The average teen has more than 425 online and face to face friends. With the push of a button they can create an online conversation with hundreds of their friends. I’ve witnessed this again and again at our Dare 2 Share events.
During Dare 2 Share Live, our live simulcast evangelism equipping event broadcasted into 100+ cities nationwide annually, thousands of teenagers send out Gospel conversation starting videos to their friends and their feeds. During our last event just a month ago 22,600+ Gospel conversations were launched in one day by teenagers from Anchorage to Puerto Rico.
Many of them are still navigating those conversations weeks later.
Generation Z, the current generation of teenagers and early twenty somethings, have been nicknamed “digital natives.” In other words they have never known a time without screens.
Let’s not just rail against the dangers of temptations of technology, let’s help our teens use technology for good. Let’s turn “The Devil’s Weapon” against him. Let’s mobilize our teenagers to use their phones to spread the hope of Jesus to all their spheres of influence.
In addition, let’s equip them to navigate face-to-face Gospel conversations with their classmates every single day at school. As teenagers are trained to share their faith and unleashed to do it, their faith will grow strong in the process.
3) Teenagers could be “coming in hot” to adulthood.
What if teenagers were so on fire for Christ that they changed the spiritual DNA of the church as they grew into adults? I’ve witnessed this again and again over the last 3 decades of youth ministry.
Instead of evacuating the church after graduation teens who actively share their faith often become change agents in the whole church. They set the pace for evangelism and discipleship. They shake the status quo and gospelize the institutionalized.
Let’s stop making the knee jerk assumption that every Christian teen is going to necessarily be shredded by post high school temptations and, as a result, spiritually limp into their twenties. Instead, let’s push, pray and plan for every teenager who claims the Name of Christ to live for the glory of Christ as they relentlessly share the message of Christ in the power of Christ!
Young people who are inspired and equipped to live like this became game changers in the church. They “come in hot” to adulthood and heat up lukewarm church members in the process.
4) Teenagers can set the pace for your entire church now!
30 plus years ago, when I was a youth leader at a Baptist Church, our little church sponsored a “Youth Sunday.” Teenagers led the worship, gave their testimonies and shared all that God had been doing in their lives. It was good and somewhat typical until a 7th grader named Steve took his turn at the microphone.
Steve began to share, not only how he came to Christ, but how that he and the other teenagers in youth group, were sharing Christ on a consistent basis. He talked about how he had been sharing the Gospel at school, at parks and at the local shopping malls. Everything was going fine until he paused and went off script.
He looked up from his notes to all the congregants in that service and said, “By the way, I’ve never seen any of you adults sharing the Gospel with anyone. Aren’t you supposed to be our leaders? Aren’t you supposed to set the pace for us?”
You could have heard a pin drop in the audience. It was a double-barreled shotgun blast of conviction right to the consciences of the adults in that church that day.
At our little Baptist church teenagers were setting the pace for the adults when it came to evangelism. And many of the adults were inspired to start sharing their faith as a result.
So, in the midst of all our church-wide efforts to reach our communities for Christ don’t forget about teenagers. Make them a strategic focus. Because if you miss teenagers, you miss the movement.
Admiral Yamamoto, Commander of the Japanese forces that bombed Pearl Harbor, was asked what he thought the ultimate result of their attack on America would be. He answered, “I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.”
And that’s exactly what happened.
In the same way, let’s awaken the sleeping giant in our churches, teenagers! Let’s fill them with a holy resolve! Let’s make youth ministry a BIG strategic focus in our churches!
This article originally appeared here.