The Lord is moving powerfully among young Israelis today in ways I never thought possible!
We are thanking God that young, native-born Israelis are now coming to faith in Jesus the Messiah! We are not only experiencing a “second generation” of Israelis coming to faith and serving the Lord—they are also sharing the Good News with their friends, army buddies, and families.
One of the great challenges Your Mission to the Jewish People faces today is how to help disciple this new generation of Israeli believers. We really need your help.
THE NEW GENERATION OF ISRAELI FOLLOWERS OF JESUS
My first trip to Israel as a believer was in 1976. I met a handful of Messianic Jews, and there were probably only a dozen Messianic congregations at the time. Most of the Israelis I met had become believers outside the Land. Many had actually come to the Lord during the “Jesus Movement” of the 1970s, and moved back to Israel or immigrated under the Law of Return to be a witness in the Holy Land. By the mid-1990s, there were probably a few thousand Jewish believers in Israel. But now, based on our most current research, there might be as many as thirty thousand Israeli Jewish followers of Jesus.
This younger generation of Israeli believers is in need of deeper biblical studies and practical ministry training. They want to impact their families, cities, communities, and country. They want to pray with one another, collaborate with each other in evangelistic efforts, and be used as God’s instruments to unify the Church in Israel.
New ministries are also growing within Israel, such as crisis pregnancy centers, drug rehabilitation centers, and extensive ministries among the poor and elderly Holocaust survivors—most of whom are over the age of 80.
Younger Israelis are some of the most digitally connected in the world, and Chosen People Ministries is using online videos, websites, and social media to reach this generation. We are touching the lives of thousands of Israelis through our Hebrew language Isaiah 53 Campaign. This campaign, focusing on the prophecy of the Suffering Servant in Isaiah 53, has been used of God to touch thousands of Jewish people throughout the world. This has been especially true in Israel.
We have sent 5,000-plus Isaiah 53 Explained books in Hebrew at the request of Israelis—95 percent of whom are not yet believers in Jesus! More than a half million Israelis have watched the Hebrew language testimonies we helped develop with our partners at One for Israel Ministry. This success is why we have begun a number of ministries geared toward the younger generation. We are doing all we can to personally follow up with these contacts. We are continually thanking God that we are seeing Israelis coming to faith through various ministries to both young and old.
RAMAT GAN CENTER
Ramat Gan, an urban suburb east of Tel Aviv, is home to hundreds of thousands of unreached young Israeli families. We have established and staffed a new Center in this area, and we have already shared the gospel through our café, public lectures, Bible studies, a moms’ group, and more! The Lord is working powerfully, and through the generosity of friends and supporters, we have already been able to add a couple of Israeli believers to our staff this year.
The Center has also been used by other ministries in the greater Tel Aviv area for outreach to soldiers, discipleship Bible studies, and more! The ministry is growing and we are thrilled with what the Lord is doing. Again, younger Israelis are more open to the gospel today than I can remember, so the opportunities to proclaim the Good News are plentiful.
This new generation of Israeli believers is more engaged with Israeli society and needs practical training in church leadership, evangelism, and discipleship strategies. This is why we have developed mentoring retreats called Living Waters, where we gather twenty-five to thirty of these young Israeli believers for a weekend of training and fellowship. The retreats take place once or sometimes twice a year.
Some of our Living Waters mentees sell medical and technology products, lead moms’ Bible studies, lead youth and soldiers ministries, and others work as software engineers. You name it! Each one is thoroughly engaged in their local congregations and usually responsible for a key area of ministry. They need the input we provide to encourage their hearts and to develop skills for their lives and ministries. Through the Living Waters mentoring retreats, we impart practical biblical teaching as well as hands-on life and ministry skills, while creating and strengthening relationships and helping these young believers build a lifetime of gospel partnerships. I know you would like to hear from some of the young leaders for yourself!
Ariel Z. works with youth in a Russian-speaking congregation:
“I currently serve in a local congregation and have found the subject of ‘burnout’ to be very relevant. It was encouraging to know that I was not the only one experiencing burnout at times, but that it has also been a concern for others. The seminar was very helpful to me as Dr. Polischuk addressed the subject not only from a psychological point of view but also from the Scriptures. I was already aware of some of the ways to avoid burnout, but many were also new to me, such as the importance of having a hobby!”
David S. is a business manager at a Bible college and works with youth in a Hebrew-speaking congregation:
“The topics of the seminar were very interesting and relevant to my life. As a married couple, we have been asked many questions during our conversations with singles and other couples, and we need the wisdom to know how to answer those questions. The lectures helped me to know how to advise on issues such as burnout or marriage problems. The lectures gave me a deep desire to offer support and encouragement to the body in Israel.”
YOUR PARTNERSHIP IN BUILDING GOD’S WORK IN ISRAEL
It is clear that the Lord is at work among Israelis and that the indigenous Church within Israel is changing dramatically. It is a joy to know that we are part of God’s plan to raise up a new generation of Israelis to proclaim the Good News within Israel and to disciple those who come to faith. This generation will make a difference in the very moral fiber and culture within Israel, since these young Israeli believers are no longer marginalized in the same way as their parents once were.
This is an important time in history for us to be fully engaged in shaping the lives and vision of these young leaders, who in time will become significant leaders within the Israeli Church. We not only have the privilege of training new leaders, but we also have an opportunity to be involved in having a direct impact on secular society for the Lord.
Your brother in the Messiah,
1 The tractate of the Mishnah about Passover
2 Literally, washing or cleansing
3 Literally, To wash or bath
4 Leviticus 8:6, Leviticus 16:24-25
5 Craig S Keener, The Gospel of John: A Commentary (Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson Publishers, 2003), 906.
6 Ibid. 906–907.
7 Carson, D. A.. The Gospel According to John. (Leicester, England; Grand Rapids, MI: Inter-Varsity Press; W.B. Eerdmans, 1991), p. 473.