A column dedicated to the adults who are actively participating in the discipleship of children and youth.
By Dison Mills, GCI Generations Ministry National Coordinator.
As the recently named national coordinator of Generations Ministry (GenMin), I am proud to introduce you to Youth Vision, a new column in Equipper.
Whether you are a parent, pastor, avenue champion, or ministry leader, our goal is to bring you information each month that will help you be more like Christ to the young people God has put in your care. The discipleship of our youth is not only for the benefit of our young people, but the process can bring new life to adult Christ-followers. In Acts 2:17, the apostle Peter reminds us that Jesus has ushered in a new era — a time when God is pouring out his Spirit on all humanity. One characteristic of this new era is that young people will see visions. Now, I am guessing that most of the young people you and I know will not receive a divine vision, however, we can assume that there are things that God wants to say to the world through our children and youth. This column will not only provide ways to live the gospel with youth, but it will teach adults how to make room for youth vision, voice, and sharing their gifts.
Some of you who are reading this may be in a congregation with little to no youth presence. Perhaps you are part of an older congregation. We will also include articles that will help congregations discern the best way to connect with the young people in their community. It is my prayer that churches in this category will develop a “not yet” mentality. Instead of saying, “We do not have any children,” I hope you will say, “We do not have any children yet.” Perhaps if you are open to it, God can do a new thing in your midst.
Thankfully, I am not alone in writing this column. From time to time, we will feature wisdom from skilled child and youth leaders. Our denomination has many with a wealth of experience, and I hope to tap that precious resource. I want to personally thank those who have led GenMin in the past: Jeb Egbert, Ted Johnston, Greg Williams, Anthony Mullins, and Jeff Broadnax. I am proud to be following in your footsteps. I also want to thank the countless youth leaders, camp staff, and Sunday school teachers who faithfully and lovingly volunteer to serve GCI’s children and youth. You inspire all of us because Jesus shines so beautifully through you.
I am thankful for our past, and I am excited for our future. For those of you who have been in this denomination for a while, I grew up in YES, then went to YOU. I went to the camp in Orr and then returned as a high school worker. Later, I directed New Heights Summer Camp for five years. I have seen the wonderful things our fellowship has done for youth, and I sincerely believe the best is yet to come. To God be the glory!