Pastoral Leadership Training A Necessity For The Youth
Through the juvenile court system, the United States incarcerates more of its youth than any other country in the world. In 2002, approximately 126,000 juveniles were incarcerated in youth detention facilities alone. With an astonishing 500,000 brought into detention centers in a given year. That is just too many of our youth in need of an introduction to a Savior.
How many teenagers do you know that are actively pursuing a life with God? For most of us, there’s not many that we can name. For the most part, teenagers and kids today would much rather be consumed with the things of the world than sit in a pew. We live in a godless generation where God is no longer desired, sought after, or made our first love. So how do we reach our youth? Authentic love. That love that is truly genuine. That love where when someone feels that no one will listen to them, you can be that one person who says, “I will.” Through love, and authentic love, the love that Jesus was truly about…may walls and guards be torn down. Let people see our light and profess, I want what they’ve got. Let us love! Without love, we will lose many battles. We will lose our youth. With pastoral leadership training, Christian Leaders Institute can equip you with guiding our youth today.
Here is the testimony of one of our students receiving pastoral leadership training. He has a passionate heart towards the youth and he is ready to reach them.
Pastoral Leadership Training Desired By Mark Younghans
My name is Mark Younghans. I am from the United States of America. Born and raised in St Paul, Minnesota. I did not grow up in a Christian home. I don’t remember ever seeing someone pray or read the bible outside of church, unless it was prayer before Thanksgiving and Christmas meals. I am the youngest of 3 kids. We were sent to church more as a daycare, but we stopped going when my older siblings got to the independent age around 16. I started going again when I was around 16 and started driving myself. I had grown up in the same church, but my faith was never real to me. I lived like the world, ASSUMED that I was forgiven so I could live in my sins. Christianity did not become real to me until after I graduated from college, started a job, opened a business, bought a house and partied like there was no tomorrow. One day I realized how much God had blessed me with. I was 22, 23 years old and I showed God no appreciation for what He had done for me, no appreciation for where He had brought me from in my neighborhood and where He brought me to with success.
After graduating college and coming back to St Paul, I started attending my old church again. One day the pastor gave a sermon on there needs to be a clear difference between believers and none believers. At that time, I had a guy working for me who was an atheist, with demonic tattoos skulls, snakes, grim reapers all over his body. We worked 40-60 hours a week together and then partied 1 to 3 nights a week, got drunk, messed with girls, got into fights. There was no difference between me and him and I showed him no reason to want to get to know God or to come to church. The Holy Spirit led me to start changing. First, I gave up smoking weed. Then drinking like I was and then sex. It has been a rough road, a roller coaster, up and down, left and right. But God is good always. I have my degree in Corrections and minor in sociology. With it, I work with kids that are locked up 6-9 months for various crimes. I’ve been there part-time since I graduated 5 and a half years ago. I am a Licensed real estate agent and real estate investor. I have a few side business ventures that I do from time to time such as house moves labor. God has definitely placed a spirit of entrepreneurship in me. Finding a balance, or really keeping God fully in first place, family next, and business next is a struggle sometimes.
In ministry, God led me to start a ministry called “Get 2 know God.” I started a youtube channel to post bible studies, sermons and spoken word videos. Prior to this, I worked with few leaders and we created a program called God’s Gangsters, reaching out to inner city youth. This was a live conference call that took place every Tuesday night, where anyone in the US could call into this line and hear a 15 minute service. Which included key information and tips, music and a 7-10 minute sermon. And that is where my preaching started. I started the youtube channel, writing sermons, and doing bible studies on video. After doing this for over a year, my church had a need where our pastor up and quit. On Dec 23, 2013, I went to church with the intent of saying good bye and letting everyone know I was leaving. Reason was differences in opinion between me and the pastor and his leadership. Also, because my ex girlfriend. The two situations were causing issues and it felt like the right time to leave. The pastor to a certain extent begged me not to leave, said he needed me for the new year, that I was a worker and listened to him. He talked me out of leaving the church. The next week was my birthday, I was not in church and had a full day planned. He quit that next Sunday, Dec. 29th, 2013. He did not say good bye to the congregation. After the service he gave the keys to another leader and said he was done. The following Sunday, we had a church meeting with the head of our church conference. He asked us what do we want to do? Either close the church, try and bring in a another pastor (two had quit within the past 2 years which really effected the young people), or to use what we have which meant Pastor/leader Cookie be the lead pastor of our church and I help her preach 2 to 3 times a month. I accepted the challenge. That started in January 2014, so 7 months in and it has been a journey. My goals are to be a better well rounded servant of God. To gain wisdom and knowledge through the Holy Spirit to better explain and preach the word of God. I felt called to start a youth church since I was 22. Currently our church is small 15-25 people plus kids, and they are mainly youth 19-27. I am walking through doors as God opens them.
Pastoral Leadership Training Through Christian Leaders Institute
God reopened this door to CLI. I started it over a year ago but was too busy and never made it through the first course. God has revealed to me through about 4 different people confirming that I should get pastoral leadership training. Even a few strangers, so it had to be the Spirit working. Getting pastoral leadership training through CLI will give me the opportunity to follow along this path and walk through the doors God is opening. There is no way I would be able to commit to seminary right now if I had to pay out of pocket for it. So this program to receive my pastoral leadership training is offering me the chance to move forward with Gods call right now.