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Youth Emphasis Week 2009 Recap

The purpose of this year’s Youth Emphasis Week at the Mexican Baptist Theological Seminary was to create the awareness of the need to work with young people, to walk beside them in their problems, and to make an investment in their lives because God can turn those problems into opportunities for future ministry.

We used the format of a television program, turned the entire auditorium into a TV set, and we titled the program “Invertidos” (Inverted). There is a play on words in Spanish that uses the meanings invest and invert.

On the first day, we invited Huberto (our first YM graduate in Mexico and now youth ministry professor) to be the special guest, so along with all the usual TV show stuff, we asked him to talk about the problems that young people have, and we left it at that: The problems we go through cause our lives to be messed up.

Day 2 was the day for the homiletics class to preach, so the student who preached talked about Genesis 3, temptation and sin.

Day 3 was an open forum where we saw a case study of a girl and guy who grew up in the church, began sleeping together, and got married behind everyone’s back (but each of them still lived with their own parents). He went to the USA to work, but got involved with another girl, and now wants a divorce. We invited answers from the crowd about how to handle the situation. We left thinking that we didn’t really know how to handle the situation.

invertido inverted croppedDay 4 finished up the week with a look at how God sees these trials in our lives. I spoke about our ability to only see the past and the present while God can see the future. I used 2 Corinthians 1:3-7 to talk about how God sees us not as who we are but how we can be. He sees the future and wants to use these problems that young people are going through now to comfort others in the future.

Overall, I think the week went well. It was great to see the YM students come together as a team and pull off a lot of creative elements. I’m proud of them and their effort. It was a lot of work, but it produced what we had hoped to produce.

Thanks for praying. When I get some time, I hope to post a recap video.

Youth Ministry Retreat

Grupo en el campa

Sunday night and Monday, I went away (about an hour away) with the youth ministry students for a retreat experience.

It was organized by a group of them for their programming class. Overall, we had a good time. It was tiring (especially after Youth Emphasis Week), but fun.

Youth Emphasis Week Day 1

Today was the first day of our Youth Emphasis Week this year. We’re doing a TV program spoof called “Invertido.” Today went well. We turned the music auditorium into a TV studio, and today we talked about what we many people see when they see young people. Huberto was the “special guest.”

During the program, we had a “live” interview with Edgar (which we had taped beforehand). He talked about some interviews he did the day before. Here is the video (in Spanish):

Problemas en la juventud from Dennis on Vimeo.

Investing in the Inverted


Will you join me in praying for next week’s Youth Emphasis Week at the Mexican Baptist Theological Seminary?

We’re talking about how God wants to use current situations that we see as problems for future benefits.

We’re praying that this week will help the Seminary students to understand that the problems that they see in their young people come from numerous sources, but that God wants to invest in the lives of these young people so that they can glorify Him and advance the Kingdom.

I’d love to have your prayers for this week. It’s going to be exciting.

Youth Ministry in Mexico

We did a survey of the Seminary students (and a current survey is up at our Spanish youth worker site) about the problems that the young people in their churches are going through.

I’m not sure what to make of this information. I just thought it was interesting to see the answers. It’s not a very scientific survey, but it helps me know what the Seminary students (not the YM students) are dealing with in their churches.

Also, the responses that are coming into the forum on our Spanish youth ministry site are a little different than those that the Seminary students gave. I’ll post those responses later.

Here’s how it went:

What problems exist today in the youth of your church?

They gave more than one answer on a sheet, so the percentages are per seminary student, not per total answers.

30 surveys given – 59 answers

  • Rebellion – 21 (70%)
  • Dating Problems – 14 (47%)
  • Sexuality – 8 (27%)
  • Alcoholism – 5 (17%)
  • Apathy – 4 (13%)
  • Drug Addiction – 1 (.03%)
  • They go with whatever teaching – 1 (.03%)
  • Commitment to discipleship – 1 (.03%)
  • Self-esteem – 1 (.03%)
  • Loneliness – 1 (.03%)
  • Youth leadership – 1 (.03%)
  • Nothing – 1 (.03%)

What are you doing about it?

  • Talking with them and their parents, counseling, Involving the family, Talking to them personally
  • I haven’t done anything yet, I don’t know, It’s not being dealt with, Nothing
  • Studies, Sermons, Learning activities, Organizing conferences, Teaching doctrine classes
  • Camps and activities to talk about the problems they have
  • Trying to involve them in the work of the church, Programs to involve them
  • Individual Discipleship
  • Evangelism
  • Gaining their trust so that I can later counsel them and their parents, Building relationships, Spending time with them and their parents
  • Praying for them

(Photo by Hfabulous on flickr)

Ministry Multiplication

Saturday mornings we have started some informal training for youth workers. Huberto is teaching the first series, and it’s cool for me to see one of my former students interacting and training others (2 Timothy 2:2).

Here’s a qik video of Huberto teaching the YM Goal statement: “Develop a vehicle (program) through which every adolescent will hear the gospel in a culturally relevant manner and have the opportunity to spiritually mature.” (That’s my rough English translation of what we use).

I love how passionate he is about training others. He’s taught in the bachelor’s program at the Seminary, he went with us last year to Boyce College’s Youth Emphasis Week, and he’s taken a major role in the Saturday morning training we have started.

Please pray that the ministry will continue to expand and multiply.

Expanding Youth Ministry Training in Mexico

For a while now, we’ve been thinking about a way to expand the youth ministry training we do in Mexico. We already started one of the only Bachelor’s degrees in youth ministry in Latin America. But we know that it’s not enough to offer a bachelor’s degree in youth ministry.

Although the bachelor’s program has been growing, we recognize that not everyone who is working with young people can come to the Seminary full time for training. With the problems that come from living in Mexico City, it makes it difficult to do a lot of informal training.

Saturday was the first day of the long-awaited Diploma in youth ministry. We started with 6 students who are working in various churches. Each one of them told us how important it is to get training in youth ministry, and they are all very happy to have this informal type of training.

The purpose of the diploma program is obviously to provide practical training for youth workers as well as promote the other youth ministry programs at the Seminary.

We are praying that this Saturday morning course (9 months out of the year) will help many local church youth workers and spread throughout the country.

We’ll keep you up to date with this new program, which we think will grow and expand in the coming months.

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