Youth retention, development must be our focus- Methodist Church

The Most Reverend Dr. Paul Kwabena Boafo, the Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church, Ghana, has admonished leaders of the Church to put the interest of the youth at the heart of all programmes and activities.

He said prioritising the interest of young people by ensuring that they were made part of the Church’s processes and structures was crucial to their retention as well as key to the development of the Church.

The Most Rev said this at the official opening of the 18th Biennial and 29th Connexial Delegates Conference of the Methodist Guild, Ghana, in Accra, over the weekend.

The four-day conference, which commenced on Thursday, August 24 and ended on Sunday, August 27, 2023, enabled the leadership of the Guild to account for its stewardship for the past two years.

Also, members deliberated on important issues and proffered solutions that would transform the Guild and make it more attractive to the youth within and outside the Church.

It was on the theme: ‘Disciples: Living The Transformed Life in Jesus Christ (Romans 12:1-2).’

About 800 delegates from all the Dioceses of the Comnexion were in attendance.

Also in attendance were some traditional leaders, including Nana Yaa Korkor Sekyiwaa III, and Dormaa Ankobia Hemaa.

The Most Rev Boafo indicated that the Church had taken a prime interest in the well-being of every young person in the country, saying ‘We have set a target for ourselves when it comes to young people and the youth’.

He, therefore, commended the leadership of the Guild for instilling discipline in the youth and mobilising them for development, urging them to do more to ensure that the youth were retained, contained and lived an upright life.

‘As an intergenerational organisation, you have a major phenomenal role to play when it comes to how do we keep the young people, how do we support them and how do we make sure that they remain within the Methodist tradition?’

The Methodist Guild, Ghana, was established in 1899 to mobilise the youth for church activities in addition to training them as effective witnesses in the church and in the nation.

Currently, it has a membership strength of 22,669, of which 5,440 are males, 14,569 females and 2,660 are young guilders.

Mrs Patience Ameyaa Sam, Connexial Chairman, said the Guild had achieved a lot since its establishment nearly 125 years ago, including mobilising finances, material and human resources for church work, adding that, it had also supported about 40 brilliant, but needy students at tertiary, senior high school and apprenticeship levels, through scholarships.

‘We will continue to offer the needed support to these young ones to enable them to realise their full potential to the glory of God,’ Mrs Sam added.

Updating members on the progress of some projects, Mrs Sam said, the construction of its Prayer and Retreat Centre for Spiritual Development and Recreation also known as the ‘Offinso Project,’ initiated in 2008, was progressing steadily.

Again, the construction of a 3-storey hostel facility was ongoing, she said, indicating that, the precast moulding of the ground floor was about 80 per cent complete.

‘Plans are far advanced to have the foundation stone laying done by the Presiding Bishop before the end of this year,’ she said, urging members to donate to support the completion of the projects.

The Right Rev Emmanuel Borlabi Bortey, Bishop of Accra Diocese, said as the future of the nation, the Church was not only interested in inculcating good moral values in the youth but also providing them with skills that would enable them to earn a living.

‘The Church is also interested in making sure that our young people are trained with the right skills, encourage them to take their schooling seriously and when they are rightly formed, they will be able to play their role in society,’ he emphasised.

Mr Williams Orleans Oduro, Lay President of the Methodist Church, urged the various fellowship groups of the Church to unite, harmonise projects and pool resources to ensure expedited delivery of all projects.

Source: Ghana News Agency