When Jesus told his disciples to "Go and make disciples of all nations" he was giving his group of young disciples a directive. He was propelling them on the ultimate mission of making disciples everywhere they went. The stories of how they carried this command out is the stuff of legends.
What's interesting is that, in the Koine Greek (the language which the New Testament was written in), the word "go" is a participle. Instead of "go and make disciples" it could read, "as you are going, make disciples."
Think about how that little change in the reading of this big mandate influences the way we view mobilizing our teens for mission.
As your teens are going from class to class they can make disciples.
As they are involved in band practices, drama rehearsals and sports scrimmages they can make disciples.
As they are going to their Facebook pages, Twitter accounts and engaging countless friends via text messaging they can (and should) make and multiply disciples.
Too many times those of us in student ministry use the word “go” only when it comes to sending teenagers on a short-term mission trip to a foreign country. But each of our teens are called to be on a daily "long-term" mission trip to everyone within their sphere of influence.
Another interesting insight into the words of Jesus in Matthew 28:19 revolves around his command to reach "all nations." This can be interpreted as "all people groups." And, what's great about a growing culture of diversity in the typical public school, is that the average teen can carry out much of this command right in his/her own school cafeteria.
This is not to say that we should stop taking our teens on short-term mission trips. But we need to enable our teens to see their daily lives, their everyday interactions and their ongoing conversations as all part of a truly epic mission expedition.
Help your teens go and make disciples everyday and in every way. Use your weekly meeting as a time to inspire, equip and unpack the mission trip from the previous week. As your teens get into this rhythm I guarantee that your Bible study time together will be richer, your prayer time will become more passionate and your worship songs will echo louder throughout the church building.
This all starts to happen when your teens learn to put the "go" in gospel. Why? Because it get your teens jacked up in ways that no game or activity ever could. They join the ultimate cause on the ultimate quest to rescue the lost at any cost...every single day.
Enjoy your short-term mission trip this summer and then use it as a springboard into a long-term mission trip next school year!