FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(FALLS CHURCH, VIRGINIA – June 12, 2020) The Baptist World Alliance (BWA) is excited to announce the launch of a new, mobile-optimized website for the Horizons Children and Youth Ministry Training Course. Sponsored through the financial partnership of generous supporters, the online training is offered at no cost and guides participants through 24 modules in a self-paced program that addresses both practical and theological facets of children and youth ministry leadership.
Since its inception in 2005, Horizons leadership has continually adapted the program to meet the ever-changing needs of next generation ministry in a digital age.
“Our new website is another step forward in making this training accessible to as many people as possible,” said Jeff Carter, BWA’s Director of Horizons. “Many children and youth ministry leaders around the world have limited technology, and the mobile optimization of this site makes it possible for them to receive training right from their phone.”
With more than 50% of the world’s Christians under the age of 30, the BWA recognized both the need for and impact of Horizons and forged a partnership in 2018 to make the training available to its global network.
“At the BWA, one of our five key ministry areas is advancing theological reflection and transformational leadership, and it has been encouraging to see how Horizons so powerfully reflects this vision,” says Elijah Brown, BWA General Secretary. “I am grateful for Jeff’s leadership, and we look forward to how God will use this new site to reach even more leaders with the resources they need to impact the next generation.”
Carter’s nearly 30 years of experience as a lecturer, researcher, and mentor in the area of youth leadership development have proven invaluable in the continued growth of Horizons. He remains strongly committed to raising up and equipping additional leaders to ensure Horizons offers resources that best align with the culture and language of its students. This intentional leadership development has resulted in a network of trained mentors in all six of the BWA’s regions around the world.
“So much of the effectiveness of Horizons is a result of the prayers, support, and encouragement provided by our locally trained mentors,” Carter said. “Every mentor is an experienced youth worker who comes alongside Horizons participants, providing the local context for material covered in the course.”
For the mentors, it is both an opportunity to serve but also a way to be encouraged within their own ministries.
“It is a privilege to be part of this great family of Horizons mentoring representatives,” said Emilio José Cobo Porras, Horizons mentor and Director of Youth Ministry for the Baptist Evangelical Union of Spain. “Over the last five years, I’ve been able to work with dozens of Baptists who have a desire to prepare the best they can for their mission of guiding the next generation and training these new youth leaders to disciple using the helpful Horizons tool. I have no doubt this training has been a means of inspiration and a blessing to a lot of people.”
Rooted in his strong belief in the Horizons program, Porras has built a network of mentors to work alongside him in his nationwide ministry. He urges Baptist children and youth ministry leaders around the world to also take advantage of this training: “Through Horizons, we have in our hands the future of youth with the biblical, sociological, and theological formation to help us build the identity of the next generation.”