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Stories of God’s Grace

Each year we give an exit interview to our Senior youth ministry students. We ask questions about ministry abilities, beliefs, personal devotional life, and other things. The students are always really nervous, but it has become one of my favorite parts of my job.

Yesterday we interviewed Kareny and Josue, a couple from Monterrey who will be graduating in June (if they pass all their classes next quarter). Their stories reminded me of how God works in our lives and weaves His grace into every circumstance.

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Certificate in Youth Ministry Program Spreading

Certificate in Youth ministry - Oaxaca

I’ve mentioned our certificate in youth ministry program before, but I wanted to share here about our new group of students in the city of Oaxaca.

A few years ago we started a program that would offer youth ministry training for those who couldn’t come to Seminary full time. It worked well in Mexico City. Then one of our students from the Bachelor’s degree wanted to take it back to his home city of Puerto Escondido (in the State of Oaxaca), so he started teaching last August.

Then a pastor living in Oaxaca City contacted Juan, our graduate, and asked if we could open a group in Oaxaca. We started that this month with 20 students.

Then a graduate of the Seminary who lives in Puebla asked me if we could help with youth ministry training at an extension of our Seminary in that city. After talking it over with the Seminary dean, we decided we could start in August.

So right now we have over 50 students studying on Saturdays in the certificate program, and next fall we should have at least 65 students. This summer we will have around 30 graduates from this certificate level program, and some of them have already expressed interest in continuing their studies at the Bachelor’s degree level.

It’s exciting for me to see that the interest in youth ministry training is increasing all over the country. We are constantly getting requests to do conferences and participate in various projects to propel youth ministry in Mexico.

Unfortunately, we can’t always say yes to every opportunity. We have two basic needs. We need more professors, and we need more resources. Please pray for God to grow our team. Also pray for more financial resources. If you would like to donate to help us train more youth workers, please check our our ministry partner team page to find out all the ways you can give to this ministry.

Go! What are you waiting for?

Maybe it’s because I’m teaching “Contemporary Youth Missions” this term. Maybe it’s because my class is reading part of “Let the Nations be Glad: the Supremacy of God in Missions” by John Piper (affiliate link). Or maybe it’s just because God has been impressing this on my heart. I’m not sure, but I do know that the Great Commission has been on my mind a lot lately.

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This is Youth Ministry

At the end of December, I saw that one of my Spanish speaking friends on twitter posted a picture from his youth ministry with the caption “Esto es Ministerio Juvenil”, which means, “This is youth ministry” in Spanish. It gave me an idea to do a contest asking our friends to send in a picture they thought would show what youth ministry is.

We had over 60 photos sent in for the contest. It was really fun to see the representations from different countries. People sent in pictures from Columbia, Mexico, Panama, Ecuador, and other places.

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Youth Ministry in the Coast of Oaxaca

Oaxaca is a beautiful state in Southern Mexico, with incredible mountains, pristine beaches, and a rich cultural heritage. We had the privilege to visit Oaxaca a few years ago for vacation, and it’s still one of our favorite family memories of all time.

Oaxaca is also a state in which opportunities for youth ministry training have arisen in the last few years. Juan, one of the graduates from the Seminary program in Mexico City, has returned to his home state, fired up his youth ministry at his local church, and has begun training youth workers for local churches starting with a certificate level program in Puerto Escondido.

When I was in Oaxaca at the end of December, Juan told me that there was an opportunity to start another certificate level course in the capital of the state, and we are looking into the possibilities to begin in February.

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Youth Ministry Forum

Saturday we had our first Youth Ministry Forum at the Seminary. It was a first for many things.

I think it was the first time the format was used for a youth ministry event (at least at our Seminary). We tried to make it very interactive and participatory.

We also transmitted live on the Internet (using Ustream), including the members of the chat in the discussion. We had about as many people participating via the internet as we had in the auditorium.

There were people from Juarez, Oaxaca, Monterrey and all over Mexico watching what was happening. I never heard if there was anyone from any other countries watching the forum. But overall, it was a good discussion.

Here are some pictures we took of the event.

Youth Ministry Forum

December 3 we’ll be having our first ever Youth Ministry Forum at the Mexican Baptist Theological Seminary.

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