Written by:
Mighty Rasing

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Africa Training Manual

Empowering Youth for Effective Leadership:

A Youth Leadership Manual for Use in the United Methodist Church in Africa

This resource was developed by Young People’s Ministries, a unit of Discipleship Ministries (DM); and the International Ministries Committee of the General Board of Global Ministries (GBGM) in partnership with youth and young adult leaders of the United Methodist Church in Africa.

How to Use this Resource

This resource is intended as a training source for ministry and must be distributed free of charge. The editorial team sought to verify all quotations and statistics. Please feel free to verify sources and find updates on the World Wide Web.

You can use this resource for a wide variety of topics related to youth and young adult ministry. Each module is packed with information with topics ranging from youth leadership, youth group meetings, retreats, self-care, the beliefs and doctrines of the United Methodist Church, and many more.

Youth ministry is contextual. For these modules to be effective, it’s important to adapt and apply it to your own setting. You know the youth and young adults from your area, make sure to identify their needs, the challenges they face, as well as the best way for them to learn the principles and lessons from these modules.

You can use this Training Manual in different ways:

  • For personal study;
  • For group study;
  • For a lecture at a local church or community; and
  • For a leadership training program that lasts several days in your district, annual, conference, or central conference.

This Training Manual is available in English, French, and Portuguese:

Download the Africa Training Manual in English
Download the Africa Training Manual in French 
Download the Africa Training Manual in Portuguese

Contents of the Africa Training Manual

  • Preface
  • Introduction
  • Dedication and Acknowledgment
  1. Ministry with Young People
  2. Young People Today
  3. Leadership For Young People
  4. Adult Workers and Self-Care
  5. Building a Youth Group
  6. Retreats for Program Planning
  7. Faith Formation
  8. Group Dynamics, Conflict Resolution and Communication
  9. United Methodism: Our History and Beliefs
  10. Religions: Encountering People of Other Faiths
  11. Leaders and Leadership
  12. Qualities and Expectations of Spiritual and Servant Leaders
  13. Program Planning and Implementation
  14. Self-Esteem
  15. Youth: Relationships, Dating and Sexuality
  16. Gender-Based Violence
  17. HIV and AIDS
  18. Substance Abuse
  19. Human Rights

Note: Some of the statistics and data cited in the Africa Training Manual may be out of date. Please research trusted websites, such as the United Nations, for more recent statistics and data.

From the Preface

In 2007, the International Ministries Committee (IMC) of the Women’s Division endorsed and provided initial funding for the production of a contextually relevant youth leadership training manual for use in the United Methodist Church (UMC) in Africa.

In 2005, the Young People’s Ministries Division of Discipleship Ministries (formerly General Board of Discipleship) had begun the process of working on a Leadership Training Manual for adult workers with young people in Africa. In the fall of 2007, the two program leaders, seeing the similarity between the two projects, decided to partner and create one resource.

The two project coordinators hosted a Writers’ Workshop in Accra, Ghana in September of 2007. It is the first time in recent history that these two general agencies of The United Methodist Church have intentionally partnered to develop a contextually relevant and prophetic ministry resource for youth, young adults, and adult workers in Africa.

One of the greatest and most critical challenges for the UMC in Africa is the need for visionary leadership. Good leadership cannot be developed overnight; it requires a heavy investment of time, energy, and financial resources.

Also, leadership is about change – and change involves people. In his, “Non-Violence – The Only Way to Freedom” message, Martin Luther King Jr. said, “To produce change, people must be organized to work together in units of power ... to protect their own interests and produce change on their behalf. This is a tedious task which takes years, but the results are permanent and meaningful.”

If the church in Africa is to respond skillfully to the galaxy of challenges it faces today, it is imperative that the whole church unites and creates opportunities for young people by equipping them with the necessary tools to react positively to the demands on them and the church.