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Elder statesmen challenged to become youth mentors

The charge was made at the 74th Annual Session of the Bethel Baptist Association
  • Rev. Christina Bethell, outgoing youth president of the Bethel Baptist Association, challenges older members to be mentors, during youth night at Bethel Baptist Church. AHVIA J. CAMPBELL

Guardian Lifestyles Editor

Published: May 30, 2013

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The more senior members of Bethel Baptist Association were challenged to pool their resources to come up with a plan to save the youth of the nation by Reverend Christina Bethell, the outgoing youth president of the Bethel Baptist Association.

Bethell told the adults that if they are to be able to provide solutions to the challenged youth of today, that as elder statesmen, they first have to give themselves as mentors to this generation.

“You’re going to have to be able to listen and be able to have a conversation,” said Bethell during youth night at the recent 74th Annual Session of the association.

She challenged the seniors to do more than just speak to, preach to, command or push the gospel on young people.

“Sit down and have a conversation with them and allow the young people to express themselves,” she encouraged.  “Hear what it is they’re going through and listen to the challenges that they are facing.”

It may have been a night dedicated to the youth, but the senior members showed up to lend their support, which Bethell said was awesome.

“We were encouraged because within our association, the adults, the pastors, the leadership, always support us, so we had a message for them as well,” she said.

“And that was to take another look at the young people because obviously what we have been doing with the youth has not been working.”

The session was held under the theme “Jesus Saves” at Bethel Baptist Church on Meeting Street.

The youth members of the church were told that they are sons and daughters of Jesus Christ and that he does not desire for them to live in bondage

“The Bible says that as many as receive him, to them give the power to become sons of God. So the mere fact that Christ has already died for our sins, he reinstated us to our rightful inheritance,” said Bethell.

She spoke to the youngsters about the sovereignty of God, trusting him, trusting the fact that he really is God and that he knows what is best for them. And that because he designed them that God knows what is best for them.

“We were created in his image and likeness for God’s pleasure – to bring honor and glory to the name of Jesus,” she said.

“His breath, his spirit is inside all of us, so it means that we carry the DNA of God.”

Bethell said when Jesus walked on earth he transformed the environment and the culture.  She challenged the Bethel Baptist Association youth to use the explosive power and the transformational power of God’s DNA to transform their communities, to transform people within their churches, their schools, and to effect change among the young people in their spheres of influence.

Bethell also encouraged them to live above the circumstances that the community projects and to dare to be different.  She added that they should use their unique abilities to be leaders and not followers.

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