2. Christian Youth Movement of Honduras (Movimiento Juvenil Cristiano de Honduras) Focus - Youth Gangs VISION Rescue youth in crisis by leading them into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and forming New Testament churches God is at work through the Christian Youth Movement of Honduras to transform youth gangs into congregations of believers in Christ. Over 120,000 Honduran young people are involved in gangs, drugs, alcoholism, robbery, prostitution and other vices used by Satan to destroy lives. The focus of CYM is to reach youth groups with the Gospel through sports, community service and vocational rehabilitation. As gangs participate in these activities, they hear and study God’s Word in homes, store fronts, alley ways, high schools and prisons. Young people accept Christ as they hear and study God’s Word in the context of their group. The gangs convert to congregations of believers as youth are transformed through a personal relationship with Christ.
3. Christian Youth Movement - Honduras Growth of Youth Congregations January 1998 - June 2001 Youth Congregations Jan 98 - 1 Dec 98 - 22 Dec 99 - 63 Jun 01 - 80 Note: CYM has spread to ten different cities in Honduras.
4. Christian Youth Movement - Honduras Growth of Membership January 1998 - June 2001 Members of CYM Congregations Jan 98 - 40 Dec 98 - 1,100 Dec 99 - 3,200 Jun 01 - 6,900 Note: Approximately 75% of congregated youth have accepted Christ (5,000+). A member of CYM participates in a congregation, but may not yet know Christ.
10. Christian Youth Movement of Honduras Missionary Strategy The Honduran coordinator and IMB missionary formed a strategy based on what they saw God doing among young people in crisis: 1. Focus would be on natural groupings of young people. We envisioned each group or gang of youth as a potential church. Instead of winning individuals for Christ and trying to congregate them, we would seek to maintain the natural group structure and allow that to become church. 2. We would use sports (soccer, basketball and volleyball) as a point of contact and activity to gain access and maintain communication with youth gangs. Rules for accountability would be established by the groups themselves to encourage participation in every aspect of the “program”. 3. We would identify the leaders from each group and provide for training to enable them to lead Bible studies and worship events. We would also use volunteer adults as coaches and observers to assure stability in the groups. Training would take place “on the way” through participation.
12. Christian Youth Movement of Honduras Missionary Strategy 6. We would have at least a New Testament available for each gang member and reproduce local Bible study/worship materials written by Honduran Baptists. We put volunteer adult coaches in charge of uniforms, equipment, Bibles and materials to avoid losing valuable resources. 7. We would use local secular mass media to draw attention to the “program” to rescue youth involved with gangs. (More invitations than we could handle came out of this). 8. We would work with local government and secular community organizations to take advantage of their people and economic resources. We used resources from local Businessmen to sponsor sports events. 9. Prayer events with local believers from traditional churches and converted gangs would support the movement. (Also newsletters to recruit stateside prayer support).
18. Christian Youth Movement of Honduras Barriers and Bridges to Growth CYM is not a church planting movement, however it is a movement of God. Young people are coming to know the Lord by the thousands. We pray that this movement of God will become a church planting movement that will ignite even more explosive growth in God’s kingdom. Here are some of the barriers that we have identified that may stand in the way: 1. Delayed baptism of new believers. In some cases young people have waited for over one year to be baptized. Most wait a minimum of 3 months. Many are never baptized. In Latin America this is the rule rather than the exception as new believers must “prove” themselves to be genuine and complete discipleship course(s) before “qualifying” for baptism. For CYM converts the problem is mostly logistics. Baptism is a special event and reserved for special days out by a mountain stream or at a retreat center. 2. Need for a church building. Even the youth gang congregations come to the point of desiring a “templo”. Due to the Roman Catholic world view that is so dominant in Latin America, a church is not complete without a building.
19. Christian Youth Movement of Honduras Barriers and Bridges to Growth 3. Over-dependence on dynamic leadership. God has used one man, Armando Meza, to start and develop the movement to this point. Despite Armando’s efforts to mentor other principal leaders, he is still considered “ the pastor to the gangs”. Other leaders do not have the status that Armando has been granted by the youth gangs and other evangelical leaders. Unless other major leaders emerge, too much dependence on one leader will probably limit the reach of the Christian Youth Movement. Again, Roman Catholic world view influences concepts, including leadership. Many see Baptist pastors as Baptist priests. 4. Youth congregations that do not become church and do not reproduce. Many of the congregations do not have all of the characteristics of a New Testament church and have stagnated in growth. These groups settle into a “club mentality”. Immaturity hinders growth and the desire to reach out and win others to Christ. 5. Stateside partners could become a barrier to growth if too much or the wrong kind of help is given.
20. Christian Youth Movement of Honduras Barriers and Bridges to Growth The following are some of the bridges that have helped grow the movement: 1. The homogenous structure of the youth gang. Working with natural groupings of young people helped the Gospel to flow through their natural lines of communication. We allowed the natural structure to convert into the supernatural church. 2. Community interest in solving the youth gang problem. Parents, teachers, business people, community and government leaders, all had an interest in seeing the youth gang problem addressed effectively. This opened doors for a network of relationships taking advantage of people and economic resources from all sides without compromising doctrinal integrity. 3. Respect for the Bible as God’s Word. We did not have to argue the validity and authority of the Bible. 4. Loyalty to courageous leaders. Proven courage and genuine concern from leaders earn respect and acceptance from youth.
25. Pray for sports, community service and vocational ministries that help the movement grow .....
26. Pray for the youth congregations to follow Christ and grow in Him .....
27. Pray for youth gang leaders to mature in Christ and disciple others .....
28. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, ... but is longsuffering ... not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. (II Peter 3:9)
31. Conclusion: We rejoice in what God has done and continues to do through the Christian Youth Movement of Honduras. Thousands of young people without hope were transformed by Christ. However, we wonder what could have been? … if church planting movement principles from the book of Acts had been followed more closely. We pray that God will continue to use CYM of Honduras to win thousands more to Christ.