24 Jun 2015
It’s not always easy to make big changes. Especially when it comes to mission.
Because when you’re used to doing something in a certain way, it can be hard to imagine things being any different.
But if how you’ve always done things isn’t having an impact, then sooner or later someone will feel that, no matter what the risk, a new approach has to be tried.
And that’s exactly what Philip did.
Philip is a 20-year-old youth leader from Kiev, Ukraine. After helping to run evangelistic youth camps for teenagers, he was starting to feel that a new approach to evangelism at the camps had to be taken.
You see, in some Ukrainian churches, it can be an ‘unwritten law’ that the only person who can share the gospel at an event is a pastor. Which meant that on the last night of these camps, a pastor was fetched to deliver the ‘gospel talk’ for the young people.
But Philip felt that bringing in someone who the teenagers didn’t know wasn’t the best way of impacting them with the hope of Jesus.
So Philip joined an Innovista training workshop for leaders like him involved in mission, in the hope of discovering a new approach for the sake of the young people he cares about.
Through the training workshop, Innovista supporters invested in Philip’s character and skill as a young mission leader. And it’s making a difference.
‘[When I got to] the camp I saw how my heart and attitude had changed,’ Philip told us.
‘When I looked at the teens, I realised that their relationship with God had become as important to me as my own. I wanted to invest everything I could in them.’
Philip also felt emboldened to try a new approach. On the last night of camp, instead of bringing in a pastor, Philip had the young people split into small groups. Their group leaders then shared the gospel in a more personal way that was related to their own testimony.
It was a risk. In previous years an average of five young people had made commitments to Christ. Why change how things had always been done?
11 New Christians
‘I shared the gospel and called the teens to repentance not only for the first time in the camp, but for the first time in my life,’ Philip told us. ‘I was very excited, and I felt the huge responsibility of this.’
To his excitement, five of the young people in his own group said they wanted to make a decision to follow Jesus. Not only that, but six young people from other groups made the same decision, and are now being discipled through the local church. And each group leader had the opportunity to communicate the gospel and see God use their faithfulness.
Taking a Risk for the Gospel
If you’ve ever tried to change things that have been done the same way for years, you’ll know how difficult that can be.
But thanks to amazing Innovista supporters like you, all across Europe, Russia, and Central Asia there are young leaders finding new ways of doing mission, breathing new life into existing structures, and praising God for the results.
Please continue to pray for Philip and others like him who are seeking to take the gospel to those around them in new and innovative ways.