OneWay summer program prepares young adults for long-term ministry

By April 1, 2024

United States (MNN) – In Matthew chapter 9, Jesus told the disciples to pray for God to send more workers for the harvest, but how can the next generation prepare for ministry? How do they learn what it means to follow Jesus and make disciples? What do they do to discover and develop their skills, talents, and gifts? Where can they find their unique role in God’s plan?

Hannah Thompson of OneWay Ministries says discipleship and practical experience in ministry are critical. OneWay offers both through service opportunities for young adults during the summer and the full year.

“OneWay’s young adult ministry exists to be able to help awaken and inspire young people to fall more in love with Jesus and know how they can practically serve Him and use their gifts in the Kingdom,” says Thompson.

Graphic courtesy of OneWay Ministries.

According to a study by the Barna Group, about 32% of teens in the U.S. identify as committed Christians who follow Jesus. Meanwhile, only 17% of young adults 18-22 years old say the same.

Other studies report that Gen Z is more likely to be religiously unaffiliated than previous generations. Among young adults who left the religion they were raised in, about 3 out of 4 no longer identified with their childhood religion by 18 years old.

“Providing opportunities not just to teach the things of the Lord, but to actually take and activate the hands of young people is critical in forming the next generation of the church,” says Thompson.

“The practical opportunities of discipleship in ministry-based programs can help bridge that gap in raising the next generation.”

Young adults have expressed significant growth during the OneWay summer program and often continue on to further ministry opportunities. Former intern Kate Sperry said, “I went into this internship not having a clue of what I wanted to do, but by the end of the summer God opened my eyes to how He wants to use the gifts and abilities I have to build His kingdom!“

One participant of the ministry’s summer program said she had little concern for the Great Commission before the experience. She said she was unaware of the needs for the Gospel in the world. By the end of her time with OneWay, God gave her a heart for the unreached and redirected her life.

Thompson says, “As a result of how the Lord moved and worked and grew her through her time at OneWay and developing her skills, she is now in a position where she’s entering a ministry full time, able to work directly as a missions advocate for unreached people groups in the 1040 window.”

Applications are open until May 15 for the summer program. Opportunities include a range of fields, such as creative media, digital evangelism, and administration. Participants will work and live in community for 10 weeks, from May 25 to August 3. The program is also offering a new track this summer for local high school students who want to gain ministry experience. Apply here.

“If you know a young person in your life that you think might be in a position where they can be mobilized and activated for ministry and would benefit from strong community, discipleship, and ministry experience, send them our way,” says Thompson.

Other ways the Body of Christ can support the young adult ministry are through prayer, sponsorships, and mentorship. Pray for God to help the summer program succeed in its mission. May God raise up the young adults to grow in faith and service for the Kingdom.

Thompson says, “We really covet prayer that God would help us not only to run a program, but more specifically, that he would move and work in the hearts of people and change their lives for the sake of eternity this summer.”

Contact OneWay Ministries for more information about how to support the young adults as a sponsor or mentor.

“Young people truly are craving the mentorship and investment of the older men and women of God in their lives,” says Thompson. “I would encourage and exhort the men and women of God around the world, if there’s young people in your local church or your ministry area that are around you, to consider prayerfully investing in them and know that it genuinely makes a huge difference and marks their lives in an eternal way.”

Learn more about the OneWay Young Adult ministry and summer program at


“Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.’” Matthew 9:37-38


Photos courtesy of OneWay Ministries.

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