How to Get Your Teens Out of Boredom (and On Mission)

rsz_teens_on_mission

Does this youth group rundown look familiar to you?

  1. Show up.
  2. Give students some time to socialize.
  3. Get the energy moving with a game.
  4. Reel them back in with worship songs.
  5. Encourage them with a message.
  6. Send them off and repeat the following week.

This familiar pattern sometimes seems like the only way to do ministry—either because of our own experiences from growing up in church or from what we see other leaders modeling in their youth groups.

The harsh reality, though, is that in many respects, we’re boring our teens and draining their passion for God. Sure, they may be engaged for a time. But because we’ve conditioned them to come to group thinking it’s all about them and what they can get out of youth group, we’re starting from the wrong premise. No wonder they’re soon spiritually apathetic.

Teens need an outlet to grow and go deeper in their relationship with Jesus. They need a mission that will put them in the driver’s seat of their faith, hand them the keys, and encourage them to drive out on the streets. A mission to exercise all the spiritual truths they are learning at youth group out in the real world.

The Great Commission is the very mission that gives meaning and purpose to our faith beyond just believing that Jesus exists. It gives your teens the incredible honor and privilege of participating in a 2,000-year-old mission of bringing the gospel to the lost, hurt, and broken of the world.

Honestly, is there anything more exciting than that?!

Preparing for the Mission

It can feel a bit daunting to just jump in and start tweaking your weekly rundown, so here are some ideas to set you up for success:

  • Spend some time in prayer.
    • Seek wisdom on how to best introduce the Great Commission to your teens. Ask God to prepare your students’ hearts to receive His command—especially those with spiritual apathy. Ask Him where in your community or elsewhere He wants to use your ministry to further His Kingdom.
  • Explain Jesus’ mission.
    • Help your students understand that the command to share the gospel wasn’t just given to the original disciples 2,000 years ago. It’s a command and a privilege for all disciples, including your teens, to take part in as followers of Christ.
  • Invite your teens to obey Jesus’ mission.
    • When Jesus gave the Great Commission to His disciples, He didn’t mean it as a suggestion. He was giving all believers a command to follow. Challenge and encourage your teens with opportunities to exercise their faith and actually go out on mission together.
  • Equip your teens for this mission.
    • Before you commission your teens, train them in ways to share their faith. Show them how to navigate the unpredictable and sometimes terrifying terrain of gospel conversations—including how to bring the gospel up, listen to the other person, ask good questions, and give an invitation to salvation.
    • Quick tip: One easy way to help students gain confidence in sharing the gospel is to give them time during youth group to practice gospel conversations with each other.

As you brainstorm ways to get your students living out the Great Commission, don’t feel like every lesson or event you do needs to be an original idea. Utilize resources like the “4 Chair Discipling” book from Sonlife, or Dare 2 Share’s “Life in 6 Words” curriculum to teach your students how to share the gospel with their friends.

A great event idea to jumpstart the mission-oriented mindset in your students is Dare 2 Share LIVE, happening on October 13, 2018. All you and your teens have to do is show up at a LIVE satellite site near you to experience an incredible day of evangelism training and sharing the gospel in your own community!

A Mission to Last a Lifetime

The best thing about giving your teens a mission for their faith is that it isn’t just a one-time idea for youth group. It’s a continuous way of doing ministry that invites your teens out of spiritual apathy and self-absorption and into a deeper relationship with Christ for the rest of their lives.

Because at the end of the day, all we want in youth ministry is to see our students know Jesus, passionately follow Him, and share the news of His love and saving grace with others. Let’s not wait another minute to invite our teens out of boredom and into the greatest adventure of their lives!

Dare 2 Share LIVE: A Rally Point for Teen-Led, Gospel Growth

D2SBanner

On September 23rd, 2017, 50,000 teens will boldly take their faith one step further. Rallying together for THE Cause of Christ — a.k.a The Great Commission — students and their youth leaders will gather for the first ever Dare 2 Share LIVE simulcast!

But what is Dare 2 Share LIVE? Simply put, Dare 2 Share LIVE is a teen-led movement of gospel-conversations from coast to coast for the purpose of reaching the next generation.

In greater detail, Dare 2 Share LIVE is all about One Day. One Message. One Hope — with the desire to spark revival within the Church.

ONE DAY

Driven from a live event in Denver, Colorado and broadcast out to 50+ locations nationwide, Saturday, September 23, 2017, Dare 2 Share LIVE is the start of a movement where thousands of teenagers and adult leaders will be released…at the EXACT SAME TIME…into their communities to serve and share the gospel.

See specific time zone schedules here.

This one day will also equip students to have gospel conversations wherever they go, including conversations they may have a week later at See You at the Pole (a worldwide event where millions of teens gather at their own campuses to pray over their schools).

ONE MESSAGE

We know that the gospel changes everything. And as Christians we have a Cause – Christ’s Cause – to share this good news with our world.

When students are captured by Jesus and His mission, their heartbeat changes and so does the trajectory of their lives…and the lives of those they reach with the gospel. This message is where true change and impact is going to start, not only for this generation, but for our communities and this country.

ONE HOPE

Nothing transforms a student like seeing someone respond to the clearly articulated gospel. Once they experience this, it’s a game changer. Their excitement is uncontainable and their energy makes them an unstoppable force.

Now imagine 50,000 teenagers all going out equipped with the gospel, and as they step out into their communities to serve through local food drives, they are bringing help to those in need. Paired with the gospel, teenagers will show the world the hope that the followers of Christ bring. This is the true hope, not only for this generation, but for our communities and this country.

In One Day, with One Message, with teens rallying together for One Hope, lives will forever be changed by the power of the gospel. And if this is what we can do in just one day, imagine what these same teens can do with the rest of their lives. Imagine the eternal impact.

Want to learn more or sign your youth group up for this teen-led movement of gospel conversations? Click here.

This Week in Youth Ministry: Episode 4

Screen Shot 2015-02-17 at 7.15.53 PM

This is fourth episode of This Week in Youth Ministry podcast is LIVE. We’ll be bringing these to you every Thursday.  Next week: My guest is David Olshine and our topic is Teens Who Walk Away From Church (and What We Can Do About It).

from the description:
This Week in Youth Ministry – Episode 4: How to Equip Students for Evangelism with Greg Stier.  Terrace Crawford and Greg Stier talk about how to equip students for Evangelism if you are starting at ground zero.

Thanks for listening!  And please share the word with friends online about the new podcast.  You can also check out www.thisweekinym.com – our official podcast page.

Suscbribe in iTunes by clicking [here].