The problem of at risk youth has become a very important society issue that needs to be addressed before it reaches astronomical heights. The course focuses on researching and examining why certain youth are at risk. Attention is also focused on how several organizations have developed programs to mitigate the issue. Evaluation and analysis are made of these programs and students are asked to come up with their own program to deal with at risk youth. Using some examples of organizations, research, and biblical principles, the instructor helps students to develop their own programs to deal with the problem of at risk youth.
Many local churches and communities have youth groups. Therefore this course benefits students and youth leaders to become aware of how to spot and help youths who are at risk before they go too far into risky behaviors. Students and youth leaders benefit from many religious and spiritual resources that are available to them as they deal with at risk youth. These resources help students and youth leaders to develop their own programs of working with at risk youth.
Local churches and communities are becoming aware of at-risk youth who go on to be unproductive people in society. There have been attempts to help youth through youth camps and youth community activities. This course is important because it helps give knowledge and practical hands-on experience to youth leaders to physically, emotionally, and spiritually assess youth who are at risk and offer them help so that they can become useful citizens in society.
This course is based on the biblical truth in Proverbs 22:6. “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” Guiding youth to grow up to become useful citizens is a biblical mandate. As children and youth are taught biblical principles, the Holy Spirit helps them to grow up to become what God wants them to be. The youth or community leader who leads youth groups must trust the Holy Spirit to use their spiritual caregiving to accomplish what God intended for the youth. By the help of the Holy Spirit, at-risk youth can grow up in a way that is useful not only to God but to humanity and society.
Spiritual caregiving with at-risk youth is one of the main tasks to be carried out by leaders of the local church. Spiritual caregiving helps to educate the youth to conform to the image of God. So the youth or community leader becomes the mirror bearer for the youth as they go through this transformation.
Training up youth takes place in many contexts of the home, school, local church, and communities. These communities can be places of spiritual caregiving and students have the opportunity to see how their faith can integrate with these contexts as they become spiritual caregivers.
Youths come from several cultures and subcultures. Homes, schools, local churches, and communities have their own culture. The student is challenged to examine these cultures as the backdrop of giving spiritual care. This helps to see how the Holy Spirit is working with culture and aids students to see culture as part of God’s plan to train the youth in the way that they should go, so that when they grow up they will not depart from it.
This course is built on students doing some work with youth, especially at-risk youth. This helps them to apply what they are learning directly and immediately as they give spiritual care to the youth in general and youths at risk. Also, students are putting together their own practical ways of dealing with at risk youth.
The student is required to submit a paper in which research and analysis is done on an organization that is dealing with at risk youth. This paper also includes the student’s own recommendation as to how this program can be improved or the student coming up with a new program in regards to how to deal with at risk youth in the local church or society.