On 15th and 16thFebruary 2018, 10 participants from 10 urban centres met together at UESI office Chennai to discuss the UESI ministry among urban students in India. One paper of the consultation was led by John Wesley of Chennai. He likened the urbanites as the crucial 20% as defined by the Pareto Principle. Among them the 20% will be those who will make an impact and influence the society. But UESI has been mostly focusing on the 80% easy to reach sector, bypassing this core group. Seen as very resourceful, educated, influential, confident, enterprising, ambitious, rather relativistic, they have failed to be within the orbit of UESI reach. Perhaps we aren’t equipped enough to meet up with this challenging generation.
Indeed, a world out there has exploited this generation but we haven’t harnessed this group that can also be responsible, aware and mature. Love would capture them but we often loose them because of our judgemental attitude. Jeyapaul Caleb, the youngest Staff in the group, guided us to understand this urban group connecting to the way they have grown up. Ministering to this group is a long-time commitment that can cost our time and talent least to say about our preparedness.
Keeping this in mind, the consultation decided to focus on reaching 16 urban Centres.
1. Manipal, 2. Mumbai, 3. Chennai, 4. Delhi, 5. Chandigarh, 6. Hyderabad, 7. Bangalore, 8. Navi Mumbai, 9. Gurgaon, 0. Pune, 11. Kolkata, 12. Ahmedabad, 13. Vellore, 14. Pondicherry, 15. Shillong & 16. Trivandrum.
The team discussed the step ahead would be
- Start Small …in a coffee/ cool place
- Form a core team who share this vision (3-4)
- Study some existing models (Mahind family- NIFT Bangalore)
- A survey on Urban students done by FDD and prepared by John Wesley would be sent to focus cities to study.
- Read articles,magazines and research on the urbanites in the cities of one’s focus.
- Staff should be willing to have a mindset change.
An Urban ministry training was held from 10-12 August2018 at Bangalore. The training was coordinated by John Wesley(lead), Jeyapaul Caleb and George K Mathew. The training had Bible study and sessions on creativity, Approaches, Urban Student Panel, adventure models.Sessions were interactive and participative.
Sathish Joseph Simon, Field Ministry Secretary