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Transforming teenagers to reach their world for (or through) Christ

Greg Stier
Greg Stier

Our leadership team got snowed out yesterday. There was massive snowfall in the mountains and avalanche warnings all up and down I-70 so we decided to have our retreat in town. Northern Hills Christian Church graciously opened their doors and we had a great, fun and productive time.

One of the issues that we attacked was our mission statement. Our first real mission statement as a ministry was “energizing a generation to evangelize the world.” While I really liked that little ministry slogan it didn’t really capture all that we did as a ministry. Years ago we began adding theological components to our training weekends so it was a bit limiting in it’s focus.

A few years ago we changed the mission statement to “energizing and equipping teenagers to know, live, share and own their faith in Jesus.” This, of course, is a much more comprehensive statement that captures the essence of what we do. The one glaring problem is that it has no outcome (reaching their world for Christ). It explains what we do but not why we do what we do.

So we worked on this mission statement that we believe captures the heart of why we exist. As you’ll see it’s not quite finished, but here is what we have so far:

Transforming teenagers to reach their world for (or through) Christ

How do we transform teenagers? Through the power of Christ we motivate them, educate them and train them to know, live, share and own their faith in Jesus. Through the power of multiplication we equip youth leaders to do the same in their own youth groups and with their youth groups. As a matter of fact our new donor strategy is built around unleashing our donors to transform teenagers to reach their world through Christ. This is what we do and this is what we are equipping everyone else to do…including the teenagers.

Let me break down the mission statement into pieces:

“Transforming teenagers”…this is a spiritual transformation that takes place when the Holy Spirit uses the truth of God’s Word to initiate long term change in the soul of a teenager. At Dare 2 Share we believe that Christians are vital and instrumental to this transformational process. That’s why we don’t look at our training events as mere human endeavors. Every member of our conference team is a vehicle through which the Holy Spirit works to transform teenagers. That’s why we don’t look at youth group as a mere exchange of information and a few fun and games. It is an outlet for the Holy Spirit to do His work of transformation. Every parent, donor, youth leader and teenager who attend our events are being equipped to transform teenagers through the power of the Holy Spirit who is in them.

“to reach their world”…notice what we didn’t say. We didn’t say “to reach the world”. Why? Because we believe that if every teenager reached their world (friends, neighbors, classmates, teammates, co-workers, etc) then the world would be reached. It’s beyond the old slogan “think global, act local”. It’s “think local, act local, then go global.” When teenagers work where they are at with the gospel they will naturally migrate from Jerusalem to Judea to Samaria to the uttermost.

“for (or through) Christ”…We are struggling whether or not to use the traditional “for Christ” because it could sound too much like this work of making disciples is a favor we do for God or something we are doing in our own strength. On the other hand we wonder if “through Christ” is specific enough (that we are unleashing them to evangelize their world!) What I like about the word “through” is that it makes it crystal clear that the daunting task of making disciples and being a disciple for that matter can only be done when we allow Jesus to take the steering wheel (I guess Carrie Underwood is a theologian!)

Of course this mission statement must ultimately be adopted, adapted and approved by our board. I think they’ll like it. If not, we’ll go back to the drawing board with our board and come up with something better (for Christ and through Christ of course!)

What do you think of it?

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