Church holds youth conference

Zaya said it was unfortunate that churches were failing to inculcate important life skills into the youth.

THE curtain to the Apostolic Faith Witnesses church youth conference in Harare's Glen Norah suburb comes down with the church putting more emphasis on raising awareness on drugs and substance abuse.

The conference, which started yesterday, is running under the theme “Positively pursuing Christ” and is derived from the Bible verse 2 Timothy 2:22 “Flee also youthful lusts, but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call On the Lord out  of a pure heart”.

“In my few years of ministry as a pastor, I discovered that children and young people of today are not all about music, fashion and social media and or on the extreme side mutoriro (Crystal Meth), but they are looking for a ‘spiritual challenge or awakening,” said Apostolic Faith Witnesses founder and preacher Apostle Admire Zaya.

“Many times we see this at our youth camps and discussions because they lack the moral compass to guide their lives.

“The role of the church is to help transform the lives of young people into that of Christ, hence Apostolic Faith Witnesses hosting this important conference.”

Simbi Sano, a medicine student at the University of Zimbabwe, is coordinating the programme.

Zaya said it was unfortunate that churches were failing to inculcate important life skills into the youth.

“We sometimes forget this all important goal and we most often than not get too caught up in programming and the details of church such that we miss the most important legacy of all - seeing our youth and children becoming compassionate and lifelong followers of our lord and master Jesus Christ,” he said.

“They are looking for guides and mentors who themselves are seeking to know God.

“It is out of the overflow of our lives that we are able to mentor them and also provide guidance.

“We cannot pour into their lives if we are empty in ourselves’. Empty in morals, empathy, peace, and genuine love!

“It is, therefore, important that as Apostolic Faith Witnesses and every other church, we strive to seek God and also model a Christ-centred environment for our children and young people to grow in.”

Zaya said the church should not feel intimidated when young people seek knowledge.

“The last 10 years has seen an increase in the availability of knowledge both in schools and social media,” he said.

“Young people of today are desperately in search for the truth, so it is important that we make God and the Church relevant in the lives of our children and youth.

“If we do not reach out to them by the time they attain the age of 13, we may be fighting a losing battle.

“It is my prayer that the church builds capacity in this regard to ensure we provide spiritual leadership and guidance to our future leaders without whom the church will not have a future.

“It may seem a big challenge, but we have two options, ‘either to behave like the Israelites who got scared by the sheer size of Goliath or have a heart of David and say our God is so big we can’t miss.”

In addressing the challenges, the Apostolic Faith Witnesses organised sessions that deal with spiritual matters, career guidance, life coaching and counselling.

“We believe it's a combo for all young people,” Apostle Zaya said.

Apart from being the founder of Apostolic Faith Witnesses, a church with branches across Zimbabwe, Zaya is a Bible school teacher at the Teach Every Nation Bible School on Wheels and Glory Power Bible Institute.

“My passion is to equip people for effective ministry and I have been in ministry for more than 10 years,” Zaya said.

He invited youth to come to the conference, which ends later today.

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