Olivet Teen Mission International Headquarters has increased research in order to revise its strategies for the new year. OTM holds onto the vision of evangelizing and discipling teenagers and giving them opportunities to serve God's kingdom. Recently, the ministry has started to seek more how to do this effectively through studying recent research conducted on youth ministries.
Through this research, the ministry has found what has been proven to help teenagers remain in the church even after high school. According to a study done by Barna Group, 59% of young people who grow up in church end up leaving. However, there are also studies that have revealed what worked for the other 41% who remained in the church.
Teens part of this percentage have shared that they stayed because the messages were very relevant to their lives. Teenagers are very active and need to be supported in many aspects of their lives. So they need many activities than just once a week. Additionally, though they are very energetic, they are also looking for answers about life. Therefore, programs should be very engaging while also providing many opportunities to study the Bible.
Through this research, one strategy that OTM wants to enforce in 2018 is holding regular teen retreats. The chapter in Korea has already begun this through their new initiative of monthly teen retreats. The first was held at the beginning of this month when, for a few days, teens were able to concentrate on the Word of God intensely, fellowship with other teens, and pray deeply. Many of them testified how much they could learn more about God and gain a new perspective according to the Word.
In 2018, OTM wants to strengthen these kinds of programs so that teenagers could be overwhelmed by the Word of God, providing them with answers that will quench their spirits. Through creating many programs throughout the week centered on the Word, prayer, and fellowship, then a "net" can be created for teenagers to continually remain in the grace and love of God. Retreats will allow teens to be refreshed and focused on God and teach them how to live the Christian life in a time when they are faced with many temptations daily.
OTM HQ continues to review research on how to better outreach teenagers and bring them to these spirit-filled programs so they can be transformed by the Gospel. May God guide the ministry in 2018 so that they can more effectively evangelize and disciple teenagers so that many youths can become a witness of the love of God revealed in Jesus Christ.