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Making missions a lifestyle in youth group

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Posted on January 6, 2009

  • Tina Kaste

    Thanks for the missions ideas. Our daughter has been called to the mission field, and I know that it became an acceptable thing because of the strong emphasis in youth group to not be a “Couch Christian”.

  • Couch Christian sounds much better than what I said…ha. Do you have any other ways that you know of to have that kind of life-changing impact through missions in youth group? If so, please share.

  • Russ is getting at two ideas. First there is this idea of what it means to be missional. basically your life is a mission. we don’t need to pay $2000 and go to a foreign country to consider yourself as a missionary.
    second, it seems like he getting at the theology (right out of Matt 5 and 6)of social justice.

  • 30 hour famine is great but i have found that when doing these type of social justice event it is essential to have the elements of: instruction (theological and practical), interaction, reflection, and discussion.

    These kids need to know the why/what/how to be a missionary in their own town.

  • jeremy- thanks for the input. thanks also for the scripture references. i like 30 hour famine. we do a lock-in…lock-ins without food can be “interesting”…what do you do? how do you break the fast? i usually re-read through the chapter on fasting in Richard Foster’s Celebration of Discipline before every 30Hr famine. Last year, I wrote a devotional on my thoughts and reflections about Foster’s insights http://russbowlin.blogspot.com/2008/06/fasting.html

  • we do a lot. i am a strong advocate that students need to feel it before they can get it.

    * serve dinner once a month at a local homeless shelter (we have a lot of homeless people in laguna)

    * food truck ministry in LA–Skid Row area

    * We have a partnership with the Marine Military Base (Camp Pentleton). We simply help with their Christmas toy drive, food warehouse, and planning youth programs for the enlisted families.

    * Right now I am in the process of trying to establish a clean up crew (basically student janitors) @ the local high school. During lunch time students go around and pick up trash as their peers eat.

    30 Hour Famine:
    check us out (it is easier to show you than to tell you)
    http://www.smalltownyouthpastor.com/2008/05/be-hungry-be-heard-be-the-kingdom/

    http://www.smalltownyouthpastor.com/2008/11/top-30-hour-famine-youth-groups/

  • MELISSIA SHERER

    I’M A NEW YOUTH TEACHER. I’VE BEEN DOING SUNDAY SCHOOL EVER SINCE MY CHILDREN WERE BABYS. MY OLDEST IS NOW 13 SO I WANTED TO START A YOUTH MINISTRY IN OUR SMALL CHURCH IN CABOT ARKANSAS. IM A LITTLE NERVOUS BECAUSE I’M USED TO HAVING THE CHILDREN INSTEAD OF THE YOUTH. THAT WAS EASY BECAUSE I WOULD TEACH A LESSON AND THEY WOULD COLOR. BUT THE YOUTH ARE A LOT MORE DEMANDING AND I JUST WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT I DO A REALLY GOOD JOB AND NOT STEER THEM WRONG. CAN YOU HELP? IM GONNA DOWN LOAD THE TIPS AND IDEAS BOOK. SO PRAY FOR ME I NEED ALL TH EHELP I CAN GET
    MAY GOD BLESS YOU,
    MELISSIA

  • Sherry Bell

    I agree with you guys about a life of missions. Sometimes going on a missions trip here and there can change a life, but, unfortunately sometimes only temporarily. Teens need to incorporate it into theirs lives like reading the bible and praying as well. The church needs to allow Youth Groups to be a part of the whole ministry! I’m thankful that our church has a once a month food giveaway. We see 160-200 people from our community come through the lines. I am encouraged by what you had to say though as It was like confirmation to me on another area coming up in our community to be a part of a Youth For Christ Youth Center and Minister as a YOuth Group! We have a compassion child. It’s been a little bit of a challenge. We are also starting this week to take a regular offering for one of our teens who is in the Honor Academy and will from there go to the mission field. It’s pretty neat to have a one of your teens become a full time missionary. When you think about it we all should be in our everyday life right?!

  • Sherry-
    Great stuff. That must be very exciting to have someone from your youth group going out to do mission work. I think the thing that I do worst is educating and debriefing…I usually don’t give enough information before the event to the youth (usually I justify by thinking they’re not listening to me anyway) and then we usually run out of time before I have a chance to get some feedback and answer questions to help them digest the experience. I know that can help me if I’m not seeing the benefit of something…someone else does and it means a lot to them…it changes my perspective on the whole thing- good switch from negative to positive. Mission trips are a great way to shift the focus away from “me” and “I”… but like you said, we often re-adjust back into our old ways…that’s why a steady stream of mission-related activities can help keep us focused on loving God and others. Has anyone had any great ideas for local mission opportunities?

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