This extended essay is dedicated to the Almighty God for the gift of love, life, strength and care throughout. To my mummy Loy Wanyana, my dear sister and brothers especially Joseph W. and Kenneth W. who took the initiative to guide me all through the project. You always be remembered.
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEMS
Despite the efforts done by the Anglican Church of Uganda in improving the spirituality of the youth, many challenges remain to the people especially the youth of St. Mark Church of Uganda Kamuli Parish no concerns have been put to the youth because Church leaders and parents together with the community members have come out to lay strategies to solve the problem that the youth victims of. This is why this extended essay is to awaken the community and combat the youth to go and fight these problems which have brought long life effects on this generation.
The purpose of the study was to examine the problems facing the youth in St. Mark Church of Uganda Kamuli parish the study was promoted by observation of acts of individualism characterized with anti-social behaviors where many youth indulge in drug abuse, rape, theft alcohol consumption. Specifically the study sought to assess the causes, effects of the problems facing the youth in St. Mark Kamuli Parish. Across sectional survey was designed in gathering data and a total sample of 78 respondents including the youth, church elders, mothers and fathers union, youth leaders was used. The primary data was collected using a structured questionnaire and interview guide. Both qualitative and quantitative data were collected.
Therefore, emergency measures such as sensitization and education of parents, church workers, listening to the youth, balancing their needs with the Church are needed. These will contribute to the presentation of poor diet in the area observed.
The study was intended to examine the problems facing the youth in St. Mark Church of Uganda Kamuli Parish.
Given the reference
Much has been written about youth culture and some of us reckon we are beginning to understand it. In the world of music, sports, media, excellent work has been done, we know how to relate to teenagers. We know what they like; we know what they don’t like. We know how to amuse them, and sometimes we think we know how to reach out to them (Mark Ashton 2010)
Many young people today are living in a society which is failing to meet their basic needs. God’s plan was that children and young people should be brought up in the loving atmosphere of a home. But many young people who come into our churches come from unstable homes and some think the. Bible has little to teach about youth growth but the Bible tells about God’s dealing with the youth because God is the God of all ages.
AN OPPOSING VIEW
In this section, the researcher reveals the different arguments, counters arguments and defends basing on the theme. Problems facing the youth in St. Mark Church of Uganda Kamuli parish.
When you look at the Anglican community in general, you find out that there many youth and they do come to church though the Christian church is not doing well with those teenagers. Mark Ashton says (youth decay is now setting in earlier than ever before. We used to be able to keep them until they were in teens. And much has been said about their behaviors of music, sports, magazines and we know how to relate with them, we know what they like and how to amuse them but all this is no more). Below are the problems that are blocking them to feel like their God is a God of all ages.
Changing morals among the youth in the Church end society whatever the case, visible changes in the realm of moral that can be noticed. Persistently, the different sources of mass media call people’s attention to different realities. Like their changes in the dressing when their in public places which so much affect the people who look at them.
Synod (1993) observed that pornographic films, violent computer games and sexually explicit magazines are keys in propagating moral degeneration among the youth. This is true when we look at different news papers we have in Uganda like Red paper, Onion, Kamunye and many others.
They show pornographic acts behaviors even in the schools and homes. Some visit the internet videos and this has spoiled many young men and women because they are attracted to have a go about such hence pregnancies, smoking and many others.
Church leaders, politicians, social workers and the elder’s generation constantly decry, the youth of today as being lax and immoral. Whereas the youth in their turn look upon church leaders, teachers, and parents of being old to understand them. The youth claim elders generations do not understand them in this generation they refer to as “dot com”. When the youth turn to their parents, they are shocked with what they find. Olivia one of the youth said she was shocked when her father’s brother (Uncle) asked for sex from her yet he is one of the “strong Christians” highly respected. She says she feels bad to see his father preaching.
