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Keralabrethren.net: Youth Forum: Youths participation in the assembly

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# 00223 :  Youths participation in the assembly
I hear a common complaint in the assemblies these days that current generation youths are not active and are silent in the assembly.Please suggest some ways to make the youths active and feel there presence in the assembly. Suggestions should be based on the word of God.
Post by : gthomask1  View Profile    since : 6 Apr 2009


Reply by : George P. Koshy   View Profile   Since : 6 Apr 2009 2:41:07 PM Close
Dear 'gthomask1,'

One of the ways to make the younger generation to participate is by asking them to do so.

Boys could give out a hymn. After a few times, they should be encouraged to pray. The boys could be asked to give their testimony, in gospel meetings. Then, they could be asked to preach a gospel message.

Girls could be asked to teach Sunday School classes. (Boys could do this also.) Girls should be encouraged to do all that they are allowed to do, in the Bible.

Those who are spirtually not babes, could provide encouragement and sugggestions to improve. The development of the gifts that is given by the Holy Spirit to the younger generation is the responsibility of the older ones.

The lackluster performance of encouragement from the older generation may be causing the poor participation of the younger generation.

I have received both encouragements and discouragements from older generation, while a young believer, in India.

Shalom Malekim!!!

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Reply by : joyboy   View Profile   Since : 6 Apr 2009 9:54:24 PM Close
GPK's suggestions are very good.

Let me add something, but directed at the "more experienced"in the assembly:

Silence is not a bad thing. Sometimes silence can be used to absorb some thoughts or prayers of other brothers, or to absorb some lyrics of the hymn just sung. This absorbing helps the heart to worship.

Why bring silence up in this context?

Often times, it is in these very times of silence that a young brother, who is very nervous to get up, gets up. I remember the first time I got up in the Lord's supper. I had a thought that went with the theme but kept wondering if the time was right to get up. I hesitated and hesitated and finally got up.

In the assembly in which I currently fellowship, silence is viewed as very uncomfortable. People feel silence is a bad thing. Often times, older brothers will give out a hymn just to fill the silence, and when this happens the hymn is usually unrelated to the thoughts, prayers and songs previously sung.

But let me submit that it is this very silence that is conducive to greater participation from young believers. I know in my assembly the young brothers have said many times, that they have had thoughts they wanted to share, but as they wer just about to get up in the silence, a song gets given out.

Just a suggestion.

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Reply by : jmeasow   View Profile   Since : 23 Apr 2009 7:39:16 PM Close
Perfect, George and JoyBoy. Those are some golden words, which most of us never care to do.
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Reply by : starrynight   View Profile   Since : 23 Apr 2009 8:05:11 PM Close
I would suggest also that children in the assemblies be brought up being told that the assembly belongs to them and that they have a responsibility to uphold it both in prayer and action as they get older. Many young people don't participate because they don't feel a connection or responsibility to the other assembly members or to God's purpose via the assembly. Older folks should also be willing to step aside in certain (not all) situations to encourage younger ones to spread their wings.

It would be good if we all taught our kids while they were young that the assembly is not here to serve them, but that they are here to serve God through the assembly.

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Reply by : George P. Koshy   View Profile   Since : 24 Apr 2009 12:29:44 PM Close
Dear 'starrynight,'

The assemblies, the local assemblies, do not belong to people. They belong to the Lord who walks among them.

When men think that the local assembly is owned by the local brethren, there lies the problem. They transferred the ownership from the Lord to themselves. The elders and overseers are to administer what belongs to the Lord by His authority as shephers following the Chief Shepherd.

Shalom Malekim!!!

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Reply by : starrynight   View Profile   Since : 24 Apr 2009 6:13:53 PM Close
Bro. George -- well, you are right technically that the assembly does not "belong" to people but the Lord. But the spirit of my note, which I think is clear, is that children should be brought up to believe that the assembly is a vital part of their life and they have a responsibility to it. I am using the word "belong" in the context of being part of a family. Of course I agree that it is not a case of ownership where people take control of the assembly as though it serves them; that's not spiritual and that is not what I meant.

Young people who have been raised to have that familial connection with fellow believers are more apt to freely love God's people and participate in all activities (as unto the Lord). Wouldn't you agree?

