministry at a local level, uniting the different regional ministries, and providing training for leaders.
This past weekend we were invited to be a part of meeting with other pastors, national denominational leaders, and youth leaders who came together to do some evaluation and planning. It was encouraging to hear from the different representatives about the positive steps that churches and the regional youth ministry teams are taking. There is interest in working more collectively, there are new leaders being trained, and there are lives being impacted by Scout groups and a soccer school. On the other hand there was much talk about the needs that the different churches and regions have regarding youth ministry. The word that came up time and time again was “formation” and more particularly “development of leaders.” In many ways it’s easier to host events (camps, combined worship services, etc.) than to really take the time to put processes in place to train new leaders. But, the overall feeling was unanimous, we have to focus on formation, discipleship, and leadership development.
Pray for the leaders of this important ministry as they seek to respond to these needs. We are thankful that this is one of the areas we have been asked to serve in, both in Medellin and other cities where the Covenant is present. We are thankful for the unified vision that came out of this meeting and for the leaders who serve with such grace and humility.