WILFRED AMALEMBU (1996)
In the past, youth had time with their uncles, aunts and grand parents teach them about how to live in community, on how to dress especially when it came to the girls becoming an adult, their physical changes, and all. In addition, there were initiation ceremonies like circumcision, where boys and girls learned all about sexuality and responsibilities from the village “consultants” parents did not have to talk to their children about such matters. Today that tradition system in society has broken down and parents do not know where to begin from and this has become a problem that the youth are facing.
According to Barker (1995), the Anglican Church is too conservative with the liturgical style of worship which makes the service rigid and not lively. Youth have not been included seriously in the church structure to use their spiritual gifts. At times if they are included, they are just puppets. They are not allowed to give opinions and they have not been given a chance in decision-making.
Also the youth attending church are sexually active and this has led to unwanted pregnancies that frequently lead to abortion in this parish. The church has made little or no impact against the AIDS epidemic. The church leaders never even discuss the loaming disaster in the church and as a result many youth find their parents and teachers ill equipped and of afraid to teach them about sex issues.
Rev. Gideon Byamugisha (2000) points out that talking about sex in the church is very difficult because church leaders have not done it before and sometimes they believe that the church is too holy to talk about sex. This in return has caused problems like cross generation sex to the young because church leaders have failed to carry out their responsibilities. Winning a battle requires knowing the enemy. So when it comes to the enemy known as HIV/AIDS, many youth are ignorant about the diseases, how it spreads and what can be done to stop its spread. Their (youth) ignorance leaves them vulnerable to infection.
Sarah Mukisa, Population Secretary (2007) noted that economic conditions make it difficult for young girls to afford basic necessities, thus lead them to seek favor from older men who usually have money to offer and them eventually making the young girls ending up with unwanted pregnancies that affect their future like leaving school.
Differences and inequalities between males and females in responsibilities done, access to control over resources plus decision making opportunities (straight talk vol. 14 August 2008). These differences and inequalities have affected the youth, and especially the girls in such a way that they have fewer rights, lower education and less access to resources and decision making than men. Thus an open door for abuse indirectly gives to those in control. Meanwhile the weaker ones seek to do illicit practices in order to survive, thus encouraging theft and prostitution among the youth girls.
Secondary school students have not been spread of the infiltration of drug abuse. According to an oral interview with some of the students, majority confessed to having been exposed to drug use at an early age of adolescence. This is as a result of the entertainment made through the media that makes the drug appear attractive. For instant adverts which portray successful film actors and music artists who use drugs and this entices the youth to also try them out.
According to Douglas .S. Winnail (1980’s) asserts that one of the most surprising developments of the last 50 years has been a dramatic shift a way from Judeo Christian moral values that provide the foundation of Western civilization, the older generations wonder why this is happening and where it will lead through the young people seem oblivious to the corner. “We have passively accepted a slowly deteriorating youth scene without uttering a croak of protest. This shows that the church and society has permitted in a way the escalation of moral decadence among the youth hence causing problems to them.
THE EFFECTS OF THE PROBLEMS FACING THE YOUTH IN ST. MARK CHURCH OF UGANDA
The conservativeness of the Anglican church of Uganda has made more youth to desert this mainstream church to other churches hence ending up in cults because most cults are convincing these youth by use of money to entice and fish them from St. Mark Kamuli Parish. If they leave the church, no active people will help in mission, helping the needy, orphans, the sick and the old people. At the end the Church will luck future well trained minister and Christians to move on with the faith.
Pentecostal churches are growing rapidly and gaining the majority of the youths by using the advantages of the weakness of the Anglican Church. They are gaining, the Anglican Church is losing badly and once youth leave the church that means there will be no future Christians in the Anglican communities hence making the services dull. It also increases decline in the spiritual growth of the church. The youth who could a strong church fellowship of the Anglican community can affect the church once they desert.
