Youth For The Truth
- By Dr. Chris Gnanakan
- Published 06/23/2010
Dr. Chris Gnanakan
Revd. Dr. Chris Gnanakan, DMin, PhD. is the Director of Training for Outreach To Asia Nationals. OTAN serves in over nine countries in Asia where traditional missions is ‘restricted’, by equipping and empowering national, pastoral leaders to fulfil the great commission.
Chris, a native of Bangalore, worked as an electrician in MICO factory for 3 years before theological studies at the Word of Life Bible Institute and School of Youth Mission (New York). He obtained a Bachelor’s Degree from Tennessee Temple University and went on to do a Master’s in Divinity at Temple Baptist Seminary that he completed at the Asia Graduate School of Theology.
Chris was a youth pastor and ordained at Emmanuel Baptist Church. In 1990 he founded Banaswadi Bible Church where he was the pastor-teacher for over 10 years. He is known as a Youth, Bible & Mission conference speaker and for his radio broadcast with FEBA (Transforming Truth) and TWR (Thru the Bible). His passion is for evangelism, whole-life discipleship, mentoring, training leaders & empowering the Church in Mission.
Chris lectures on and produces curriculum for ‘Biblical Mandate for Evangelism’ at the Haggai Institute for Leadership Development (since 1999 at Maui & Singapore). As an evangelical, he has served as a consultant with the Commission on World Mission & Evangelism on-site London, Switzerland, Athens, Germany, Ghana, Kenya, Chile and with Urban Missions in Thailand, Hong Kong, Philippines and China.
During his stay and PhD research in the UK, Chris was a Teaching Assistance at the University of Leeds in the department of Theology & Religious Studies and also served as a minister at the South Parade Baptist Church, where he developed outreach & care cells. Chris teaches ‘Clinical Pastoral Education’ at the Bangalore Baptist Hospital. He is chairman for the Christian Forum for Child Development & Samaritan Purse’s regional Prescription for Hope program
Since 1995, Chris joined SAIACS as Professor and HoD of Pastoral Theology & Counseling and Dean of Chapel. Here, for 13 years, he trained leaders for ministry and mission in India’s globalising context and is passionate doing ”Evangelism through Local Churches”. He is now appointed to serve as the Director of Training for OTAN (Outreach To Asia Nationals) from June 2009.
Chris is happily married to Dorothy, an IT software educator, and they have two daughters Alethea and Charis. Chris enjoys memorising poems on the Bible and football.
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