Chris Thomas's Story
THE IMPACT OF 2015 YOUNG AFRICA LEADERS SUMMIT HAD ON ME
I want to summarize the impact of Summit in 3 points:
First, the history of United Methodist – I once read a book on John Wesley to learn about the United Methodist church, but the knowledge I gained from the Summit material provided me with much more information and foundation for my faith.
In fact, the material presented became our Bible study outline for the Youth & young adult gathering in July last year. We chose some leaders from every district in our Annual Conference and together we went through the material. Those facilitating the studies shared their perspective with the youth in ten groups. Many young adults and youth were excited to learn about the Church and its founder. The study became an inspiration to many young people. We were able to make copies of the study and provide the information to at least five leaders from every district, which has enabled those leader to go back and study at their own pace after the program.
Second, Program Planning – I visited one of our districts (Bauchi) while the young people were holding their district gathering. During this time, I was able to teach them about program planning. I saw the need to do it based on the way their program was organized. I didn’t approach the situation by pointing out any mistakes they might have made, because I know they only operated within the limit of their knowledge. The lessons I was able to provide helped them in planning for other programs. The participants appreciated the presentation and are now equipped to plan for their next district event.
Lastly, Annual Report – I have discovered the lack of knowledge regarding the history of UMC is not limited to young people. As I was the President of my Conference Young Adult Council, I took this to the group and we talked about way to spread awareness of our history. In the report to the annual conference, we requested a week in the Church annual calendar be devoted to studying and teaching our congregation the history, struggles and the successes and achievements of the Church. We tagged the week “Founders/Fathers week.” It was unanimously endorsed. Since then, the Bishop mandated the secretariat on Church calendar to include this important week.
Attending the Young Leaders Summit enhanced my leadership delivery and performance. I will forever be grateful for connecting with and making new friends from Zambia, Angola, Burundi, and DR Congo among others during the Summit. I am thankful to Young Peoples Ministries because of the Summit.
Chris Thomas, from the Northern Nigeria Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church, attended the 2015 Africa Young Leaders Summit in Ndola, Zambia and is now studying at the Africa University in Mutare, Zimbabwe.