Ministry re-tools to better approach Egyptian church’s future

By April 8, 2008

Egypt (MNN) — Egypt's church is facing more challenges in
its struggle to stay alive and relevant. Aside from the rise in social and legal discrimination against
Christians in general, there is another threat that faces believers: the future. 

Book of Hope's Chad Causey says their research revealed
"a growing cultural gap, a growing sense of being misunderstood by the
leaders among the youth and then saying they wanted to be part of the church.
They really wanted to connect with it, but they felt like the church,
increasingly, just didn't understand them." 

With the younger generations exposed to a wider world via
emerging media, electronic entertainment and the internet, that gap seems to be
widening. What's more, the
church has not kept pace. Book of
Hope's research showed a strong disconnect between the two worlds. 

Causey says bridging the gap means being ready to face
change. "We're going to have to empower them like we never have before.
We're going to have to give them a real chance to minister and to be leaders
within the body of Christ."

In order for the church to be credible to their young
people, the leaders concluded, they had to give them a chance to be actively
involved in the cultivation of their faith. They also noted that they lost further ground by not including the ideas
and contributions of the youth. 

Book of Hope's responsibility for the next step is weighty
because "Book of Hope's job is to figure out what we can do to create
Scripture portions that help them deliver the message that there are times and
places in history when God raises up young people to really lead in a special
way in His church and in His kingdom."

Stories like Daniel, Joseph, and Shadrach, Meshach and
Abednego create archetypes for young people to model. The youth of the Bible stories paved the way
in a brave new world, notes Causey, adding, "In the same way that Daniel became
a leader of the Hebrews during the exile in Babylon, young people can
become leaders for the church of Egypt in the area of the Internet, in the area
of emerging media because they can rise up; they‘re going to be the people
that understand it the best. And they can carry with them the values of the
church in Egypt and express it in new ways."

Plans are being laid for creating a new Scripture portion that
will highlight some of the Old and New Testament stories, along with the story
of Jesus. These will showcase the message
of the legitimacy and imperative of youth, in certain times and places, rising
up into positions of leadership and contributing their gifts for the sake of
the people of God. Says Causey, "Egypt
is at such a time and place, right now."

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