Groom A Teen Today, Raise A Leader For Tomorrow

Groom A Teen Today, Raise A Leader For Tomorrow

One delightful observation I made during the just-ended National Youth Ministry Week celebration of The Church of Pentecost (CoP) was the active involvement of the teens. Watching videos and seeing pictures from various assemblies across the nation filled me with excitement.

I remember telling a colleague youth ministry leader that if we had this level of engagement when we were growing up, many of our teens would have been properly grounded in Christ and the Church and would have played active roles at various levels in the church. In the past, there was no proper structure established to effectively coordinate the activities of teens in the CoP. If you were fortunate as a teen to find yourself in an assembly with leaders who believed in the potential of teens, then you were blessed. I count myself as one of those teens who, while growing up, was fortunate to have leaders who gave us room to learn and grow in the faith.

I was only 17 years old when I was appointed District Secretary for the Children’s Ministry in the Elmina District of the Cape Coast Area, right after graduating from Senior High School. Again, I was appointed as the local leader for the Youth Ministry of SSNIT Flats Assembly, also in the Elmina District. At the age of 18, I was ordained as a Deacon by Apostle Kwesi Ackah Baidoo (Rtd.). The Lord made all these opportunities possible through Elders Samuel Michael Boham and Francis Freeman. They gave me many opportunities as a teen to learn, and though I made some mistakes along the way, they were very patient with me. I remember the many preaching assignments they both gave me, the opportunity to represent them at meetings, and, most importantly, how they disciplined me in love.

Around the same time that I had the humble privilege of serving the Lord and His church in these capacities, many of my peers in other assemblies in the same district were struggling to fit into the church. Some, out of frustration, left the church. Those who stayed did so only because their parents were active members and could not leave, but their visible frustration was evident. The truth is, some of these teenagers in other districts were far more talented than me, but they simply did not have the opportunities I had.

In 2015, I was appointed as the District Youth Ministry Leader for Abossey Okai Worship Centre. One of the key areas I focused on as a leader was the Ministry to Teens. These teens became like family to me and my team. We were very intentional in how we nurtured them, providing them with opportunities to express themselves and grow both in the Lord and in the church. Today, as I reflect, I see many of them doing remarkable things in the house of the Lord, and I bless God for their lives.

In January 2023, I was reviewed as the Youth Ministry Leader, and the young man who succeeded me, Deacon Philemon Otoo, happened to be one of my students in the teens class. Prior to becoming the District Leader, he served as the PENSA President for the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST). During the recent Youth Week, I witnessed how the Lord used this young man, and I was amazed at how he led both the young and the old to observe the week successfully.

I have witnessed firsthand what the Lord can do with teens when given the opportunity. I am a living testimony, just like Philemon, my predecessor. In the COP, as of December 2022, we had 762,190 teens in Ghana alone. The decision by the church’s leadership to relaunch the Ministry to Teens is a very strategic one. What I witnessed during the National Youth Ministry Week is enough to demonstrate that when our teens are provided with the right opportunities and an enabling environment, they can serve the purpose of God in their generation exceptionally well.

Written by Elder Yaw Asamoah Akowuah (Ministry to Teens Coordinator, Kaneshie Area)

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