In the church or the body of Christ, each believer plays a different role. Every part is important, and no part is more important than the other. This is a truth we hold fast to in SYFC and we actively seek to work with our other ‘parts of the body’ to reach young people for Christ. We partner by sharing resources, and through teaching and training.
Over the years, great friendships are built. In the 70s, the young people of Angora Brethren Chapel joined SYFC clubs in different schools. Chris Yip, its current full-time Elder, was involved in the Campus Life Ministry in the 80s. Subsequently, many of Angora’s young people have also joined us in Bible study and equipping programs like Bible T.R.A.I.L. and Project Serve, as well as evangelistic efforts like TeenSports. Chris shared that these partnerships have bred lasting effects. “For example, many of the children who were regularly attending Bible T.R.A.I.L. back in the 80s are now active in church.”
Lydia Chen, the Pastor in charge of youth and children ministries in Glad Tidings Church shares Chris’ sentiment. “Our youth and youth leaders are equipped through the trainings and we are inspired by SYFC’s creativity. We admire their innovative ways of reaching out to young people, and learned how we can link anything to the gospel as long as we give some thought to it.”
At our first PlayMax in 2009, Glad Tidings youth joined us as participants, and then at PlayMax 2013, they joined hands with us as group hosts to share the gospel. In our 2015 Game Changer edition of PlayMax, their entire young adult and youth group planned, created and manned the laboratory game station. As a result of working with churches like Glad Tidings Church, we were able to reach thousands of young people through PlayMax. On our own, we definitely could not have done it.
Many of our staff are invited to teach the Bible and train youth to share the gospel at the churches’ youth meetings and camps. Our staff and volunteers also support church youth groups in their evangelistic efforts. Both Chris and Lydia appreciate the help we have rendered while we in turn are heartened that more and more young people are interested to learn the Bible and share the gospel. As described in Hebrews 10:24 and 25, we are mutually encouraged as we stir up one another to love and good works.
Working together with one another inevitably has its challenges. Lydia highlighted that the youth sometimes compare their experiences in SYFC with those at church. The youth are also torn when the timing of our events clash with those in church. However, in the process she was able to explain to them the different functions the church and parachurch play and teach them to manage their time better. Chris also shared the importance of inter-organisational communications between SYFC and the churches so as to minimise clashes in our event timings. As a result, we try to be more conscious and sensitive in our communication with the churches. As Proverbs 27:17 says, “Iron sharpens iron,” so we gain as we learn from like-minded brothers and sisters in Christ.
Just as Lydia and Chris are looking forward to the continual partnership with us to reach more young people, we too are excited to see how the Lord Jesus, the Head of the Body will bring the different parts together in order that more may come to know Him.
Joyce serves in the Secondary School and Junior College Ministry, and also writes for Reach.