Reaching the forgotten generation
Teenagers have been largely overlooked by evangelical Baptist churches in Paraguay. That was until BMS World Mission supported partner worker Carol González came along
Having a youth leader or minister is pretty common at Baptist churches in the UK. In Paraguay, it is not.
Churches in the South American country have largely avoided any work with teenagers. This was partly because of traditional, rigid ways of doing church which leaders found hard to change, and partly because they didn’t fully understand teenagers.
The generational gap there today is increasing. Most adults grew up during a period of dictatorship and were used to repression, authoritarianism and corruption. All today’s teenagers and young adults have known is democracy. They are more tech-savvy, individualistic, keen to question authority and fight for change.
Carol González and her husband César feel called to bridge the gap between the Church and teenagers, to make young people feel included and share the gospel with them in a way that applies to their lives.
They started youth work at their Baptist church in the capital Asunción ten years ago and have expanded to minister to young adults too. This has led to them taking on a national Baptist role in 2012 (supported by BMS), organising Christian camps for teenagers and providing training for ministers and churches on how to reach their young people more effectively. They have also given talks to help parents too.
Carol and César have seen the lives of many teenagers transformed by the love of Christ through their pioneering youth work. Pray for them as they continue to change lives and the Church’s approach to young people in Paraguay.
This article first appeared on the BMS World Mission website and is used with permission.