The urban church faces a potential decline in future indigenous leadership. Even when inner city young people attend church, they are often immersed in an environment of extremely dysfunctional families, poverty, prevalent drug and gang activity and poor schools. These pressures make it much more difficult for them to succeed. The result is that few young people, even churched young people, walk wholesome and productive lives into their twenties. They are not properly equipped spiritually to be positive leaders in their church or community. There remains a great need for evangelism, consistent discipleship and mentoring directed at these at-risk youth.
Chicago Alive Youth Camps
One glimmer of hope has been found in summer camping experiences. The Chicago Alive Youth Camp, established in 1989, provide moments where childrenand teens have the opportunity to hear the voice of God and respond,. In an environment apart from the distractions and burdens of daily life in the city. God gives them moments of lucidity and hope. Expanding this camping experience to occur through the year canprovide the spiritual continuity that these youth need.
Another glimmer of hope has been found in personal mentoring. Young men respond to personal mentoring by older and godly urban males. Beckon was established to take camping and mentoring and forge a ministry that would bring about lasting transformation in the lives of young urban men. The combination of the two can bring about leadership for church and community.