Missions, Outreach

Raising the next generation of the Church in Nepal

It is a great privilege to be a part of the ministry in Nepal during this critical phase of the development of the Methodist Church in Nepal (MCN). Over the last three years, the emphasis has been on preparing our leaders, encouraging and leading them, as we empower them with greater responsibilities. One key aspect of our ministry is developing the youth in MCN as part of the leadership development strategy. It is encouraging to witness the enthusiasm of our youth in leadership and ministry. God is raising up a younger generation to gather in the harvest in the nation of Nepal!

On a recent visit to Nepal in March 2022, I had the privilege of speaking to the youth through an online Youth Fellowship Service. It was a divine appointment with these 100 youths from our MCN churches and preaching points. The message for them was clear: there will be challenges in the real world and it is important for them to be equipped to manage these challenges in a manner that will be pleasing to God. They need not feel daunted for they will not be alone.

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Romans 12:1-2

The youth in MCN are slowly but surely finding themselves in the real world. Some of them, having completed their basic education, are pursuing tertiary courses in the universities, while others have taken up jobs to help support their families. They find themselves in the company of friends and colleagues who are pre-believers and have different values and beliefs. Our youth will have to cope with social pressures that they have never experienced before. These include “free and easy” lifestyles and influences propagated by the social media that they are increasingly exposed to, desiring to be accepted according to new social norms and craving for wealth and success to the extent of compromising the Christian values that they had learnt.

MCN has a responsibility to guide our youth to “flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.” (2 Timothy 2:22) We need to walk with them, to encourage, to strengthen the foundation that we have built in them since childhood, and not to condemn them or condone their behaviour whenever they make wrong decisions. We need to intercede for them with our prayers, to help see them through the challenges of being in a real world, and to be guided by spiritual truths. We need to be understanding and reassure them that when they feel down and out, that they are not alone, and they can turn to Scripture and to the leaders for support. They need to realise that God has a plan for each of them. Our youth leaders must note the words from 1 Timothy 4:12, “Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.

As we support and pray for our youth, what can we learn from them? They are the face of Jesus—in their homes and the community where there are pre-believers. The spiritual legacy of our families and our church belongs to them. As leaders and parents, we have an important role to play. We need to recognise their potential and prepare them for their roles as the next generation of leaders of MCN.

There is an encouraging trend among the youth, not only in Nepal but also in the other Methodist Missions Society (MMS) mission fields. They are receptive and hungry for the Word and are keen to serve the Lord. The youth meet regularly for prayer and worship in their local churches and as a community of young believers at the Annual MCN Youth Seminars. Their Youth Fellowship Meetings are characterised by fervent worship and prayer, worshipping in spirit and in truth. They are the core of the worship teams in our churches. There is so much passion and love for Christ as they praise, worship, and pray!

Our youth represent the future of our ministry in Nepal. They will grow in strength and spiritual maturity and as they choose the path of righteousness, they have His promise to hold on to.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11

Noel Tam is the Area Director (Nepal) at the Methodist Missions Society. He worships at Pentecost Methodist Church. / Photo courtesy of Noel Tam