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Shock…I really like using that word when talking about what happens when we create mission opportunities for teenagers because that is what happens. When we expose teens to other cities, countries, and people groups we help them experience a side of life they may have never seen. Poverty is shocking. Injustice is destructive. Lack of love is tragic. Hopelessness is draining. These words are a reality for many people living in our world. They exist even if we have never experienced them. When we gather a group or teenagers and leaders and go away to do nothing but serve we expose them to needed shock. Mission experiences…

  • Help teens see that much of the world is broken and that they have a part to play in making it better.
  • Give teens a glimpse of the impact their life can make on others.
  • Provide a basis for generosity in the heart of a teen.
  • Develop needed leadership skills.
  • Help teens share the message of Christ.
  • Place teens in a place where they have to trust God or fail…there are no places to hide on a mission trip.
  • Direct teens to the very heart of the God they serve. Many teens have no idea what serving the poor is about or what their role is in God’s plan to rescue the hurting in our world.

Shock can be a good thing and every student ministry needs an element of it in order to help teens embrace our call to serve the world. I hope this year you will make sure you make helping teens serve in your city…one a mission trip…in your church…in their schools a priority. Teens are ready to serve now so stop asking them to wait.