by Patrick Tan
In a recent projection published by HSBC Global Research, the Philippines would place 16th among the world’s economies by 2050. According to HSBC, one of the defining characteristics for
economic growth is a young working demographic. A nation with an 85% population of 40 years and below, there is no wonder why the Philippines is set to become a great Asian economy in the next few years.
While there is much to be celebrated with our nation’s economic rise, the church faces a great challenge: to raise up followers of Christ among the young who will carry the gospel over to the next generation. But in order to do this, the Christian youth today must be discipled and be mobilized to do the one thing that Jesus commissioned us to do: to “go and make disciples of all nations.”
Since its relaunch in 2004, Chi Alpha (XA), the student movement of the National Youth Department of PGCAG, continues to equip and train our local churches in mobilizing their young people to reach the campuses and beyond. We believe that a “systematic, aggressive and intentional discipleship” is a key ingredient that turns the youth in our ministry to be a harvest force for evangelism and missions. Chi Alpha Leadership Training (XALT) and our resources, like the up and coming Student Intentional Moves (SIM), emphasize on youth discipleship and equipping young people with skills on how to evangelize and disciple their friends to Christ.
As a campus pastor in University Belt Manila, I got acquainted with Mr. Al Advincula, a physics professor from Technological University of the Philippines. He was saved through a local church Chi Alpha ministry while studying in University of the Philippines, Los Banos, Laguna. As a student, Al was trained to be a committed disciple of Jesus. Now as an educator, he was able to share Christ to one of his students named Russel, who is currently being mobilized to reach other students to know Christ. Both Al and Russel are serving the Lord in our local AG church in the University Belt. Imagine the impact that a church can have if it actively disciples young people to obey the Great Commission and win their family and friends to Christ. When we disciple our young people, we are helping them fulfill their kingdom purpose. When we invest in raising them up, we become obedient stewards of the gospel as we hand it to the next generation.