Written by: Marvin Jacobo

Let’s pause and quickly review the 6 major findings of our research:

1. The strength of Youth for Christ’s “relational domain” was affirmed-in the neighborhood everything relies on the foundation of building a trusting relationship with an urban youth.
2. In order to become a Christian leader, an urban young person must possess the ability to turn a negative life experience into a positive life experience.
3. Role models serve a large purpose in the early stages of a young person’s walk with Christ, but are later supplanted in importance by mentors (an adult who guides the youth regularly and intentionally) as the young person grows in his/her relationship with Christ.
4. Three factors grow in influence in the life of an urban young person who is moving from growth to ministry:

a). Mentors: The growing influence of a mentor on the life of this developing young leader. A mentor is a trusted, more mature spiritual person who is developing an intentional relationship with the youth. Through the relational influence of the Word and prayer this mentor is intentionally investing in and guiding the young person toward the things of Christ.
b). Leadership Opportunities: As a young person is invited to take on leadership opportunities they impact the young person towards believing that they DO have positive gifts, abilities and talents to contribute to the world.
c). Internal Motivation: The young person transfers the ownership of their spiritual walk from relational dependence on another person to a personal dependence on Christ through their own convictions, prayer and the Word.

5. There is a dramatic rise in internal motivation as a young person moves from spiritual growth into Christian ministry.
6. The relational and spiritual/moral domain (hyperlink to City Life white paper) draws urban youth forward in their spiritual growth, the other holistic domains (educational, civic, health and safety, economic literacy) can play a significant role in providing road blocks to spiritual growth.

Here are some questions for you to consider with your ministry team before we unpack the practical ministry implications for each of the six findings:

1. Are you building your City Life ministry towards a program focused model or towards a relationship focused model? How can you know the difference?
2. How intentional are you in equipping young people to be able to handle the negative life experiences in their world rather than completely avoid them? Are you intentionally equipping your staff and volunteers to assist young people in this area?
3. Does everyone in your ministry know and understand that they are “role models” being watched to see if they are serious about their relationship with Christ?
4. Are you developing your staff and volunteers into effective, Biblically based mentors?

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