Events are part of youth ministry. Your Wednesday night or Sunday night (or whenever weekly meeting) is an event. The retreats you do, camps you coordinate and conferences/concerts you take your teenagers to are events.
And there's nothing necessarily wrong with events. But, if these events aren't triggering movement toward spiritual growth in the hearts of our teenagers then we may need to do some re-thinking, re-imagining and re-tooling.
Here are a few questions to consider when leading/doing/attending events with and for your teenagers:
1). Will this event inspire my teens to serve Jesus more passionately?
I have a youth pastor friend named Mr. Bill who has a simple grid for any and every youth group event: "Will this help my teenagers know Jesus and make him known?" If not, then it's off his grid and off the youth group calendar.
Don't get me wrong. Mr. Bill and his youth group have fun, play games, do events and reek all sorts of typical-youth-ministry havoc. But, behind it all, there is a deeper purpose. And he drives everything about the event toward his teens knowing Jesus more deeply and making him known more widely.
He calls the unbelievers to believe and challenges the believers to fall in love with Jesus and tell others about him. It's woven into the fabric of each one of his events.
Mr. Bill's events lead to movement...spiritual movement. Do yours?
2). Will this event equip my teens to live for Jesus more passionately and proclaim his good news more purposefully?
Forward spiritual movement in the lives of our teenagers takes more than inspiration. It takes equipping.
Teenagers don't naturally know how to pray. They must be equipped, like Jesus equipped his disciples, to pray (Luke 11:1-13).
Teenagers don't naturally know how to study God's Word. They must be equipped, like the Bereans were equipped to study the Scriptures (Acts 17:11).
Teenagers don't naturally know how to share the Gospel. They must be equipped, like the Corinthians were equipped, to share the core message of Jesus (1 Corinthians 15:3,4).
Why not use the newly re-designed and hugely interactive evangelistic app, Life in 6 Words to train your teens to share their faith? If they can swipe and read they can share the Gospel. Life in 6 Words makes it that easy.
3). Could this event help trigger a spiritual movement in my youth group?
We can't force a revival to happen, but we can put in the plumbing and ask God to turn on the water. We can cultivate the ground, plant the seed and ask God for a harvest.
Are your events laying the pipework for revival? Are they cultivating the ground for a spiritual awakening? Or are you doing events just for the sake of events?
I really want to challenge you to consider leading an event in your city which could genuinely trigger a movement. Dare 2 Share Live is a one day outreach and mobilization event that's designed to inspire, equip and unleash your teens with the hope of the Gospel.
For $99 (between now and the end of May) you can sign your entire group up (and all of their friends!) You can bring the event to your church and then challenge other churches in your area to register too. On October 10th, 2020 teens from Anchorage, Alaska to Puerto Rico (and potentially hundreds of cities in between) will be inspired, equipped and deployed for the Gospel. Check out Dare2sharelive.org for more info and sign up right away.
Don't just do events. Spark a movement! Why not start with Dare 2 Share Live?