None of us stepped into student ministry so we could run a program. We all long to see a genuine movement of disciples developed, empowered and released to make disciples. What gives us all incredible joy in student ministry is seeing a teenager walking closely with Jesus and sharing that relationship with others.
This current generation, the Millennials, is the largest generation in history (Check out this book on Millennials). Not only are they quickly becoming one of our largest mission fields, but they also have the capability to be an incredible sending force. But we can’t keep simply doing youth group. We have to have a clear disciplemaking vision coupled with a process that develops sent-ones rather than groupies. If we don’t shift from being primarily a teaching organization that delivers information to an equipping organism that excels in imitation, then we’ll never see the disciplemaking movement Jesus always intended.
Strengthen It by Giving it Away
We all want to see our students’ faith strengthened, right? What if the way to strengthen their faith is by helping them learn to give it away? Can you imagine teenagers, youth workers and parents partnering together to take responsibility for those that God has placed in their sphere of influence?
We’re losing students in upper high school because, as Greg Stier of Dare2Share ministries often says,“they’ve played it, sung it, and heard it—and they are bored.” Have we unintentionally trained them to be consumers rather than releasing them to be contributors? At times, we’ve all lost our missional focus by concentrating more on our seating capacity (attendance) than on our sending capacity (mission). Training students in solid biblical theology is a must. But if it is truly biblical theology, then that theology will bring them to encounter the missionary God, who, just as he sent his Son, is in like-manner sending his church (Jn. 20:21)—young and old.
Our Missional Milestone
This is what is burning in the hearts of our ReachStudents team. So we’ve put a stake in the ground together as team. In the next 15 months we are praying and working to see 300+ churches introduced to Evangelism is Relationships, resulting in 5000+ students being trained and coached to actively cooperate with God in their friends’ journey toward Jesus.
Evangelism is Relationships was designed by our ministry partners at Cadre Ministries. They gave me the opportunity to be a part of updating it with them. If you are familiar with our Disciplemaking is Relationships training (Jesus-like disciplemaking made simple), then you’ll love Evangelism is Relationships. It’s all the same values and priorities.
The Heart of God
We know it is God’s heart that His church – including teenagers – are ones who have their hearts set apart with Christ as Lord AND are prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks them to give the reason for the hope that they have (1 Peter 3:15). If we miss the “AND” then we have missed the very heart of God (Mark 12:28-34).
How are you intentionally equipping students to give away their faith?
Most of us would say we want to make disciples that make disciples. But our prayers often say something different. Often we are focused on praying for our children, students, and friends right in front of us. We only have the second generation in mind.
Multipliers have the third generation in mind even while they are working and ministering with the second generation. One of the places this shows up is in their prayer lives.
Take a look at Jesus
In Luke 10:1-2, when Jesus is sending out the 72 he gives them one different instruction than he gave to the 12 back in Luke 9. He tells them to pray that the Lord would rise up more workers for the harvest. Read the rest of this entry
All too often prayer can becomes separated from mission. When communion with God gets separated from cooperation with God, prayer remains a mere “me and Jesus” endeavor. But when prayer and mission are combined, things get explosive.
Heading on mission with your students this summer? What about living on mission when you return? My friend, Carl Blunt and his ministry “LifeBook” can put a FREE tool in your hands to help your students stay engaged in the mission when they return home.
The Life Book Movement helps mobilize your students as missionaries to their schools. During a short-term “mission trip,” your students hand out free copies of The Life Book to their classmates during school. At no cost to you or your ministry, Life Books are provided so your students can hand out about 50 apiece during this mission focus. The Life Book serves as a great evangelistic tool, providing the gospel in a contemporary translation with relevant, interactive elements. The Life Book Movement was founded by The Gideons International in 2009 and, since its inception, over half a million copies of The Life Book have been handed out by students during school. 1.2 million copies of The Life Book are being printed for distribution by students during the coming 2011-2012 school year. Our mission is to serve youth ministries by helping them raise up a generation of student missionaries who take the gospel first to their classmates and then to the world.
Go to http://www.thelifebook.com now for more information. We only have 1.2 million Life Books for the coming school year and they are going fast.
(See what Doug Fields has to say about The Life Book here: http://www.thelifebook.com/ym-welcome-ad-2011.php)
It is often assumed that evangelism will be the natural by-product of growing in our relationship with Jesus. It doesn’t take too much reflection to realize that if this is true then why is it not working with our adults? How many people in their 50’s have sat through countless sermons, Bible studies, small groups and conferences and yet sharing their faith with others seems to be nearly non-existent? Read the rest of this entry