Diego Lopez, Eurasia Regional Youth Coordinator
What motivates you to work with youth?
I believe that adolescence is the most important time in a person’s life. It’s the time when critical decisions are made; decisions that will impact the adult person the youth is to become. It is my privilege and I feel it’s the responsibility for all of us to be part of this process in the lives of young people.
How many years have you been in youth ministry?
I have been involved in formal ministry for almost 10 years, but I have always been very active in my church and NYI.
What is the best book you have read relating to youth ministry?
Pedagogy of the Oppressed, by Paulo Freire. It is not necessarily a youth ministry book, but it teaches about the power dynamics, respect, and true freedom. It is definitely a book that has shaped my ministry and youth work practice.
What’s the best advice you can give a youth leader?
Listen more and talk less!
What’s the best advice you can give to parents of youth?
Help young people to feel a sense of responsibility. Create space for them to critically reflect on the positive and negative consequences of their actions.
What would you like the church to know about today’s youth?
The youth of today are more relevant that ever before. They are more interconnected; knowledge and information is available at their fingerprints. Youth ministry is a two-way street; young people are not empty vessels but have a lot to bring to the table.