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The Salvation Army Youth Department exists to:
The intentional process of cultivating meaningful relationships (with children and youth) through relevant creative communication seeking to connect their need with the unconditional love of Jesus Christ.
The ongoing intentional process of engaging in the story of unsaved peers through sincere relationships, connecting their needs with the transforming Gospel and allowing them to accept Jesus Christ as personal Saviour.
Growing and maturing our youth and children through inspiration within the Biblical community of believers, teaching them to daily follow Christ, helping them discover and exercise their God-given gifts and ministry opportunities, in the process of becoming like Christ.
In a world where children and young people are being bombarded with a variety of messages, many from unreliable and unhealthy sources, TSA seeks to send a clear message to children and young people that God loves them, values them and desires to use them (regardless of their ages) to impact this world. TSA desires to install in children and young people the knowledge that they are loved unconditionally and assist them in making Godly choices and developing Godly values that will stand them in good stead for life. TSA also seeks to grant children and young people the opportunity to serve and impact not only on TSA but also in their homes, neighbourhoods, communities, schools, workplaces and corps. We are committed to equipping children and young people for this task.
TSA encourages each ministry unit to develop vibrant and relevant programmes geared to meeting the needs of the children and young people in the community where they are based, while always pointing them to Jesus.
Our children, when ready and upon receiving salvation and reaching the age of 7, are permitted to become Junior Soldiers, where they commit to loving and serving God while living a holy life. Young people from the age of 14 onwards have the opportunity, when they feel they are ready, to become Senior Soldiers where they also covenant with God to love and serve God while upholding the Bible-based doctrines of the TSA.TSA’s structure includes many opportunities for people and young people to serve God within the children and youth ministries in a variety of capacities – from Corps to Divisional Youth & Children’s Boards, to YP Workers and Youth Leaders. The structure is carefully designed to avoid any age group from ‘falling through the cracks’, thereby ensuring relevant ministry and nurturing of each child and young person.
TSA’s ‘Child Protection Policies’ ensures that every ministry unit is a safe place for the children and young people of Southern Africa. The personnel working with our children and youth are required to adhere to these policies while passionately seeking opportunities to assist the children in their spiritual and personal growth.
TSA caters for every age group from new born until the age of 30:
- 0-4 cradle roll: Cradle roll Sergeant looks after babies
- 4-6 pre-primary: Young People Sergeant Major and his team reach out through Kids Clubs, Holiday Clubs etc.
- 7-10 Sunday School: Young People Sergeant Major, Junior Sergeant Major recruit Junior Soldiers
- 11-13 Tweens: Junior Soldier Sergeant is responsible for reaching them
- 14 – 15 Teens: Corps Cadet Guardian and Corps Youth Secretary are responsible for this age group
- 16 – 30: Corps Youth Secretary plans the outreach events to win young people