Urban ministry a focus of youth ministry

By May 11, 2004

USA (MNN) — There are many people in the United States who don’t know the Lord. Many people say the U-S is quickly becoming a country unreached with the Gospel. Many of those considered unreached live in urban areas. That’s why Young Life is making urban outreach such a top priority.

Young Life’s Justine Conley is responsible for urban ministry training. Conley says the goal is, “to help develop ministry in multicultural and urban settings. (We) take the principles of Young Life and help them to be relevant in an urban context.” This helps staff catch the vision for outreach in these areas.

Conley says urban communities are very diversified. Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, Animism and even more religions are a part of just about every urban setting. She says since most of these people are out of their comfort zone already, they’re more open to hearing the Gospel. Conley says that leads to a couple of questions, “How do we help Him be known in some of these cultures that are more difficult. And, how do we get connected with some folks who have a heart, (and) the desire for young people to know and to love Jesus.”

She says multicultural outreach isn’t easy. “Most of us are attracted to people who are like us and we go where we’re comfortable. So, one of the challenges is if we can admit our ‘isms’, some of those would be racism, sexism, classism, if we can admit those things and those things and then begin to help people see what is this Gospel that we take.”

Pray they Young Life will be able to recruit the number of volunteers needed to reach out to these areas of the U-S. Pray too that these young people would go to summer camp, which is a time when many young people turn to Christ.

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