I began the New year, ministering to over 1200 young people at the National Youth Festival in Vizag. When I gave the invitation to commit to serve Christ whatever the cost and wherever the Spirit leads, over 200 youth came forward to dedicate themselves. The next week, I conducted Operation Mobilization (OM) leaders’ training in which 40 women and men prayed a threefold prayer I have been praying daily the last 15 years: “Lord, keep me clean today; Use me for your glory; Help me to finish well”.

Dorothy has an effective ministry chiefly among youth in colleges and business, who are open to know Christ. Our motto in ministry is not merely to see youth for who they are, but what they can become by the grace of God. This is how we were mentored! Of course, while older Christian should not look down on the younger, youth must also take personal responsibility and persevere in living out the truth (1Tim 4:12). Paul capitalised on this truth when he invested in young Timothy in notable ways that made him a ‘successful’ minister (1Tim. 6:11).

First, Timothy was the son of a godly woman named Eunice who had communicated to him the importance of a deep faith in Jesus Christ. Such confidence in God is essential for youth to remain steadfast in a disorienting world. The influence of a godly home is foundational and formative in building moral values in youth.

Second, Paul saw in Timothy a saint of a good witness. Local believers spoke well of his character and conduct. This was certainly due to Timothy’s association with and the influence the local Church had on him. Because of his proven character, Paul “wanted” Timothy and “took him” on his team and missionary team workforce (Acts 16:1-3).  

Third, both on the domestic and social levels, there was a supreme factor that transformed Timothy. He was a student of God’s Word. From childhood he had known the Holy Scriptures. Because the Bible is God’s inspired word, it is reliable, profitable and able to show youth their need for salvation and point them to Christ, who alone offers it (2Tim. 3:15).

In all this, a critical question for missions is: what about those young people have not had a “Christian” upbringing and the privilege of been exposed to “biblical” truth and values? Then, for us who do know the truth and love our youth, mission is being that godly influence to see them come to and become followers of Christ. We must make every effort to first understand their essential needs and develop their potential. Like Paul (Acts 7:58), we must not forget that we too were once young and look for proper models to emulate. Let us encourage and do ‘whatever it takes’ to see our youth walk in God’s Way, be transformed by the Truth and find real Life in all its abundance!

Dr. Chris Gnanakan