Greetings in our Lord Jesus Christ! This month we salute youth group leaders everywhere, and especially those connected with Kairos. We very much appreciate their love, creativity, and devotion to the next generation.
This past year has been a challenging time to work with youth. School closings, lockdowns, mask mandates, gathering size restrictions, as well as trying hard to keep the youth group leaders themselves healthy, have all made serving our young people difficult.
This month we highlight what some youth group leaders in Los Angeles have been trying through their “Barnabas Buddy” program for their youth group.
Christine Miranda is the youth group lead staffer and we asked her how this initiative was going and how the young people were responding.
1) What you have tried and what has worked?
“What we found worked well,” Christine tells us, “was focusing on the characteristics that Barnabas displayed in the book of Acts. For example, in Acts, chapter 11, three traits we see in Barnabas: being someone’s champion, continuously growing in righteousness, and learning to work with others. We used videos and integrated those lessons into real-life situations. We were hoping this would help the youth apply Barnabas’ virtues to their own lives. For example, how can we apply these discussions to our social media use, amount of screen time, and how we approach personal relationships?”
2) Have you seen some fruit?
“From this activity, our young people’s participations during our Zoom prayer meetings became more involved. They were able to take turns leading the worship and planning the activities for that day. Through this they were able to work on their relationships and encourage one another.
“When we talked about how they were able to apply all that they leaned, they shared they were more aware and sensitive to the opportunities for them to be encouraging. One of our older boys has taken more responsibility to be a ‘big brother’ to the younger members of the group. He leads the youth ministry in worship. The youth then take an active part in whatever tasks they are assigned to make the meeting successful. Through this experience, they are able to work well with and take more part in the group that they belong to.”
3) What are some challenges you have encountered?
“As with all things, there are some of our young people who are still not as engaged as we would like them to be. We have also discovered that some of the concepts we have taught just do not ‘click’ well with our kids. For example, stories that are more geographically centered (like trying to trace the evangelistic journey that Paul and Barnabas did together) do not resonate with all of them. We learn as we go!”
4) What response have you had from the kids?
“All the kids who are participating have engaged well with each other. Their discussions together have served as a major encouragement.”
This has obviously been a stretching time for our youth and youth group leaders. Youth groups are generally designed to be effective by the young people being together. We send a big “thank you” to all those leaders who are serving our youth at this time and remain dedicated to calling them to Jesus Christ—no matter what the challenges!
KAIROS VAN UPDATE
Here’s an update on our ongoing van fundraiser for Kairos adventure trips; after only one month, we are very encouraged! To contribute, go to our webpage: https://kairos-na.org/van/ OR send a check to Kairos with “van fundraiser” on the memo OR use a smart phone to go to the link
Your brother in Jesus Christ,