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IA Training Department and Youth Ministry
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IA Training Department and Youth Ministry

Jonathan Chou—Hillsborough, New Jersey, USA


According to the Book of Revelation, a mighty angel will appear from the “land of the rising of the sun, bringing with him the seal of the living God” before the final tribulation. He will seal the foreheads of all the servants of God (Rev 7:1–8).
This prophecy was fulfilled when God established the True Jesus Church in China through the Holy Spirit, which is the latter rain as prophesized in the Scriptures. The church’s purpose is to preach the true gospel, to gather God’s chosen people and to complete the kingdom of God in preparation for the Lord’s second coming. Since the church’s establishment in 1917 the true gospel has thus been preached to all continents. Today True Jesus Church services are held in more than seventy countries.

Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, early church ministers not only propagated the gospel, but also contributed significantly to the structure of the church.
During a Church Delegates Meeting in 1926 the church decided:
1) To establish general assemblies in order to unify the ministry of evangelism
2) To establish theological seminaries in order to cultivate future ministers
3) To begin publication of evangelistic material

These decisions have become the corner stones of our church’s development.

In 1967, the first World Delegates Meeting was held in order to coordinate the ministry of churches around the world. During the meeting, a unified doctrine was laid out and a secretarial department was established to facilitate global church correspondence. During the second World Delegates Meeting in 1975, the International Assembly (IA) was established to solely advance world evangelism.


Today the IA consists of the World Mission, Training, Literary Ministry, General Affairs, and Financial Affairs department, each of which is headed by corresponding directors.

IA Training Department

The Training Department’s role is to plan, execute, and assist in each country’s workers’ training. In order to build up a solid and consistent training curriculum and training guidelines, the Training Department plans basic beliefs’ classes, various divine work training and workers’ seminars as well as full-time ministers’ cultivation seminars and workshops. The task of executing these trainings is then given to General Assemblies (GA)/ Coordination Boards (CB) and IA directed churches according to the respective area of administration. The aim is to systemically assist in members’ spiritual growth, cultivate suitable workers and as a result, promote overall church growth.

Currently, the Training Department’s key objectives include:

1.       Train workers for world evangelism:
Recruit multilingual youths who are gifted to serve in various areas, e.g., evangelism, literary ministry, Internet ministry. Send them to our church’s theological seminary to prepare them for work in pioneering regions and in other specific settings. 
Recruit current full-time ministers from around the world to provide language training and to participate in world evangelism.

2.       Build an online library for training materials, collect resources from various GAs/ CBs and promote sharing of training materials.

3.       Send speakers to assist the training work in various theological seminaries and youth theological seminars around the world.

4.       Establish a formal training curriculum for ministers’ cultivation seminars and workshops.

5.       Assist in matters related to the Truth Research Committee.

6.       Assist in matters related to the Youth Ministry Committee.

7.       Coordinate IA Symposiums.

Global Youth Ministry

Youths are an important force and resource for the work of the church. As Moses numbered the people, he recruited everyone aged twenty years or above, who was able to fight, and formed an army of 600,000 men. As for the tribe of Levi, those between the age of twenty and fifty were assigned to work in the tabernacle. When David fled from Saul, he gathered those who approached him and led them to war. Later, these people became the warriors who established David’s kingdom.

In 1950, the True Jesus Church began to conduct youth (student) spiritual convocations and Religious Education (RE) classes. In 1961, a proper RE system was established, and has since been implemented throughout the churches worldwide. This has allowed our children to receive comprehensive and consistent religious education as well as to establish their personal faith. In addition, the RE system has become a key factor for the church’s continuous growth.

In 1981, the IA established the International Youth Fellowship (IYF) to encourage fellowship and communication among youths from around the world. Over the years, the IYF conducted several youth theological seminar courses. Subsequently, GAs and CBs around the world established their own national youth fellowships and started to hold their own theological seminars.

During the World Delegates Conference in 2010, the International Youth Fellowship was replaced with the Youth Ministry Committee (YMC). The latter’s aims are not only to encourage communication and fellowship between youths within the church, but also to stir up their zeal and actively train them in various areas of divine work, so that they can be good soldiers of the gospel.

Basically, IA Youth Ministry Committee members are responsible for planning, counseling and consulting in the area of global youth servitude. They are also to assist each GA/ CB to build up their local youth ministry and to provide channels that will facilitate global servitude.

The actual work, however, is done on a local level. Each GA/ CB’s youth ministry committee has the task to build up their local youths’ faith and to provide training to them in various areas of church work.

Training our youths does not only provide us with workers for our local churches; in fact, there are also many things on a national and global level that youths can do. Youths can assist their respective GA in, e.g., missionary work in pioneering areas, pastoral work, youth or children’s evangelism as well as remote area youth and members outreach through Internet services and counseling.
Other types of holy work that youths can do and that can have a great impact include, for example, compiling seminar materials, contributing articles to the literary ministry, translation, creating information material, Internet follow-up.

For this reason, each local church should encourage the establishment of youth fellowships and ministry teams, train their youths in areas of holy work which they are interested in, provide guidance to them, etc.

The US General Assembly (USGA), for example, encourages youths to attend the National Youth Servitude Training, which is held twice a year. USGA also recruits National Youth Theological Seminar (NYTS) graduates to participate in a pioneer missionary volunteer program for two weeks each year over a period of two years. Once they have completed theoretical training, the participants are required to lead services, give sermons, lead Bible studies, go on visitations, lead family services and do other hands-on holy work at their local churches. This type of training not only helps to cultivate local church workers, but also raises future workers for pioneering areas around the world and helps youths to gradually become very effective church workers.

Lift up your eyes

Youths have been and will always be a major driving force in the church.
They are RE teachers, key workers in various areas of divine work, soldiers of Christ and warriors in the kingdom of God. They will be the future pillars of the church to whom we shall pass the baton of holy work. The church needs to value, cultivate and train them as well as involve them actively in church work. At the same time, the church needs to help them to establish a correct attitude towards and motivation for serving the Lord.

Let us lift up our eyes! The field is ready for us to harvest. God has also provided many suitable workers. With joy I have seen many youths growing up to become church workers.
I pray that the youths in our church can equip themselves to become valuable vessels of God. Firmly root yourselves in the truth, gain a deep understanding of our church beliefs, and hold firm to the complete gospel. Also, keep yourselves pure and holy, flee from the lusts of the world, exercise spiritual discipline, be willing to suffer—and God will be with you to complete the important work that He has entrusted to you.

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Author: Jonathan Chou