Encouraging young people’s involvement in overseas mission can seem daunting. Youth interested in mission can often feel overwhelmed with all the options and needs overseas. They require people and organisations to help them work out the ‘what, where and how’ of serving overseas.
In my experience, I have found that young people want to do more than just ‘give money.’ This generation seems to need to experience, feel and sense. They want to be significant and they want to belong to something.
The first steps are raising awareness and making this relatable. Consider how you could share overseas mission content in ways that will inform, challenge and inspire young people to consider their involvement.
The awareness that a young person is interested in overseas mission is quite likely to come out of a mentoring relationship. This gives room to explore areas of interest or concern, whether it be medical, environmental, social justice, refugees, trafficking etc. Often the goals of a young person tend to be practical and issue based.
Here are some practical ideas about journeying with a young person interested in overseas mission:
- Encourage dialogue with those already involved in overseas mission. Word of mouth is the number one way of recruiting, so encourage networking. Face to face networking can be especially constructive.
- Encourage consistent involvement. Lack of this can mean distraction.
- Encourage a short term overseas placement with intentional follow up mentoring
- Encourage those interested to set up their own way of telling and involving others in the areas that interest them.
Here are some possible starting points for those interested:
- Find out information
- Talk through the ideas and options
- Pray for where the need is
- Commit time and finances to a mission need
- Engage practically with the spiritual and physical needs of people overseas
Sean Marston works for SIM (Serving in Mission). SIM is an inter-denominational mission agency that works in Africa, Asia and South America. Sean looks after recruitment and mobilisation and loves helping people in their ‘mission journey’. He can be contacted at [email protected]
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