As you know, Pastor Sam Oh has been in charge of the Youth ministry of our church for a while. However, it would be a too heavy burden for one pastor to minister over 230 students of junior high and high school age. For example, for pre-school and grade school kids, we have many volunteers who help with various activities. However for Youth ministry, there has been a limited participation from KSC due to the language barrier. As for the ESC, the member’s children tend to be young-aged who require most of their parent’s time and energy. Therefore, only a handful of Youth ministry volunteers have been available to juggle with the tasks of youth ministry.
Youth ministry should be composed into two parts. One should be related to the parents of Youth. Since children’s education should come through parents, church should provide programs to develop good relationship between the parents and children, and help parents raise their children well. At the same time, church needs to play a vital role of filling the gap where parents do not quite fulfill the need of youth during their very sensitive teenaged years. Therefore, ministry for youth entails greater challenges and could use much more volunteers, but that has not been the case in reality.
Therefore, from now on, Pastor Barnabas Choi will concentrate on the area of assisting youth parents in Korean congregation. Pastor Choi has a previous experience working in education field. Also as a parent of a youth, he will work from the parent’s point of view.In other churches, such pastor is called a family pastor. But for our church, he will be calledYouth and Family _Pastor and he will work closely with Pastor Sam Oh. Pastor Choi’s work will be based on parent side and will be a family oriented ministry, while Pastor Oh’s work will be focused on youth through church and house church ministry. These two ministries cannot be separated even if you wanted to, and these two pastors will cooperate with each other in their joint ministry. Already, they have been meeting few times a week to work together and to share ideas.
Pastor Choi will study and minister to children who grew up in the house church ministry to find ways to help children to stay in church as they grow and to remain under the godly influence of their parents. Faith based 15th birthday celebration is an example which I shared with you during the 10 day 3 person prayer meeting. Providing practical and workable guidelines to help family with youth to grow spiritually as well as providing answers to many parents who are unfamiliar with American education system are the main focus of Pastor Choi’s work. The long standing communication problems between parents and youth ministry may become resolved with this effort. It is expected that there will be plenty of opportunities for parents to be involved in this ministry. Pastor Choi, however, will continue to play his role as an associate pastor by providing sermon and conducting pastor’s duty during my absence.
With this change, I am hoping that we can address a large portion of previously neglected youth ministry. Still, the burden of serving the sizable group of youth appear seems to be too heavy for pastor Oh alone. Therefore, we are considering many ways to help with this, including hiring a part time professional staff to assist Pastor Oh.
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