I don’t get it…
- One scored six goals in a world cup game.
- They’ve written world famous operas, inspired nations to battle victories and created the social networking phenomenon.
- In athletics we’ve seen total dominance from some of them– a Heisman trophy winner, a Daytona 500 driver and one was arguably the best gymnast ever.
I’m talking about teens.
- Educators push them to take AP Physics and Calculus.
- They hold down jobs and we trust them to watch after our own children.
- They create art, perform, bake, dance and defend our nation.
But in the church…
- We ask them to listen to us (Sunday morning, mid-week and in small group).
- We buy them endless amounts of pizza in the hopes they’ll come back.
- We beg them to bring a friend to the camp that we planned for them.
- We tell them to sit still while the Pastors and adults speak at them.
- We tell them they are the next generation of leaders, but give them little to lead.
It’s time we (the church) take the governor off their accelerator!
Jesus gathered a group of ordinary young adults (most of them teens), mentored them and entrusted them to start the church.
Student Led, Adult Mentored (SLAM) Ministry.
This phrase causes angst among many. Some read student led and become anxious, they fear chaos will ensue. Others read it and are threatened “but how will I use my gifts?” Even teens may read it and have their doubts, “I’m too young, I don’t need more on my plate!”
But we’re only reading half of the phrase, we cannot forget the adult mentored part of the statement.
There’s nothing new under the sun. About a year ago I came up with this phrase ‘Student Led, Adult Mentored’ (SLAM) Ministry, but it is a concept that has been practiced for many many years. As already stated, it was what Jesus did, but it was also the way the very first youth ministry organization was started in 1881 (Christian Endeavor International) when a group of teens were challenged by an adult mentor (Francis Clark) to live daily for Christ and lead his cause!
Over the course of the next year with teens playing the key role, Youthmark, Christian Endeavor and a few others organizations and individuals are going to role out some game-changers in student ministry. We want to go back to the beginning where Jesus asked a group of teens if he could “teach them how to fish for souls?”
Students are ready, capable and already leading in so many other realms, it is time (again) for the church to give them room to operate and mentors to come alongside them!
Don’t wait, the first initiative is out for this movement. Go to Pray21.com and begin this thing with praying WITH teens!