Empowering youth by providing essential trainings for leadership development & ministry.
Describe the need affecting community
The United Methodist Church of Tanzania (UMCT) has 63 churches and many youth (age 13-35), but only 4-5 churches have active youth groups and youth programs. Most churches have no youth group, no Bible study, no Sunday school, and no youth activities. According to 2014 & 2015, annual conference reports, the UMCT has about 1,000 youth and young adults. So there is much to be done. When I was visiting nine districts to listen to their needs, problems, dreams and prayers, I learned that many youth don’t even have their own Bible. Having youth in the church doesn’t automatically make them disciples of Jesus Christ. Youth need their own Bible and essential Christian trainings for discipleship, leadership development, and evangelism and ministry. Also, youth seek more education because most of them have finished only primary or secondary (Jr. High) school. Those who are active members of UMC and have good academic performances need to continue their studies through sponsorships or scholarships for their lives as well as the UMCT. Also, many youth yearn for meaningful employment and projects. Lack of education and lack of English don’t help them find any job. So they desire to gain practical job skills at a vocational school, to learn English, and to get entrepreneurship trainings in order to support their own family and church. The UMCT has a primary school in Morogoro and needs secondary schools. Most UMC youth in villages are primary graduates because their parents cannot pay for their school fees for secondary education. A secondary school project is needed to provide a high-quality education program with lower school fees for youth, including sponsorships for orphans. In Tanzania, those who finished the secondary school can apply for a high school or a 2-3 years college. This means the youth who have God’s calling can go to a Bible college after their secondary school. The UMCT needs new pastoral and lay leaders to build up God’s people. It has been a provisional annual conference, so it needs to become a full annual conference and has its own Bishop who is a Tanzanian. The UMCT has been struggling with lack of pastoral & lay leadership. Also, most churches are not moving forward to fulfill the mission of the Church. I see the potential of youth (age 13-35) becoming a driving force for spiritual revivals in every church. The UMCT won’t be the same within 3-5 years, if we love, train, equip, empower our youth to serve God and His people.
How will this Advance project help to address the need?
The Next Generation Ministries provides essential Christian trainings, retreats, seminars, sponsorships, scholarships, and resources to fulfill its God-given vision. It is committed to serve youth in and beyond the United Methodist Church of Tanzania. Since June 2015, it has been hosting a youth leadership retreat every three months. Continuity, allowing the gradual development of spiritual growth, is essential. Between retreats, I visit local churches in different districts, meet with church leaders and the youth, provide leadership trainings, and encourage them to follow the Word of God and the Holy Spirit. These two practices have inspired the youth and their churches. Also, I got a grant from Young People’s Ministries of the GBOD. I have been preparing for Swahili training materials for discipleship, leadership, and UMC & UMCT history study. I always look for mission partners and sponsors who want to make a difference in young people’s lives. Through sponsorships and scholarships, 4 young adults study at the Grace Bible college. 2 youth study at King’s Vision Secondary School. 9 young adults learned English, and 3 young adults will study at VETA vocational training schools.
Describe the primary goal of the project
The Next Generation Ministries exist to empower Tanzanian youth (age 13-35) to become healthy, growing, and devoted followers of Jesus Christ.
Describe the change you would like to see in the community as a result of this Advance project
1. I would like to see youth building a good foundation of their life in the Word of God. 2. I would like to see youth pursing their dreams, serving God in/outside the church, and doing the right thing for their community. 3. I would like to see youth empowering other youth with their talents and experiences and getting actively involved in their community. 4. I would like to see youth becoming a driving force for their church development and revival. 5. I would like to see strong pastoral and lay leaders who will bring people together and make the community move forward for fulfilling its mission.