THE NEED TO TAKE TIME AND CARE FOR THE YOUTH IN THE CHURCH AND SOCIETY . ARCHBISHOP DR. S.R ADDAE

‘’Teach your children to choose the right path, and when they are older, they will remain upon it.’’ Proverbs 22:6 (New Living Translation)

The passage may bring out three ideas; namely: training, instruction and motivation.

Training involves the devotion of much time if we are to make any meaningful impact on our youth. The Bible is the source of all good instruction. Parents and teachers need to realize that motivating our youth doesn’t mean simply getting them to want what we want.

The church and all persons involved in parenting are encouraged to seriously engage our youth.

The challenges for our Youth are huge, enormous and delicate which have to be tackled with care. The Youth struggle with abuse, child labour, bullying, alcohol, drugs, occultism, excessive use of internet and other social media, fantasy games, pornographic materials, and in extreme cases suicide. These are detrimental to the growth and development of our youth.

There must be a comprehensive approach which considers all the inputs a young person needs throughout his/her life.

The access to education, information, resources, health, economic development and the support needed to have a good transition into sound adulthood are also important.

There seems to be a disconnection between various actors in the development of our youth, eg; families and Church groups.

Generally, our care approach for the youth are knee-jerk ones and unsustainable.

There has to be a deliberate and collaborative effort by all to correct the defects.

The phrase, ‘’Catch them Young’’ is important for Church Leaders and all to take a critical look at. The truth of the matter is that the youth are vulnerable at every turn of their lives and the Leadership of the Church and parents look on helplessly. This is undesirable and has to be corrected in our quest to building Jesus’ Church and a just and admirable society.

What is the way forward?

It is surprising how taking time to observe and listen to children can be a way of opening yourself to the Kingdom of God.

When Jesus said, ‘’Let the children come to me’’ (Matthew 18:3), He was doing more than creating space to spend some time with a small group of curious kids. He was stating a spiritual principle that we need to be childlike in our approach to Him.

Each child is a complex and wonderful individual. As we are entrusted with their care, let us constantly strive to find ways to help them discover and use their natural learning style’s strength to find success to the world.

As parents and teachers, we first need to determine and define the goal, and then motivate our children to achieve it. If they have a strong and positive relationship with their parents and teachers, you will be the ones they turn to for advice on how to do it. Sometimes the biggest help parents and teachers can be to their growing children is to encourage them to discover for themselves what motivates them. After all, when they leave home, school or church after the Sunday School, there is usually no one who will try to keep them motivated like you did.

Living and learning in an atmosphere of positivity and support allows the youth to develop the skills that will make them to become productive and God fearing members of their families, churches, schools, communities and the nation at large.

It is, therefore, with gladness that we should welcome, accept and support the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN), Ghana. We are here to outdoor the new special product – SUPERBOOK ACADEMY – which is carefully designed for effective churches Biblical teaching, especially, the younger ones. My prayer is that the Church Leaders, especially, the Youth Teachers will make good use of the materials which is expected to bring out their God given potentials. The future of the Church and the society as a whole rests on the shoulders of the