China ( MNN) – As previously noted, there’s a pretty serious need for youth ministry in China.
According to a 2012 survey of Chinese youth between the ages of 13 and 18, nearly half have had suicidal thoughts, and about 37% actually tried to commit suicide.
“That’s basically one out of three [students],” observes Linda Pervenecki, Director of YouthServe for China Partner.
“When kids are placed under high, high pressure, it really messes with their brain chemistry, which results in depression. So it makes a lot of sense to me that in China, these rates are really high because of the educational pressure that many students are under.”
It’s an obvious opportunity for believes to share the Gospel’s hope with China’s Next Generation, but the Body of Christ often fails to act on it. Why?
Many church leaders know there’s a problem, but don’t know what to do about it, says Pervenecki.
“We try to guide them through what young people need,” she says.
Young people need–and are seeking–“people that can come alongside them and walk them through some of these challenges that they’re facing.”
“We’re very excited for people like Lily, who is basically the kind of person that we’re trying to help churches reach,” Pervenecki shares.
“She is now graduated from college; she was in touch with me and said, ‘I want to learn more about how to help people and how to help my church.’”
Lily became a worship leader at her hometown church, and China Partner is helping her expand her skills and potential.
“She’s actually going to help us with some of the translation during our next training, and then at the same time we can kind of show her some of the things we’ve learned about small group ministry,” says Pervenecki.
“If you could specifically pray for her and her church, that would be wonderful.”
While you’re praying for Lily, ask the Lord about His plans for the young people in your life.
“Be involved with young people in any way; engage them,” Pervenecki recommends.
“Many young people are just waiting for an older person to really engage them. Often we don’t think of that; we think they don’t want that.”
Have you ever been surprised by what happened when you tried to connect with a young person in your church? Please share in the Comments section below!