What are some of the dreams you have for the student ministry (church, organizations, etc.) you lead? What are you praying your students will become? What kind of vision of you casting for your teens to go after? I think many of our dreams for the student ministries we lead center on filling up a room, having lots of baptisms, pulling off good events, and keeping the crowd excited about what we are doing. Why do I say this? I was there! I was all about taking the next step…reaching the next goal…it is a worthy cause but is it really a compelling dream for teens to go after with all of their life. Most of us cast the vision of come and change your behavior, enjoy your youth group time, and stay away from the bad stuff in the “world”. Kids learn that being a follower of Christ is about coming to events, classes, camps, retreats, and it all is so safe. Following Christ looks like a manageable “part” of life.
One of the ideas we are experimenting with and carrying out at relevant is calling kids to a bigger dream, the dream Jesus had for His followers. It is a risky dream. It comes with cost. It might be hard BUT asking kids to invest their lives in things that matter is really what each of their hearts long for. We all long to see our life count, to stand out, to do something that is significant. This month we are freeing our small groups up to adopt causes (bloodwater, International Justice Mission, fixing the Homeless problem, Toms Shoes etc…). The kids get to pray as a group and go after the cause they want to fight for. It flows from their heart! This month we are going to do a huge benefit concert to raise money for Cancer research…why…why not just hold a rally with some games and a speaker that makes kids feel guilty and promise to do stuff. BECAUSE CANCER KILLS KIDS EVERY DAY AND CANCER SUCKS AND WE CAN FIGHT THIS FLIPPING DISEASE and our faith demands we take action. Jesus is calling us to care more about compassion that our “youth room” our extreme winter conference, our little party. Events are not bad, youth rooms are not bad, but Jesus is calling us to influence a generation for His fame and His plan.
So I ask…what are the teens your leading dreaming about. Lets dream some big dreams! Lets allow teens to make a difference. Lets lead teens to the gospel and then release them to LIVE the gospel!