Pre-marital sex appears to be wide among these youth. Contraceptive use among sexually active youth is generally low, which is reflected in high level of teenage pregnancies, abortions, HIV infections and sexually Transmitted Diseases. Society has filed to provide young people with information they need to postpone sex until they are physically, sexually and emotionally mature. The church has also failed. Basic information about sexuality and reproductive health is lacking hence many youth have ended up becoming victims of theft, cross generation sex, prostitution The youth who are addicted to football and other sports should be advised by their leaders, parents, teachers and church workers to have the right time for that. And this should not be like a job to earn a living but a leisure time for relaxing so that they can be active in doing other developmental things like brick lying, agriculture, and many others.
Many youth who are involved in these batting activities end up crimes like robbery where they always think they can get a living if they bat the money
Drug abuse has lead to the damage of physical or mental health among the youth as in the case of alcohol users who develop necropsy chiastic damage or lung cancer for the smokers. This I also associated with frequent crimes among the youth. The crimes frequently committed by drug users are those which the drug users can gain more money to obtain enough drugs to satisfy their habits like theft, prostitution and other illegal activities.
Cross generation sex relationships have increased on the level of HIV/AIDS infections among the youth. They are involved in risky sexual behaviors and nearly half of them with more than one partner of which those partners have other partners. This has given in a chance for HIV/Aids infections among the youth who are exposed to unprotected intercourse as I intervened one who said “I can not eat sweet raped in kavere”( polythein bag) meaning she can not play sex using a condom.
Things like bating in sports has affected the youth so much because they waste a lot of time in arguments over their lovely teams like Manchester United, Liverpool and in this they get more if their predictions are successful. This has also increased on more crime rates because some of them are stealing money from homes and other sources hence ending up in prison
The youth have also been involved so much in suicide. Many are the times the youth victims of problems like theft, prostitution and instead of being ashamed in public, they end up killing themselves to find a way out. This is very. The pressure they undergo makes them have sudden changes even in behaviors.
The changing morals among the youth in the church and the society could be solved of we look back on what usual to be done. In Africa, ethical principles and rules were preserved and there are very few cases that have lost truck. If these rules and principles are well restored, they can help the youth of this era to suit well in the society and also in Church. There were stories and Glory telling which were important ways important ways of entrenching ethical values and motivations to the young ones.
Also there many stories in the Bible that are very helpful in the guiding of the youth to live a God fearing life. For Christians there no need for proving morals. They do exist and God revealed them to humanity. It is important to deal with internal factors of action (faith and belief) as a Christian as Paul says:-
So I say, live by the spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. To the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the spirit and the spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. But if you are led by the spirit, you are not under law. The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witch craft, hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions. (Galatians: 5:16 – 21)
The church therefore must come up with strategies that can help the youth to live a godly life, to tell them to avoid living and dressed half necked in public because God exists and therefore morals do exist.
The problem of youth being puppets in the church can be solved if the church leaders give them different opportunities to practice their talents. This is their age and they feel it in them. They want to read lessons, preach, lead services, and sing in Church. Music can bypass intellectual barriers and take the massage straight to the heart. The church also needs to preach the word of God and also to show the youth that God is God of all ages.
The Bible tells us to pass on the faith in Christ that lives in us to others. For Paul was also passing his ministry and faith a young man Timothy when he wrote to him the two letter of Timothy. There is no way the elder can pass their faith to the youth unless they live as role models to them. Let the youth be kept in the center of the church so that they can know God. With this in mind, we can find out their spiritual understanding and potential as teenager. Let’s avoid putting them on pressure so that we help them achieve great spiritual achievement hence being the future church ministers of God.
The silence on cross-generation sex must be broken to avoid cases of AIDS, early pregnancies, abortions. Let the church and community speak out about these issues as many times as possible in public. Using appropriate and take away massages for different audiences. Let church leaders and parents give advice on what sexual unions are and what time they can be good and what time they are dangerous. This will really help the youth to know what to do when, how to do it, where to do it and why to do it. Youth are more likely to be convinced by what you are saying to them with proof.
