Written by Manoj Sunny on behalf of Jesus Youth International Council.
The Jesus Youth life is built around true, enduring friendships. Hands held together, journeys begun and continued together, words of comfort and understanding, prayers lifted up in unity–all these expressions of friendship have been the warp and weft of the movement. Here, simple friendships often deepen into spiritual relationships within cell groups, sharing groups, prayer groups and other meeting points while remaining rooted in an all encompassing friendship with Jesus.Learn more
Over the years, through its constant yearning and seeking, a refreshing spirituality has emerged within the Jesus Youth movement. Drawn from the spirit of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal and the rich traditions of the Church, this unique spirituality is rooted in six strong pillars. It is structured around the needs of people as they live out their everyday lives in homes, offices, universities, schools, trains, playgrounds and streets around the world.
Ordinary people, everyday lives, universities, schools, offices, families, children, teens, couples, relationships, struggles, pain, laughter– Jesus Youth is present and at work in all these diverse set of life situations. Deeply human, people-oriented and culture-sensitive, the movement works through local individuals across different demographics and geographies. Every initiative of the movement emerges from genuine personal inspirations and is passionately driven by the love of the Heavenly Father for every person on the face of the earth.
The Jesus Youth movement, which is geographically organised, has designated councils to coordinate its activities at various levels. The International Council gives leadership and direction to the entire Jesus Youth movement around the world. Beneath the international council, The National and Regional councils coordinate the movement in different countries and regions. At the grass root level, Zonal councils coordinate local households and prayer groups.
Music has always been at the centre of the Jesus Youth movement. Since the early 90s Jesus Youth had sensed the power of music to communicate the beauty and presence of Jesus. Gradually, the movement also attracted young musicians and instilled in them a desire to use their musical talents for Christ and the Church. Over the years, several internationally acclaimed contemporary catholic bands - some of them regular performers at international Catholic events like the World Youth Day - have emerged as outreaches of the Jesus Youth movement. Here’s a sampling of the bands and their music.
The World Wide Web and Technology have changed the way we communicate, converse, connect, work and live. Jesus Youth–one of the first catholic movements to have an online presence–is aware of the immense possibilities of sharing the Gospel on this platform. The movement encourages a Catholic evangelistic presence on the web and on social media platforms. It is involved in the formation of young ‘Tech Missionaries’ and the creation of innovative technology platforms that carry the message of Christ into the cyber world.
From the late 70s, the Jesus Youth movement has been involved in publishing magazines, training materials, books and newsletters that cater to different target segments within the youth. The movement feels that the impact and power of journalism and writing should never be underestimated. Over the years its publishing ventures have also been extended into several online publishing platforms.
From its very beginning, the Jesus Youth movement had nurtured a special call to accompany young people in their journey of faith. The formation plan of the Jesus Youth, drawn from its vast experiences over the years, is designed to help young people move ahead and sustain their faith in a balanced manner. The formation plan involves a five phases that offer grass-roots formation, a step by step progression, trained formators and a comprehensive set of modules across relevant topics.
Jesus Youth Volunteership Programmes challenge young people from around the world to set aside time for an intense training and formation experience of sharing the Good News in different places around the world, after their graduation.
Jesus Youth is ‘A Missionary Movement at the Service of the Church’, and sharing the person, the message and the love of Jesus is of prime importance at all times. Besides witnessing to the Gospel in their everyday lives, individuals and groups within the movement initiate and support specific missions around the world.Know More
Wherever the Jesus Youth movement is present, it encourages young people to go beyond the movement and be part of the larger community and its social fabric. Thus over the years, young people in the movement have sparked off several socially relevant platforms and initiatives in response to the pressing needs of a particular community or society. Here are a few examples of such initiatives.
In the mid 1970s the flame of the Charismatic Renewal spread to India and to Kerala, the southernmost tip of the Indian subcontinent. The wave of the Holy Spirit gave rise to several youth groups where catholic youth encountered Jesus and the Gospel in a renewed and refreshing way. Gradually these groups began to connect to each other and in 1985, these youth groups came together for a large conference. The conference was called ‘Jesus Youth 85’ and the young people who attended the conference began to call themselves ‘Jesus Youth’.
These young people shared their experiences to those around, and as they moved into universities, schools, workplaces and cities, they continued to spread the exciting news of Jesus - forming prayer groups and cell groups. The spirituality, approach and creativity of the young people began to spread as a lifestyle. As many among them travelled to different countries, they carried their Jesus Youth lifestyle along with them, leading to the formation of Jesus Youth groups around the world. Today Jesus Youth is present in over 25 countries around the world.
Though the movement began in the Southern part of India, the Jesus Youth way of life resonated among diverse cultures and the movement spread to the Middle East, Europe, South East Asia, US, Australia and Africa in a short span of time. Through migration and mission, Jesus Youth groups were reaching out to local cultures in different parts of the world. Today Jesus Youth groups have a local presence in over 25 countries and is spreading out into new cultural and geographical spaces around the world.