1. Relationship with God
As leaders, we have the opportunity of leading children and teens into an exciting discovery of God’s character and His ways: teaching them to hear His voice and to obey in every detail; showing by example what it means to live as a friend of God, walking in holiness and the fear of the Lord.
Youth are discipled with the Bible as our standard, while keeping Jesus as the central focus. As the young people experience the grace of God in their own lives, they will want to make that grace known to others. Their first heart response should always be, “Lord, how can I bring joy to your heart today?” They must see that ministry to the heart of God is their first priority.
2. Discipleship training in the context of daily living
Because KKI is interdenominational in its scope, there is a focus on the character of God and the principles of scripture, rather than on church doctrines. As leaders, we must follow Jesus’ style of discipleship, which is to serve. The young people need to see their performance, project or sports event as an overflow of their love for God, rather than a means by which they may gain recognition or praise. They need to be taught how to receive the Lord’s “well done” as their greatest reward. As they relinquish their rights and count others as more important than themselves, they will be a powerful expression of the Kingdom of God.
The main objective of KKI outreaches and other programmes is to help each young person develop a consistent godly lifestyle. There is a real danger of an outreach becoming just an “emotional high”. The debriefing time at the end of a missions trip is just as important as the training camp preparation before. The young people should face going back to their schools and home situations with a sense of excitement and expectation of what God will do in their year round situations.
3. The destiny and spiritual capacity of children, pre-teens and teenagers.
We, as leaders of KKI ministries, must be convinced of the spiritual capacity of children and youth to know God and to speak His word. As we read the gospels, we see that it was often the children who had the spiritual discernment to know who Jesus really was. As leaders, we must follow the example of Jesus and welcome the young people to be a part of our lives. With a basic understanding of the ages and stages of a child’s physical and emotional development, we will be able to target our teaching to meet their specific needs.
It is vitally important that we view the teenagers as adults in leadership training, and allow them to take ownership in some of the aspects of team life and decision making. We also draw in the support of those in their pre-teens through an apprenticeship style of leadership. This is a critical stage for them in the forming of their philosophical views and personal identity.
4. The importance of the family and the linking of the generations.
The home is viewed as the centre for learning and service, and a platform for impacting the community. We encourage entire families to be involved in KKI outreaches. These outreaches provide opportunity for the family to be involved in ministry together. Through their giving and reaching out, they are often being restored themselves. In the environment of a KKI outreach, where a wide spectrum of ages is encouraged, we find a tremendous strength and balance in the linking together of the generations, so that the different age groups in the family of God can learn from and give to each other.
5. Team leadership and effective partnerships.
The key to effective team leadership is positive, loving relationships which foster a heart to serve one another. Working in plurality of leadership provides a balance in decision making. No decision should be concluded without seeking the Lord’s specific direction and ensuring there is complete agreement by all parties on the leadership team. Although the outreach leader carries the final decision-making responsibility, the daily leadership of the team should be shared by those responsible for different areas. This allows the young people to receive instruction through a variety of leadership styles. The leadership structures and responsibilities, however, must be clear to the staff and team participants to avoid any confusion. As the care of the young people is of great consequence, it is important that those in leadership be adequately trained for their area of responsibility. They must be fully aware of all safety and liability measures and take full accountability while they are in supervision of the team.
6. Reaching Out
Worship must be an integral part of each day – worship that is not self-focused, but shares in the heart of God. As the young people begin to feel God’s heart and see that He is grieved for a hurting world, they will be led to intercede and be involved in spiritual warfare on behalf of those to whom they will minister. The natural overflow of this love for God will show itself in a desire to reach out to other people and share the love of God with them. The young people of the 21st century have a specific role to play in completing the Great Commission and influencing all spheres of society with the values of God?s Kingdom. We as leaders must recognize that it is God’s desire to use the child-like faith and simplicity of young people to break through some of the hardest spiritual barriers (Psalm 8:2). We must be careful not to “shelter” children from experiences where they will see God’s miraculous power at work. It is often in the midst of the darkest surroundings that the glory of God will shine the brightest, as the children and young people declare who God is to them. We believe that God has a destiny and a calling for the youth of this generation. Young people should be encouraged not to settle for second best, but to be radical in their commitment to obey the Lord.