The biggest discipleship lie in youth ministry is that discipleship should be separated from evangelism.
1. Find a prayer "hot spot" and use it.
“But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” Luke 5:16
Over the last twenty five plus years I have had the privilege of training well over a million teenagers to share the Gospel with their peers. I would guess that at least tens of thousands of these teenagers were homeschooled.
It's been interesting to watch the "evolution" of homeschoolers over the years (don't worry homeschoolers I'm a creationist!) :) They have moved from underground to mainstream, from almost Amish in how they were perceived to having the reputation of being smart, sharp and, yes, even stylish!
As I travel I have discovered that homeschooled teenagers tend to be some of the most articulate, well-reasoned young people out there. But, sadly, I have also discovered that many of them are not actively sharing their faith.
One homeschool mother of teenagers told me this at one of our Dare 2 Share conferences, "A homeschooler that doesn't share their faith is like a Ferrari that you never take out of the garage."
According to the latest Barna report 51% of church goers do not know what the "The Great Commission" is. Take that in for a moment, the average "Christian" doesn't know the last and lasting mandate that Christ gave to go and make disciples of everyone everywhere.
This Saturday there will be hundreds of teen-led marches held in cities across the nation with one especially large one that will head right down Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington DC. Hundreds of thousands of teenagers will be marching against gun violence and for keeping schools safe.
A few years ago, when I was with my family in Europe, we were on a train ride from Venice to Alessandria, Italy, It was on that train I got into a very interesting conversation with a fashion executive from Milan.
I've had the privilege of preaching at churches from coast to coast over the last 25 years of ministry. In the process I've talked to countless pastors, church leaders and youth pastors about how their churches are doing when it comes to growth and the reasons for it. On one side I've seen churches that thrive. They grow every year both deeper and wider.
These are not always the "mega-churches" but, in my book, they are the "mighty churches" because whether they number at 200 or 2,000 they are truly Gospel Advancing on every level. These churches have that "new believer smell" in that there's always a little edginess in the foyer because it's usually peppered with people who don't necessarily look like they should be there.
The 90th Annual Oscars took place last night. Now everyone is talking about the winners, Best Picture (The Shape of Water? Seriously? I fell asleep during the trailer), Best Actor, Best Actress, who wore what, moral statements, opening monologues and the like.
We are in an epic battle for the hearts and souls of the next generation and, right now, we are losing that battle.