(Newsletter 2011 Annual)

Christine Wu
Janice Teng

An interview with Pastor Joseph Tsai, Senior Pastor of Home of Christians Eastern Los Angeles

Under the leadership of Pastor Joseph Tsai and his wife, Home of Christians Eastern Los Angeles has a very vibrant ministry among teenagers. The teens are spirit-filled and exhibits genuine faith. They are an example to younger children in their service in children’s ministry; they started small groups in their school campuses to disciple their peers; they raise funds every year to go on short-term mission trips to spread the gospel to the unreached across the world.

Pastor Tsai and his wife are actively involved, not only shepherding and feeding the teens, they also train them to become fishers of men. Two years ago, they sent out a group of mature young people from under the wings of the mother church to start a branch church. Like their father, Pastor Tsai’s two sons are active in evangelism and shepherding. The older son recently graduated from seminary and is now leading the youth ministry at their church.

To care for the next generation, we should take a look at youth work through the eyes of the pastor who has been intently working with youth. Presence Ministry conducted a special interview with Pastor Joseph Tsai to ask him to share with us his rich experiences in youth ministry. Here is the insightful advice from Pastor Tsai.

Understanding the unique culture of youth

The youth of this generation are active thinkers with their own personality. They live in a very different culture and have unique life experiences from their parents. A different approach is needed to serve the youth of this generation.

“We know the usual methods of ministering to adults but the work among teenagers has to be constantly changing. One has to use one’s heart to understand them, use music, activities and other creative methods to reach out to them. When we work with the adults, the rewards are immediate, but it is not so when working with the teenagers. One has to look at youth work as a long-term investment.” said Pastor Tsai. “Teenagers are zealous but they are not mature yet and lack organization. We should patiently give them more guidance.”

Youth work can be described as a cross-cultural mission work. The senior pastor has to be open-minded and accepting. By understanding both the cultures of the adults and the youth, he serves as a bridge between the parents and the youth in the family.

One has to view youth work as a battle with the world for our teenagers. In today’s world, our youth face many temptations. If the church does not reach out to the youth of this generation, the world will. According to statistics, seventy percent of born-again Christians accepted Christ before they are twelve years old; ninety percent of them accepted Christ before age twenty. We have to stress the importance of youth work and set aside special funds for its use. The youth work in our churches is not merely child care. Rather it is an all important and challenging evangelistic outreach.

Training young adults to be youth workers

Pastor Tsai points out that in order to train our next generation to become youth workers, we need to first train them to have good habits. Developing good habits of reading God’s words, praying, worshipping God and evangelizing will give them skills for the ministry for a lifetime.

Youth workers also need to know how to schedule their work and play time. If they can manage their time well, they will be a good manager of all aspects of their lives. The church needs to give them a clear vision and challenge them to pinpoint effective plans and steps to accomplish that vision. Monthly meetings should be scheduled for the purpose of encouragement, caring and helping them in organization and structure. This is good for building up a healthy shepherding small group and training up the future leaders of the church.

Building the relationship between the senior pastor and youth pastors

For pastors of different generations to serve together effectively, it is crucial to have clear and effective communication. Lack of communication will give rise to suspicions and jealousy due to misunderstanding. First, it would be ideal to have a regular one on one time to talk between the pastors of different generations outside of the scheduled meetings.

Second, senior pastors need to set reasonable expectations for the youth pastors. Youth work is always creative, always changing with constant activities. Youth pastors maintain flexible schedules, so their office hours have to be reasonable by allowing time to observe the Sabbath. If the youth pastors are appropriately encouraged and given reasonable days off, they will have a more productive ministry.

Third, one has to give more freedom to the youth. They need more freedom in the style of their meeting, in the way they dress, in their choice of musical instruments, and in their methods of evangelism, etc. As long as Biblical principles are adhered to, there is no need to restrict them. Expecting youth to follow the same theme, same yearly plan, and same time frame as adults will result in rebellion and even a church split.

Last, and the most important of all, the older generation pastor should be a mentor, friend and father figure for the younger generation pastor. Today’s youth need a mentor who is consistently guiding them, a bosom buddy and a kind father figure. Youth pastors also need the same. God is calling the older generation pastor to come alongside the youth pastors to fulfill those roles.размещение рекламы на щитахсколько стоит поисковая оптимизация сайтовпрограмма для взлома яндекс денегвк анонимайзер зеркало бесплатно