USA (MNN) — These days, young people sometimes get a bad rap. In the U.S., young people born after 1980 are deemed “Millennials” or “Generation Y.” The Pew Research Center says the nation holds around 50 million Millennials between the ages of 18 and 29.
According to a study from Payscale.com, this generation is stereotyped as being lazy and needy, along with having a short attention span. AchieveGlobal says Gen Y is “self-centered and narcissistic” in “Age-Based Stereotypes: Silent Killer of Collaboration and Productivity.”
MOSES, Inc. sees beyond these generalizations to the potential God has placed in each young person.
For the past 25 years, MOSES Inc. has been working to teach youth to be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ. With the exception of the trip directors and a few adult mentors, trips are run by student leaders, who serve as either Team Shepherds or Team Directors.
“We make it very clear to the adults that these kids have this leadership role, and we’re entrusting them with it,” says MOSES, Inc.’s Judy VanderArk. “The result of that has been that 20-25 years later, many of these young people [are] now involved in full-time ministry.”
According to VanderArk, Team Directors essentially take the reins of their MOSES trip, managing schedules and group activities. Team Shepherds serve at their side as “team chaplain,” ministering to their peers and leading the team’s spiritual activities. They lead team devotionals each morning and worship services in the evening.
“I’ve had kids come back to me and say, ‘I lead a Bible study in my neighborhood of 10 women that never went to church before…because I was a Team Shepherd on a MOSES trip, and I learned how to lead devotions and how to minister to other people,'” VanderArk shares.
The experience also improves students’ self-image and confidence.
“They’re excited about it, they’re proud of themselves; they feel like they’ve accomplished something,” VanderArk notes.
If you or a young person you know would like more information on MOSES, Inc. or how to join a student-led trip, click here to contact the ministry.