Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Empowering Siberian Youth Leaders

This is the “I”generation.  Really!  Apple isn’t the only one cashing in on this generations need for materialism and individualism.  In this consumer motivated generation we find the devil gaining momentum and the church being disconnected.  
In an effort to see this generation of young people come to know and love God in their own unique way we have begun a campaign in Russia to build a bridge between the church and the igeneration.  Unlike the United States, Russian youth ministers have never read a book about youth ministry, they have never been to a seminar on how to minister to youth, nor have they seen a youth ministry in action.  There is a great need to make contact with these youth leaders connecting them to each other in order to create a united front to reach the youth of Russia more effectively. 
The first tool we want to use to connect youth leaders is the Internet. is scheduled to launch in May 2011.   “MC” in Russian is the English equivalent for “YM” (youth ministry).  It isn’t designed to show off a ministry but to share information and give encouragement to all youth ministries in Russia.    We want to do the impossible.  We want to bring all 9 time zones together to reveal what is effectively reaching this generation in the Russian culture. is designed to open eyes to the needs of youth and give tools to leaders to meet these needs.  
Great efforts to reach youth are already happening throughout Russia.  “Next” a Russian youth ministry in Omsk, Siberia took signs to a local park.  Standing in the middle of the park in a large circle they spelled out this sentence, “I have decided not to have sex before marriage!”  They also proclaim their love to God by doing acts of kindness.  They go to the street and exchange cigarettes for pieces of candy and tell people about Christ’s sacrifice.  This youth group is making a difference in their community and their youth ministry continues to grow.  
Larger Russian churches have youth groups of 100 to 200 teenagers and college age students.  Although the youth ministry is large the youth pastors in these groups are not supported by the church rather they are are full time “tent makers” or laymen.   Regardless of this fact, they love young people and they are making an incredible impact on a generation desperately needing God.  
First Ever Siberian Leaders Conference
In March 2011 Heather was able to fund and conduct the first ever youth leaders seminar for all Eastern Siberian youth ministers.  The name of the conference was “Ignite Youth 2011”.  Fifty sold out and dedicated youth leaders were in attendance.  They were desperate for a touch from God and that is exactly what they received.  
One testimony from the conference was, “I didn’t know how ‘out of touch’ I was with youth, but now my eyes are opened.”  Another person said, “I received exactly what I needed to make my ministry more effective.”  
The last evening of the conference the youth leaders went to the streets to do what we call interview evangelism.  Each group started a conversation with a young person by asking 7 key questions leading up to salvation.   The response was overwhelming.   One youth leader had a divine appointment leading a teenager they had known years ago to the Lord.   
We are working on another endeavor to ignite these leaders who are ready to do whatever it takes to reach this generation.   In the works now is a bigger gathering for hundreds of leaders.  We want to invite all Siberian youth leaders to a conference in the centralized city of Novosibirsk.   We want to reach across denominational barriers to walk hand in hand with each other in youth ministry.
Our goal in Breaking the Ice ministries is to not only see youth connect to the youth ministries but to the become a part of the body of Christ.  We believe this generation is the church here and now.   They can make an impact for God like no other generation in history!