It won’t be long before the Millennial generation makes up the majority of the work force throughout the world. A generation stereotyped for being lazy and selfish, the Millennials have left leaders in older generations scratching their heads and holding onto the reigns a little too tightly out of fear that the Internet generation will cause things to crumble.
Here’s the good news though. The Millennial generation might actually be the one that makes the Church more relevant today. It all begins with loving Jesus and loving others, and these are the Millennial leaders changing the world with their ministries.
A New Generation of Leaders
Herbie Newell, President/Executive Director of Lifeline Children’s Services
Lifeline Children’s Services is 35 years old, but Herbie Newell has helped bring significant growth to this international ministry in his 14 years of leadership as President. This ministry helps recruit, train, and license missional Christian foster families for children in the foster care system, cares for children and families through Safe Families for Children (SFFC), and supplies a Gospel based, Federally approved parenting curriculum for birth families who have lost their families to the foster system or who are at risk of losing their children.
Also, Lifeline walks with families through the domestic and international adoption process via their adoption and Birthmother ministries.
The Lord burdened our family’s heart for orphan care, adoption, and foster care through the lens of Gospel transformation.
When asked about what’s difficult about leading a ministry, Herbie said that “leaving a corporate setting for non-profit ministry brought challenges and difficulties that were certainly unique.” He continued with, “Certainly raising funds and operating a ministry without profit motive requires a huge amount of faith. I am and was a planner. I helped companies and individuals make sure they had the funding and business models to be successful. Coming into a ministry many times you forge ahead by the call of the Lord having no idea where the resources may come from.”
Andy Braner, Co-founder of KIVU Gap Year
How do you tackle the problem of young adults that grew up in Christian homes abandoning it altogether after only a year in college? Andy Braner, Co-founder of KIVU Gap Year believes he has his team have found at least one way to tackle this issue. It all begins with their focus.
KIVU Gap Year helps high school graduates with a vocational discovery in a global community. Braner says that, “students that come through our program are staying with host families in various countries from all sorts of cultural backgrounds, with a variety of religious origin. They finish 900 hours of internship experience, and work on emotional intelligence, cultural intelligence, and faith issues. We believe that in giving students opportunities both in vocational discovery and cultural awareness, we set the stage for relationships all over the world.”
We started asking tough questions about youth ministry. We saw that over 75% of kids raised in Christian homes actually reject faith by the end of the first year in college.
KIVU Gap Year certainly takes a different approach to engaging young Christians!
Andy said, “As we extrapolated various research trends, we thought Maybe youth ministry isn’t actually accomplishing what we think it is. So when we coupled Vocational Exploration, Travel, and a healthy dose of “Jesus” teaching, we see students engaging in a comprehensive development process… when we address a comprehensive wholistic way of development, we can start seeing real change in how students approach all areas of life.”
Justin Samba, Zambian Board Member of Wiphan Care Ministries
Born from the loss of a young Zambian woman’s husband, Wiphan Care Ministries was created to help orphans and widows. That young woman, named Kunda, started a small school to help educate orphans and a vocational school to help widows earn money for their families. Her original school has now grown to three, educating over 900 orphans annually. and training over 200 women in hospitality, jewelry crafting, and computer keyboarding.
Justin Samba, a Zambian Board Member and youth pastor, is also an artist/craftsman by trade, and uses his skills to educate widows in jewelry making. This skills training class provides the widows with skill that empowers them with sustainable income. His skills go to work for an exceptional need in Zambia, where they have over one million orphans
They are empowered with new skills rather than falling into the temptations and struggles of the compound (slum).
A husband, father, and a youth pastor, Justin’s passion for the community runs deep.
There is also a USA Board, primarily based in Atlanta, Georgia. When Justin visits the US from Zambia, he goes to Perimeter Church and Fellowship Bible Church.
Learn more about Wiphan Care Ministries on their website.
Bo Machayo, President/CEO of Global Inheritance, The Ekklesia Project
The Ekklesia Project, run through Global Inheritance, focusses on addressing the needs of communities with aging pastors and church leaders that are unable to be spiritually fed because of their weakening sight.
Bo Machayo leads this ministry, and sees the eternal impact that meeting this need makes. In countries like Uganda, which benefits from Ekklesia Project, family dynamics in evolving thanks to economic growth and cultural changes. When asked about what fuels his passion for this ministry, Bo said, “As a first generation African American, with a mother from Uganda and father from Kenya, I have always had an appreciation for my heritage and wanted to figure out a way to give back.”
We thought of how we could give back. Then the vision to record an audio Bible to benefit the aging church leaders, believers and non-believers, the illiterate and the incarcerated was born!
Bo feels a deep connection to his family’s roots. He says, “Almost a year out, I am now able to focus on what I believe is God’s calling on my life to help bring the gospel to the land of my ancestors. I am staying steadfast and believing that we are almost there and that if God puts this mission on the hearts of His people, that together we will be able to bring the gospel to communities for generations to come.”
Jeremy Vallerand, President & CEO of Rescue:Freedom International
There are more slaves in the world today than at any other time in history. The US isn’t immune to it either. Did you know that the average age of entry into prostitution in the United States is around 14 years old? Human trafficking is a major injustice happening around us everyday, and Rescue: Freedom International was created to fight against it.
Jeremy Vallerand, President and CEO of Rescue: Freedom International, told us that he was inspired to start the organization after his experience with witnessing the effects human trafficking in person during a trip to India. During his trip, he was able to meet young boys and girls rescued from brothels, where some of them shared their dreams of future careers. This is where Rescue: Freedom International was born.
It is not the injustice that drives us; it is the magnitude of hope.
Rescue:Freedom exists to empower the rescue and restoration of those in sexual slavery and to prevent exploitation. They work around the world (currently in 9 countries) with local service providers and partners to rescue women and children from slavery and ensure they have the holistic care they need to experience true freedom and restoration.
Jeremy says, “… the reason we do what we do is not because the injustice is so severe, it is because we believe that the love of Jesus is the most transformative force on the planet and that when people experience unconditional love anything is possible.”
Do you have a ministry that you would like to share with the Church.org community? Contact us with your story to share!