When we arrived in Mongu, Zambia we were startled to discover that our host, New Vine Yourh Fellowship, had gathered fifty youth leaders from seventeen area churches. Why startled? Well, because we prefer to teach sixteen or fewer students so that we can maintain a small group dynamic during our training. And, that’s the size group we trained last year in Mongu.
It’s a general truism that large groups are great for celebration and medium sized groups for information, but small groups are best for transformation. And, transformation is our goal.
But, this is Africa (TIA), so we have adapted, using a combination of lecture, interactive large group exercises, and small group breakouts. It seems to be working because we’ve had a great week!
The students (mostly twenty-somethings) have been committed, engaged, curious, teachable, and, as you might expect with youth leaders, a whole lot of fun.
We’ve been using our “Discovering My S.H.A.P.E. for Ministry” curriculum, adapted (and augmented) from Rick Warren's Saddleback Church curriculum of a similar name. S stands for spiritual gifts, H for heart, A for abilities, P for personality, and E for experiences. It’s a great way to help us, as Christians, discover how the Lord has uniquely created us, and how this provides insight into how the Lord wants to use us in ministry and mission.
This makes for a fantastic church retreat, by the way, if you’re interested. Just let us know in the comments below and we can chat when we return to the USA.
Today, we finish up our training, then tomorrow we worship with the Vineyard Church in the morning, and celebrate with the youth leaders and their youth groups in the afternoon. (By the way, here in Zambia, the term youth refers to the age span of late teen to thirty-five or so.) It'll be an awesome celebration with multiple praise choirs, a lot of dancing, and preaching. We wish you could be here with us!
Thank you for praying for us, and for standing with us financially. We are only able to be here because of you!