If you want your church to be a place where teens want to be then you need to begin to find ways to help them serve. Think about all the amazing things teens do every week at middle and high schools across the country and then ask yourself this simple question. How are we challenging teens to do amazing things inside our church? Every church around the country needs high impact volunteers and the sad fact is that many of these same churches are herding teens into classrooms on Sunday mornings instead of giving them significant opportunities to make a difference through service. Six years ago at Grace Community we chose to empower teens on Sunday morning to serve and worship with their family instead of creating a separate Sunday environment for them. Six years later we now believe that we made the right choice and we hope we can help some other churches rethink the idea of letting teens serve now. Here are some reasons I think teens should be empowered to serve…
- Teens that serve open themselves up to new mentors // teens need other adults speaking into their lives and serving opens up an entire new group of influences. I love that our tech and kids ministry teams gets to invest in the lives of our teens!
- Teens are some of the most innovative volunteers you will have // seriously we watch teens run cameras, monitor sound boards, greet visitors, create videos, and lead worship every week. Teens are so talented…let them lead and let them create.
- Teens who serve connect with the church not just your youth ministry // youth ministry that does not help teen connect with the church as a whole it simply self centered and has a short term perspective. Serving allows teens to belong at church!
- Teens have a deep desire to contribute not just sit or participate // something in this generation wants to take action…give them permission, training, and support and watch what happens.
- When teens serve they grow // this is true for all of us. Serving leads to spiritual growth.
- Teens that serve and find community at church look for it when they leave church // teens that leave our church and have served look for a new church when they leave for school. Because the served they had more than just our student ministry.
How can you start opening more doors for students to serve on Sunday mornings? I promise, your church will win when you empower this generation. Remove the red tape, dismiss the doubters, and allow teens to serve now!