Contextual Bible Study Manual on Young People

Africa is a “young continent.”. The majority of the continent’s citizens are young people.

Churches in Africa must reflect this reality in their planning, activities and programmes. Unfortunately, however, young people tend to be marginilised in most African families, churches, communities, institutions and countries. This minimisation of young people can be seen in how African theology has neglected issues of concern to young people.

While there is debate over whether Africa’s young population is an opportunity or  risk, which is clear is that churhes (and other faith-based institutions) need to step in and play a definite role in shaping African young people. Dedicated church leaders need to invest in working with young people. They must trust young people, accord them respect, mentor them and accept their leadership. The proximity of church leaders makes them the ideal point of contact for the community, inclusive of young people. In this context, church leaders are:

  • Found in many communities, including the remote ones
  • Respected members of the community
  • Strategic and knowledgeable in interpreting sacred texts
  • Presiding over institutions such as churches, schools and hospitals, that interface with young people
  • Well placed to strategically and programmatically influence government policies which have a bearing on the welfare of children and youth.

Churches in Africa must seek to address positive sexual health, provide effective Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) to children and young people, address sexual and gender-based violence and inculcate the values of Transformative Masculinites and Femininities to promote gender justice. All of these efforts contribute towards elimination of the challenge of HIV and AIDS.

Click here for the document on the World Council of Churches website

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