August 11, 2022 | Diana Nkhoma

Ministry On The Ground: Why Maps Matter

One of the hallmarks of how leaders strategically reach teenagers in Africa is their use of maps, trees, and lists. If you see any leader, including those in senior leadership positions on staff, you can ask to see those items and, chances are, they have them nearby. Here are some of the ways our leaders use their maps to reach the next teenager.

1. Prayer. Maps are a tool for praying for your country, city, or neighborhood by name. Using your map for prayer makes it easy to pray for the Young Life clubs in existing areas as well as for the new places we are yet to go.

2. To know where teenagers are found in your area. As we go into the world of teenagers and meet them where they are it is important to actually know where they are. Each map is hand drawn after spending time in prayer walking around the neighborhood. During the prayer walk, we notice where teenagers hang out the most. This could be a soccer pitch, school, or even the market.

3. For starting a new ministry area. Maps are a great tool for planning when starting Young Life in a completely new area whether is a school, neighborhood, or a completely new city in a foreign country. Stha, one of our Area Developers, recently moved from her home in Zimbabwe to Cape Town, South Africa, where she is currently pioneering Young Life. She used her map as a guide on where to start and how to move forward to grow ministry in this new city.

4. To identify new ministry partners. Local partnerships play an important role in the sustainability of ministry. Maps are a good resource for identifying who the best people are with which to partner. This might be a church, a non-profit, or a  local campsite.

5. For Supervision. Maps are a great tool for those who are in a position where they lead others in their ministry. Whether you are a volunteer team leader or a regional director, maps can be used to cast a nurturing vision of reaching every teenager with the gospel.

Let us know how you use your map to reach teenagers in your area through our Instagram page @ylafrica.


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