How do you help your teens have a great summer instead of a boring one? How do you help them turn it from typical to transformational? Here's how, through the power of the Holy Spirit, change their break into a beginning, the beginning of a mission trip that lasts all summer.
I'm not talking about whisking them away to Haiti, Kenya, Peru or Timbucktu to build homes and evangelize throughout June, July and August (although that's not a bad idea.) What I'm talking about is making this a summer of service and sharing right where they're at and on every trip they take this summer.
Send them to the local rescue mission to serve soup along with The Bread of Life.
Send them to the local shopping mall to engage disengaged teens with genuine conversation and then share the best news on the planet with them.
Send them to the city to pass out water on a hot today and then, along with the cold H2O, The Living Water, so those who drink it never get thirsty again!
Send them back to their neighborhoods, jobs and Facebook pages to care for the needs of their hurting friends and engage them with the good news of their best friend, Jesus Christ.
On second thought don't send them. Lead them. Lead them to the city. Lead them to the Rescue Mission. Lead them by example with your own neighbors, co-workers and old high school friends.
If your teens go on a family vacation or "actual" mission trip make sure they go armed with acts of service in one hand and the good news in the other. Challenge them to share the gospel while they are gone and to bring stories of transformed lives as gifts to share with everyone.
When you gather as a group this summer make it a time of storytelling, spontaneous teaching (based on what happened on their daily mission trips) and intercessory prayer for those who have heard the gospel. Encourage the discouraged. Inspire the apathetic. Challenge those who are relentless in their evangelism to be just as relational...and vice versa.
If you choose to avoid a bummer summer and transform it into a season of serving and sharing your teens will enter the next school year with a renewed passion to shake their schools with the good news of Jesus. They'll enter the next season with unstoppable spiritual momentum that God used you to trigger.
Have a great summer!