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Reply by : jasmine2   View Profile   Since : 5 May 2009 2:44:47 AM Close
Elders should shake their hands and show love and care,titus says older men to teach younger ones,show love and concern pray with them and pray for them,visit them and teach them the importance of participating the assembly matters,do not criticise,they are scared of elders.lots of love need to be poured on them
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Reply by : mom23   View Profile   Since : 19 May 2009 5:15:28 PM Close

 I think instead of worrying what the elders are doing or not doing for encouraging a youth to participate...why not turn to your Lord in prayer and ask Him....Dear Lord I wish to be able to glorify you more in my assembly....show me the way, encourage me, guide me to do your will so that it glorifies your name. 

Elders are humans...why look to them to be perfect in everything when we already have a saviour who is perfect in all ways. Why be scared of the elders...there is something wrong in that picture if believers are scared of their elders...because that is not the purpose of the elders.

Do you not think that if you commit yourself to this purpose of being more active in your local church, our Lord will not open doors for you ? . It is possible, but this requires a true commitment from your hearts and some truly fervent prayer. It may not be an immediate or self-gratifying  either. It may not even be what you think you are capable of...but when we allow ourselves to be used by God, anything can happen.

Parents can earnestly train their children in prayer to be active in their local assemblies, by small things like helping the needy with your time, volunteering time with older folks, doing chores for them they have difficulty with, voluteering to help those who have trouble coming to church, encouraging in prayer those you know need help or are troubled, chores in the church whether it is cleaning it up thoroughly, helping with any organization, administration, fixing things, helping mothers by offering to look after babies while they worship, assissting sunday school teachers etc.

Do you think the elders would discourage you in these simple services for the Lord? 

You cannot tell me that church has nothing for the youth to do...but be silent and watch worship as silent spectators.....that is if your idea of "active participation" is , for example, only delivering long speeches to show how well read you are in the scriptures...then I think you are missing the picture in true service and participation  for the Lord. Serving the Lord with "humility" is also active participation.

You may not recieve any recognition or praise from men for doing some of the stuff I mentioned but the purpose of a believer is to live a life to glorify God...and the smallest things you do is a contribution and a participation in the sight of the Lord.

This is just my 2 cents......

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Reply by : George P. Koshy   View Profile   Since : 22 May 2009 6:31:11 PM Close

Dear 'mom23,'

I think it ws a dime!

Shalom Malekim!!!

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Reply by : rintu   View Profile   Since : 8 Jan 2010 11:10:00 AM Close

 We had the same problem in our assembly.

But then our elders encouraged the younger generation a lot and even when visiting our homes they used to ask us and make us to think that suppose on sunday morning you dont praise or share a thought then its as if u havent prepared and come for worshiping the Lord which is like going to sacrifice without an offering.

To all the youth-at first i also had that "shiver through the body feeling" but then after you break the initial barrier it seems a lot easier later.So go ahead and shed the fears that is in you and God would do the remaining for you.

May our Lord's Grace be with you all.

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Reply by : ifellinlovewithamalayalee   View Profile   Since : 22 Oct 2011 8:40:01 PM Close

sometimes, it takes a great challenge for  a mature older person to think  and act like how the youth thinks in order to relate.

Expect that most often than not (im being objective here) youth find these assemblies things boredom unless they were brought up seeing their family interested in it - not just interested but excited about it. Learning through modeling. Reaching out to them in the way that youth understand. Just like a baby : we cannot expect them to understand us immediately because maturity aren't same regardless of same age. Hence, baby steps are necessary until the baby copes up with the langguage.

Are there other things to do that would interest the youth? Food and current events and something that could trigger curiousity.

I had so much fun with fellow youth believers while I was away from home for studies (i remember).

The gatherings I joined are tailored fit for the needs of my state as a youth.

logically speaking: if assemblies means party, there his food (Word of God). Everyone loves food but sometimes -- presentation matters (the plating, the garnish and all to make it more appetizing).. --also, the taste matters (kids love sweets while older might prefer salty ones) -- and the way food is served (was it thrown?was it served with a smile?was it served with hypocrisy? - i mean, no matter how nice the food is if one finds the plating messy, or taste not fit for the tastebuds of youth and if it was served with the purpose of teaching by emphasizing the mistakes done by youth for example : stil doesnt makes sense)

i'm talking about experience. I got it in the University belt ministry and the campus ministry. =D

learning makes it more exciting rather than making one feel obliged and guilty for not attending. =)

 

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