Because of her judgments on others and herself, Michelle never felt assured of God’s love.
Even though she had repented of her sins and committed to following Jesus, she still felt that she needed to prove herself and earn something from Him.
But Michelle’s perspective gradually shifted as she began to attend her church’s youth ministry.
A youth ministry made possible through the investment of Youth Ministry International (YMI).
As a young woman living in Indonesia, Michelle felt as though she didn’t always have many spiritual resources.
She was a young Christian trying to grow in her faith, but she constantly struggled with perfectionism and a need to earn God’s favor.
“I strove to become the one who is the most perfect, even including the aspect of following Jesus,” Michelle admitted.
Her perfectionistic tendencies even affected her relationships with those around her.
“I liked to nit-pick the weaknesses and mistakes of others,” Michelle confessed. “I also hated those who committed wrongs against me.”
Michelle also struggled to believe in God’s love.
“Is it true that God’s love has no end?”
“Even when I fail, fall down, and feel crushed?”
But her outlook changed when Youth Ministry International invested in her youth group.
YMI is a missions organization dedicated to evangelizing and discipling youth around the world through their local churches. The ministry operates primarily by training indigenous youth leaders in locations around the globe.
“Over 90% of the world’s formally trained youth leaders are in the USA, ministering to only 2% of the world’s youth,” YMI writes. “[We are] dedicated to changing this statistic.”
It’s staggering to think that most of the world’s youth don’t have access to ministry leaders and materials. Michelle’s youth group was one such case—until YMI helped out.
YMI trains and certifies youth leaders, emphasizing skills in mentorship, Bible study, ministry leadership, and discipleship. Youth leaders come out of YMI trainings with the ability and passion to reach youth in their local community for the kingdom of God.
“Thank you Youth Ministry International for investing in my youth pastor,” Michelle said gratefully.
Because of YMI’s involvement, she said, “[I] have a great youth group!”
Participating in that youth group has transformed her understanding of her relationship with Jesus.
“One thing I realize now is that although I have been a Christian for a while I never noticed God’s love for me even in my failures,” Michelle said. “My Bible reading, serving, and giving were all for the goal of my personal perfection and not to enjoy His love.”
“But now, I give thanks to God for placing me in this youth ministry where I have learned that God loves me just as I am.”
YMI had trained Michelle’s youth pastor to respond to the thoughts and needs of young people like Michelle. Because of this training, the youth pastor was equipped to steer Michelle toward the truth.
“I realize that I cannot be perfect, but God is,” Michelle realized. “Without this lesson, I may have continued to just live my Christian life as a routine. I have learned that it is only when I live my life knowing that He loves me that I feel truly free to live life at its fullest.”
The things she learned in her youth group began to change her relationships with those around her as well.
“I should not despise others when they make mistakes since God didn’t love me because I was perfect but loved me even when I was a sinner,” Michelle continued.
She even began to reconcile with her father. “I love him because I know that God also loves him.”
Michelle’s story is only one of thousands that could be told about the work of YMI. The organization has reached out to youth all over the world, with over 300,000 youth committing their lives to Christ over the last three decades.
Because of YMI’s consistent efforts to invest in global and local youth ministries, hundreds of thousands of young people share testimonies like Michelle’s.
“I know that this is all because of God and now I live in the fullness of His love,” she shared. “It is all about Jesus.”