Most weekends I will be posting a series entitled “Feeling Friendly.” In essence, its a heads-up about a great ministry opportunity or extension of ministry that you, the reader, should know about. Last week I highlighted a sound and tech offer from my friends at Impulse Audio.
Let me start today with a poll question…
I assume you’d be able to give a few reasons for your answer. The USA Today gave their reasons in this article.
Regardless of a hard and fast answer, the fact remains, all of the teen years have varying degrees of challenges that need to be addressed, many which could lead to another statistic we should all be concerned with. I’ve heard varying statistics for the last five years, but the number that seems to be the most consistent is that approximately seven out of every 10 students will leave the church post high school.
If you are in your latter years of high school, if you are an educator involved with teens, a youth leader or a parent of teens (or soon to be teens) I would highly recommend you consider taking part in one, if not both, of the opportunities coming up through Youth Transition Network (YTN). I’ve met and been around Jeff Schadt a few times (founder of YTN). His ministry is very unique and a tough one to market, simply because his target audience is this teen-in-transition and the parents of these teens who already have so much on their plates.
After you read about this, I’d suggest you pass this blog post (or the links) to other teens, educators and parents of teens. The future is now and our teens can/should be our best missionaries and hope for change on our campuses, at our clubs, in our communities and at our churches! Youthmark is doing our best to equip students for this mission field, but we need the word to spread and I believe the ministries of YTN will help as well. Here are the two VERY AFFORDABLE opportunities:
- Shepherding Your Teen: This conference is specifically designed for parents of 8 – 18 year olds. It examines the transition we need to make as parents to set our kids up to flourish on their own. According to attendees Shepherding Your Teen is very different then any parenting conference or book they have encountered previously. For those in the Seattle area, the live conference is taking place February 25-26; for those outside the area, a live webcast is being offered, pass this on to your pastors, leadership and others and get it set up for your area. Check out the details here.
- Succeed 2011: The event is based upon research conducted with over 2,000 teens and 400 video taped interviews with students who made the transition, some well and some with disastrous consequences. This research was combined with research from UCLA, Ohio State, and Fuller Seminary to build an event designed to penetrate the often distant hearts of young people who cannot wait for their freedom. Geared for parents and juniors and seniors in high school, this conference is being held on March 19 in Bellevue, WA, but their site has free resources and a webinar as well.
Spread the word about YTN and these two events. I’d love to see a viral word-of-mouth campaign begin and ultimately see students not just equipped to make better choices, but live fully for Him in these so-called “tough” years!
Will you consider posting a link to this blog on your Facebook, on Twitter or even through email to parents of teens? I firmly believe that we will see better equipped teens become true missionaries for Christ on our campuses!