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New Youth Program Helps Teens Overcome Barriers to Answer God’s Call to Ministry

A new youth program launched by the Georgia Baptist Mission Board is working alongside churches to help teenagers who feel called into ministry overcome societal, emotional and personal barriers to answering God’s call in their lives.

Founded in early 2021, The Called to Ministry Initiative provides mentorship to teens ages 14 to 18 who feel called to be pastors, evangelists or ministry leaders. 

So far, about 12 to 15 teenagers have been attending the online program since its inception.

“There is a lot of openings for youth pastors and ministry leaders that aren’t being filled, and we realized we aren’t developing teens to go into ministry enough,” Chris Trent, who has worked for Georgia Baptist Mission Board for the past nine months as the Next Generation Catalyst ministry leader, told The Christian Post.

“We wanted to help play a role in putting an end to this. I’m a product of mentors who have gone before me to help me become who I am today, so I’m passionate about mentoring as well.” 

Data has shown that Generation Z is largely not engaged in Scripture but eager for mentors, including religious leaders, to invest in their lives. 

Meetings for the program, held over Zoom once a month for hour-long sessions, provide teens with answers to questions about various ministry vocations as they engage in conversations on spiritual and ministerial topics.

The ministry leaders have mapped out 11 foundational topics they say are essential for someone going into ministry to develop in their lives. Each meeting, a new topic is covered. 

Every student who participates in the program is responsible for finding their own ministry mentor — either a pastor or someone who understands the components that go into leading a ministry on a full-time or part-time basis.

In addition to attending the program’s sessions, teens must meet with their mentors once a month to further discuss the topic discussed in each month’s program session.

Trent said the goal is to help teenagers overcome and tackle any obstacles that might delay or deter them from fulfilling their calling to go into ministry.

There are various barriers that teens called to ministry can face, such as feeling outcasted among peers, having a fear of pursuing the calling, a lack of understanding of the calling and lack of guidance or support in pursuing a calling into full-time or part-time ministry.  

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(c) The Christian Post, used with permission.