A week & a half ago we did an outreach on the night before Halloween called “The Freak Show!” The first part of our outreach consisted of a drama entitled “Letter from Hell” followed by a battle of the bands competition! Because we promoted well & had many student’s involved in the outreach, hundreds of teenagers came out!
The “Letter from Hell” drama powerfully portrayed the Biblical reality of hell & the truth that the only hope of escape is through having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. The climax of our outreach was the salvation call at the end, & we made it absolutely clear to everyone in the building that giving your life to Jesus was an “All in, sold out, no turning back, cost you everything, total surrender” type of commitment. With no heads bowed & every eye open, seventy-four students took the bold step out of their seat & rushed forward to give their lives to Jesus! Praise God!
As awesome as this is, it’s just the beginning. As awesome as it is seeing seventy-four teens give their lives to Christ, there is something even more awesome – seeing all seventy-four still living for Christ after college! Recent stats tell us that between 64 & 94% of teens who grew up in the church are leaving after High School! How is this happening?!
Jesus said “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” Matt 28:19
Notice that Jesus didn’t say to Youth Pastor/ leaders “Go & put on big events & get everyone saved!” He said “Make disciples,” He said “Teaching them to obey everything.” After a decade of youth ministry, we have found that it doesn’t take a whole lot of work to get student’s saved, but it does take a whole lot of work to get them discipled. News flash: discipleship doesn’t magically happen! You have to plan, you have to work, you must have a discipleship strategy to get your students from A to Z, from baby to mature! So, what is your discipleship strategy? If you don’t have one, feel free to use ours below!
2 Next Steps – After salvation, help your students take the “Next steps” in their faith by teaching them about: water baptism, Bible study, prayer & overcoming temptation. (After salvation, we immediately give them a Bible & a “Fresh start” packet to read which teaches them everything above. After following up with them during the week, we invite them back the next Wednesday @ 6:30pm before our service for “Spiritual coaching,” which is taught by one of us & where we go through the fresh start packet with them, answer questions & pray with them)
3 Small Groups – Connect them with God by connecting them with others! We have integrated small groups into our weekly youth service twice per month where students can grow in relationship with each-other & our leaders in groups of about 15 people each. Here they have fun, read the Bible, apply it to their lives & pray together.
4 Serving – Get them involved using their gifts! Find out what their good at or interested in & plug them in! Whether it’s playing on the worship team, running the lights, acting in a drama, reading a poem or passing the offering! Students who are “Involved” in your youth ministry will take “Ownership” of your youth ministry!