How will they preach unless they are sent?
You can help students like Yusuf Kurniawan disciple believers of all ages.
Shalom! My name is Yusuf Kurniawan. I was born in a Christian family and grew up in a house church. At the age of 18, I was called to be a servant of God to a younger generation whose lives are far from God.
I have been active in various churches and youth ministries but during the pandemic I was forced to do everything from home. This is what the pandemic taught me:
Prayer is indispensable
During the pandemic, young people experienced new problems and needed prayer. Some were sick because of Covid, some lost their jobs and some faced difficult family dynamics. Many lost direction and became depressed. Prayer became urgent. As I prayed together with young people, I helped them realise that they were not alone. I taught them to be honest and open with God and express even their darkest thoughts and feelings. This enabled us to draw near to God in prayer. I continue to pray with young people. During the pandemic I prayed with them via Zoom but now I can visit them in their homes.
Training is crucial
Before the pandemic I was very busy ministering at church and teaching at school. During the pandemic I couldn’t do any of those things. Instead, I was able to meet regularly via Zoom with small groups of people who shared similar burdens. I prepared study modules to address their needs and concerns. These modules have since been used in various churches to train and disciple young people.
Reading books like Issues Facing Christians Today (John Stott), The Mission of God’s People: A Biblical Theology of the Church’s Mission (Christopher J Wright), and The Complete Book of Discipleship: On Being and Making Followers of Christ (Bill Hull) helped me understand that discipleship needs to be holistic and transformative. We need to encourage each other to make Jesus Lord of every aspect of our life and allow the Holy Spirit to change us and use us to influence our surroundings. Our society and environment are under severe stress. I want to help young people understand their responsibility to care for their environment and community.
Get set, go!
This discipleship ministry helped me realise how young people form part of the priesthood of believers. In his mission, God involves people of all backgrounds and ages. When they appreciate this, young Christians grow and mature. Whatever they do, with a strong theology of creation and work they can understand how their own work is part of God’s mission and an opportunity to present a taste of God’s kingdom.
Please pray that I will continue to learn to feel for God’s people and lead them as a fellow servant of our Lord and Saviour.
Yusuf Kurniawan is studying for a master’s degree in theology at a regional Bible college.