Celebrating the Passion of Youth

Celebrating the Passion of Youth By Marcia Dixon

Young people often provide the drive, energy and creativity within the Christian community. Their untainted passion for God, if properly utilised, can help to revitalise a dying ministry; promote growth in a healthy church, and bring about transformation in areas of society that require drastic change.

Keep The Faith talks to six young people who are making an impact in their respective fields, and learns how their faith is inspiring them to make a difference in the church and in the wider world.

ADAM & MATTHEW BROOKS

Adam & Matthew Brooks are brothers and co-founders of one of the UK’s most popular Christian websites – www.m-briomusic.com – which carries news, videos and interviews with leading Christian artists. Adam and Matthew also publish an online youth magazine called MEX, and run a PR management/social media consultancy. Adam works as the Project Co-Ordinator at Transformation Centre, which provides mentoring for young people, and is Head of Marketing and Creativity of M-Brio Services. Matthew is also a youth mentor, and serves as Content Manager, A & R, and social media manager for M-Brio Music.

Each brother has their own individual dreams and aspirations for the future. Adam desires to have a successful marriage with his wife, Estelle, and to help take Christian music mainstream, whilst Matt – who is single – wants to create a legacy that provides young people with jobs within media and music, and that enables them to pursue their dreams.

What are the greatest struggles you experience as a young person, and how does your faith help you overcome them?

Adam: Finding your way through the world, when all the world tells us is that there is no hope nor opportunities for us. Knowing that – regardless of what’s going on in the world -God is in control, and that He is looking out for us, is a way my faith helps me overcome these struggles.

Matt: My greatest struggle often comes in the form of self-limiting beliefs and low self-confidence. The youth of today are so creative and aspirational, but often the biggest challenge we face is ourselves, and not thinking we have the ability to have a dream and make it a reality.

How does your faith inspire you to fulfil your ambitions?

Adam: My faith will inspire me by holding onto the principals in God’s Word and by being reminded that with God nothing is impossible.
Matt: The heart and soul of all that I do is for Him. The dreams/aspirations I have aren’t about selfish gain, but sowing to reap a harvest for the Kingdom of God – particularly in the UK. This is bigger than me, and being entrusted with this vision isn’t something I take likely, so even when I don’t want to carry on I stay faithful to the call I feel God has placed on my life.

In what ways do you think the Church can inspire young people to fulfil God’s purpose in their lives?

Adam: By doing the things Jesus did, not just being inwardly focused. Have an opinion on what’s going on in the world, and be in a position to make a difference.
Matt: I believe young people will find more purpose in the Church when the Church shows young people the various ways that they can minister in the 21st century world. In a lot of churches, becoming a Minister, Preacher, Pastor, etc, are seen as the height of excelling as a Christian. Young people need to be shown how their varying gifts can be used to impact the local church and world at large.

For more details, visit www.m-briomusic.com, connect at www.facebook.com/mbriomusic or follow on Twitter @ mbriomusic

Dr Elizabeth Babatunde

Picture-of-Elizabeth-babatunde-for-3-page-youth-article1

Dr Elizabeth Babatunde currently works as Medical Doctor at Watford General Hospital. She is also an author, and has written several devotionals including the ‘Footprints in The Sand’ devotional, which aims to help young people become strong, confident Christians. Dr Babatunde has also established a charity called Christ Ambassadors, which will seek to assist health promotion and health education programmes in developing countries starting with Nigeria.

What are the greatest struggles you experience as a young person, and how does your faith help you overcome them?
The biggest struggles I experienced as a young person were to do with my family. For many years, we were a single parent family, with my mum as the sole provider. Whilst studying medicine, I also faced challenges that threatened to abort my dream of becoming a doctor and, during my early years of stepping into God’s vision for my life, I didn’t have many people who believed in or supported me, even when I started my charity, Christ Ambassadors. Despite all this, my faith in Christ gave me a positive self-esteem, boldness in the face of discouragement, and favour against all odds. I owe Christ my life: He truly is my everything.

How does your faith inspire you to fulfil your ambitions?
My faith is the source and fuel for the ambitions I have. It is only through my faith and relationship with God that I am inspired to achieve things for His glory, and it is by faith that they will all occur. I believe strongly that when God gives you a vision, He also gives you divine ability, provision and strength to achieve it. He empowers you with His grace and favour; pouring into your heart and mind a continuous flow of ideas. He is the One who gives me the passion and desire to continue in them as I make my journey.

