Urban Youth Ministry
In 2009, APII embraced a new initiative in a large city in India, with the mission to reach the urban youth in this metropolis. India is home to the largest youth population on earth. Of the 1.3 billion people that live in India, 58% are less than 30 years of age. Of the 390 million Indians that live in urban communities, about 230 million are under the age of 30. We consider the urban youth of India the most strategic unreached people group to disciple and teach. This generation will lead and shape the course of India over the next 20 years - one of the largest populated nations on earth, and one of the most “unreached” countries in the world. Due to the large numbers of young people in Delhi, we have further segmented this people group into the following focused targets:
The Guiding Principles of our Strategy to Reach Urban Youth:
Context: Understand that the urban youth of India represent the largest population of young people – and future leaders - in the world. 54% of the population in India is under the age of 24.
Character: Foster an urban youth community needs-focused ministry approach to reach the urban youth that results in a successful Church Planting Movement. Evangelism is intentional, relational and practical.
Connections: Foster and grow relationships with like-minded-partners that will co-labor with APII to facilitate and accelerate the CPM process.
Creativity: Use innovative tools at our Urban Youth Ministry Centers with the intention of starting the disciple-making process. For example, in 2011 the programs used to meet the needs of our target group included tuition assistance, counseling, music training, mentoring, tutoring, and assistance with government application processes.
Custodianship: Ensure local urban youth leaders eventually “own” the CPM, making the movement sustainable in the long term.
We will continue to open and operate Community Learning Centers (CLC) and Urban Youth Ministry Centers (UYMC). CLC’s and UYMC’s are the underpinnings of our strategy to reach the Urban Youth of India, starting in the capital city, and moving to other major cities in India.
Urban Youth Ministry Centers: Our Mission is holistic ministry.
Merely sharing the gospel is not sufficient. We demonstrate the heart of Christ to this target group by meeting their needs:
By meeting the needs of the target group, we have “access” to this people group. This opens doors and allows us to find the “man of peace” (Luke 10). Once the man or woman of peace is identified, we develop a discipling relationship with that person, and lead them to Christ.
Then we transition that person to a CLC for further training.
Community Learning Center:
A Community Learning Center is an initiative to help create awareness among the members of the community about their role in meeting the spiritual needs of their own community.
This is not a Bible school or seminary. The CLC provides a non-formal atmosphere for the training of Church Planters.
CLC’s encourage and train disciples.
The engine behind the CPM is leadership development, with a particular focus on reproductive leadership. Leaders are developed at the CLC.
CLC’s foster mentoring relationships. Mentoring and coaching relationships become critical lifelines for young people. Some will find the one-hour-a-week approach adequate, but for others, this will not be nearly enough.
Since 2009, the Spirit of God is moving in this area. Over 40,000 urban youth are new believers in Christ, over 200 CLC’s have been opened, and 2 UYMC’s are ministering to young people. Here are just a few of the testimonies from young urbanites whose lives have been changed by the Spirit
Two young men Rohit and Ramesh were into all kinds of addiction and were wasting their lives. They met one of our CLC leaders, who began to counsel them, within a month their lives were changed and after few days, they began to disciple others and have started fellowship in their area.
Jacob completed his graduation. He was so depressed because of being jobless. Through personal counseling God has worked in his life. Now he has become a church planter and sharing with his friends.
Kalpna recently completed her MBA, B.Ed. Due to family problem she was depressed and felt that her future was dark. But the Lord placed her in our path, and she got in touch with our counselors at an UYMC. We were able to change her perspective and give her hope. Now she sees a bright future, and volunteers at the UYMC while helping other youth.
A passionate, vibrant, young marketing professional Priya is a professor at a local university and also works as a consultant with different universities and secular firms. After attending a conference that we sponsored, her comment was “I‘ve got many things to learn from you all as I am very new in faith, but I am passionate to share my testimony to young people about how God changed my life.” She is being mentored and discipled - clarifying her doubts and queries from scripture. She wants to make an impact on many more people in the elite faculty of society.
Ethesh is a 15 year old boy. He was depressed and not a very good student. He was aimless without any goals in life. He had decided to commit suicide. But one of our CLC Leaders met him and counseled him and made him understand the value and importance of life and helped him come out of his depression. With regular counseling he started showing a positive response. Now he is regular in school and doing well with his studies and now he has a purpose and goal in life to live and excel in all that he does. He and his family are very thankful to us for guiding and helping him.