We should provide guidance to young people, according to Luther Martin, “What purpose do we older flock exist, other than to care for instruct and bring up the young. It is ultimathy impossible for youth to instruct and protect themselves, this is why God has entrusted them to us who are older and from experience give what is best for them.
The church should also not be silent on issues of drug abuse among the youth. Christians who are tempted to use or abuse drugs and alcohol should pause to think about them from a spirituals perspective. These substances have a direct spiritual effect on our bodies which are the spiritual abode of the Holy Spirit and so they should be treated as holy (1 Cor. 3:16 – 17). We should inform the youth that it’s not the drugs and alcohol that are abused, but our bodies. Let them also be aware of the destructiveness, disruptiveness and unprofitableness to our families, societies as a whole.
The youth who are addicted to football and other sports should be advised by their leaders, parents, teachers and church workers to have the right time for that. And this should not be like a job to earn a living but a leisure time for relaxing so that they can be active in doing other developmental things like brick lying, agriculture, and many others.
The purpose of the study was to examine the problems facing the youth in St Mark Church of Uganda Kamuli Parish. Basing on the findings, the following conclusions were made:
(i). The findings revealed that the youth knowledge about the problems they face was varied ranging from preaching the Word of God, fellowships with one another, sharing and spreading the gospel of Christ, being followers of Jesus Christ to devotion and desire to follow Jesus and his teachings. Although various finding were given on how youth understand Christianity, there is need for the Church to teach the youth about the concept of Christianity so that they avoid public life of pretence that their Christians yet when they are out of the Church that
(ii).Youth always want to spend some time with the adults because they don’t want the childhood experience. So elders should be good examples to the youth who are imitators of what they see from the elders. We need to build up ideas with them rather than criticizing them for listening to music having poor friends, watching televisions. Let’s not just have the negative attitude towards them but have the right attitude.
(iii).The results of the study also show that the Church if the Church could handle small different groups at ago them it could be essay for the youth to grow spiritually stronger. Finally the problems facing the youth in St Mark Church of Uganda, Kamuli parish were the conservativeness of the church, insufficient funds, HIV/AIDS, luck of parental talks with the youth, inequalities between male and female, moral degeneration among the youth, drug abuse.
Therefore, the Church need to teach the youth about Jesus’ call for the sinners. That is the call to say “NO” to the old selfish life of sin and to say “YES” to Jesus. Inward belief must be accompanied with outward obedience to Christ.
Basing on the findings, the study recommended the following for increasing spiritual developments among the youth of St Mark Church of Uganda Kamuli Parish: Christ, from time to time, sent out his disciples for experience and exercises. He was quite aware of the disciple’s limitations, but they had to learn by exposure to the different situations. The Church should also learn to allow the youth to participate in their training curriculum. However, this exposure should not be without necessary instructions, regulations, and supervision from elders
According to the observation made, sensitization and education of parents, church leaders is the major recommendation by the researcher whereby in order to deal well with the youth, the church should rise up in the education of the youth workers and parents in Kamuli parish on how to deal with the youth in bringing them to Christ and in order to be in position to curb parents’ ignorance in bringing up their children as good Christians.
In order to be able to overcome the causes of the problems facing the youth, parents, church leaders and other care givers should adopt to the modern methods of life unlike the traditional ones of where youth are looked at as being unconstructive. They are restricted from bringing up ideas because of the traditional belief but then it’s high time for them to sit with the elders on a round table and share ideas and experiences.
In order to prevent unwanted pregnancies, AIDS/HIV, abortions, drug abuse, youth should be given talks through radios, literature and conferences that can help them to live a life the a blessing to them, their parents and the glory going back to the creator God. Observing their talents, the youth should also be given time to develop their gifts like singing, sports, leadership that through such, their leaders can help them to reduce on the risks that they may face if they are idol and bored.