In what ways do you think the Church can inspire young people to fulfil God’s purpose in their lives?
The Church is the ideal place for young people to be inspired and developed in order to achieve God’s purpose for their lives. Many churches are filled with mature Christians who are living out their faith in the marketplace, setting trends, and paving the way for the younger generation to learn and be supported by them. One of the challenges young people face is discerning what their purpose in life is, and issues around self-worth and self-esteem. The answers are found in the Word of God, and the Church can assist young people in developing a healthy self-esteem, and living their divinely-inspired destinies.

For more details, visit www.ElizabethBabatunde.com connect at www.facebook.com/drelizabethbabatunde, or follow on Twitter @EFBabatunde

 

Abigail Okunlola

Pic-of-Abigail-Akinlola-for-3-page-youth-article1

Abigail Okunlola is founder and director of United 4 Change, a Christian youth organisation which seeks to support orphans in developing countries, and encourage Christians to be part of the fight against poverty. United 4 Change currently runs a feeding programme for 150 children in Kigali slums in Kenya, and is planning to conduct a mission trip next year to increase their feeding programme to cater for 350 children. They also want to buy land and launch a scholarship programme. Abigail was nominated for a Wise Women Missions Award earlier this year.

What are the greatest struggles you experience as a young person, and how does your faith help you overcome them?
Feelings of inadequacy. Sometimes I’ll do something and think that was amazing, and then other times I’ll focus on everything that went wrong, and feelings of not being good enough creep in. What helps me to overcome is my faith. I constantly meditate on the fact that it’s not my qualifications or anything that I’ve done that qualifies me, it’s God! He would nevergive you something He didn’t trust you with, and that’s a big comfort. Also, the opposite of faith is fear, and I’ve ‘decided’ not to allow fear to be a dream killer in my life.

How does your faith inspire you to fulfil your ambitions?
My faith inspires me to fulfil my ambition because I literally want to see God’s love transform lives. Jesus was Someone that didn’t just ‘talk’ about helping the poor; He ‘moved’ with compassion. That’s literally how I want myself and other young people to be. There are people in really dark situations, and I want to be a light, because when light shows up, darkness ‘has’ to flee! A quote that inspires me is ‘Compassion without action is just emotion’. I want to be a woman of faith who acts rather than talks, because it’s actions that change lives.

In what ways do you think the Church can inspire young people to fulfil God’s purpose in their lives?
By really investing in the leadership development of young people. When a young person knows who they are, that’s powerful, and it enables them to use their gifts to bring about transformation. They can also connect with organisations like U4C, who run mission programmes. Missions is one the most transformational experiences anyone can go through. It transforms people on a personal level, and gives them a passion for justice, compassion and to ‘love is a verb’ on your neighbours, who are in desperate situations like never before.

For more details, visit www.unitedforchange.blogspot.com, connect at www.facebook.com/United4Change or follow on Twitter @unitedch4nge

 

Joseph Perry

Pic-of-Joseph-Perry-for-3-page-youth-article11

Joseph Perry is a young worship leader, who travels throughout the UK and abroad to lead praise and worship. An avid songwriter and musician, Joseph is desirous to write songs that change hearts and attitudes across the world. He is currently involved in work with young adults at his local church, City Gates in Ilford, Essex, and is currently working on new material for his debut album, though no release date is set.

What are the greatest struggles you experience as a young person, and how does your faith help you overcome them?
There’s this constant expectation to succeed in everything you do: exams throughout our youth, jobs, projects, etc. We live in a results-driven society. But when you’re walking with God, sometimes – and this is true in my life – I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing! This is where faith comes in. Doing like Peter: stepping out of the boat, holding on to Jesus, trusting He has the next move completely under control!

How will your faith inspire you to fulfil your ambitions?
My faith in Jesus Christ is central to who I am. I never really directly draw ‘inspiration’ from it, because everything I do in life is shaped by my relationship with Jesus. I have big dreams and big ideas, but I’m just placing them into God’s hands, trusting that His ideas are betterthan mine, and that His plan for my life is way better than my own plan! I just want to fulfil His ambitions!

In what ways do you think the Church can inspire young people to fulfil God’s purpose in their lives?
The Church is doing a great job! The majority of churches have done so well to adapt, to re-shape the presentation of the timeless message, and we’re seeing the fruits of that! There’s always more we can do, however, so I think practical things like Career Days and Mentorship Schemes are extremely important. Also, there’s an element of giving young people some control over the Sunday services that is important. Getting them involved in ministry, so they can find their feet, and see what God wants them to do! Things like these would certainly make a massive difference!

For more details, visit www.josephperry.org, connect at www.facebook.com/josephnperry, or follow on Twitter @JosephNPerry

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Show Buttons
Hide Buttons