What is it going to take to truly see a revolution in youth ministry?
How can we effectively train and unleash this generation of teenagers to impact this culture and reach this world for Jesus?
Why don’t more churches take the potential of the teenagers in their own student ministries more seriously?
These questions and more plague me all the time. They swirl around in my brain a lot. This morning as I was getting in a short run at a park near my house I couldn’t get these questions out of my brain.
I’m fully convinced that if we (the church) took our youth seriously like some (the Mormons) then we would see exponentially more results. There is a sleeping giant in our midst. It’s the millions upon millions of teenagers who are just waiting, longing to do something radical, significant and impacting for the sake of something or someone. Why shouldn’t that something be the Great Commission? Why shouldn’t that someone be Jesus?
Just a pipe dream? (by the way what is a pipe dream? It is a dream about a pipe or is it a pipe’s dream? What would a pipe dream about if a pipe could dream? Wrenches? Cool running water surging through it? What would a pipe’s nightmare be? Rust? Welders? Riots…But I digress)
Consider this, according to Dr. Stephen Steele (no pipe pun intended here) somewhere around 80% of the evangelists in China today are between the ages of 16-18. If this can happen in China, it can happen here.
Why am I convinced it will? Let me give you a few reasons:
- This is the largest generation of teenagers in United States history.
- According to Neil Howe who wrote the book Millenniels Rising this generation is spiritual, tribal and longing to be activists over causes that matter (what matters more than keeping people out of hell?)
- God loves to use the overlooked and underestimated to accomplish his greatest misisons (ie. David, the disciples, I Corinthians 1:26-29, etc.)
What are we doing at Dare 2 Share to grease the tracks when it comes to this pending revolution?
- We have re-tooled a radical new e-team model that we are unveiling on July 1st. We have been testing this new model at seven different kinds of churches in the nation from a mega church (McLean Bible in Virginia) to a more postmodern kind of church (Mosaic in LA) to a rural church in Nebraska, a mainline large church, an urban chuch in the ATL and my own church in Arvada, CO (a purpose driven church where I was personally a part of the e-team). The results have been powerful! Just as Superman is returning this summer so is the e-team…and it’s returning with a vengeance!
- Ministry Mutiny…the book. I finished this book a few months ago. To be honest, this book could get me in trouble with some of the youth ministry establishment (bring it). Why? It flies in the face of the meeting based (as opposed to mission focused) youth ministry model that we have inherited from our ym forefathers. Some could be angry at what this book, not just implies, but comes right out and says. But I believe that this book offers a path to truly see a real, messy, authentic transformation of youth ministry as we know it.
- Dare 2 Share…the book. I’ve always wanted to write a comprehensive “how to share your faith” book for teenagers. Pretty much this book contains everything I’ve learned about how to share your faith with anyone. It equips teens to bring it up, find their style, share their story, share the GOSPEL, defend their faith, etc. It also has a handy reference guide in the back where students can learn how to witness to “Marty the Mormon, Jessica the Jehovah’s witness, etc.” I want every Christian teen to get one. I think it will really help them.
- A re-tooled, updated and much more interactive D2S website (coming late summerish) that will help guide this revolution and be a place to gather tools, tips, encouragement and community.
Yes, these resources are coming. But the biggest tool we have is not a book, a website or a model. It is prayer. Without prayer there is no revival, no revolution, no nothing…except for business as usual. And that ain’t cutting it. Would you pray with me that God would unleash a revolution of Biblical proportions across this planet through an army of teenagers and youth leaders? Would you pray God guides and provides as we seek to develop more resources and tools to help reach, train and unleash this generation for JEsus!
Will you be a part of it? No seriously. How will you be a part of it? Tell me. I want to know…and spread the word about this post. I want input.