Students are the now. According to Bill Hybels young people have “limitless potential.” I agree with that statement wholeheartedly! Many great movements throughout the Bible, start with young people who are passionate and willing to take risks for God. I believe Jesus’ infinite world-changing ministry centered around the 12 disciples- who some scholars believe were teenagers.
After almost 2000 years, not much has changed since the disciples walked the Earth. Like the disciples, most High school students are desperately trying to decide what they will give their life to. I am passionate about leading high school students because I believe they are making choices that set the trajectory of their life. They are deciding what paths and habits, good or bad, they will choose. Students are making these choices while being intensely targeted by society, media, and friends. Advertising to teens is a multi-billion dollar business because companies know that if they can hook a young person, they may have a customer for life.
I often wonder if the church targets youth as well as the secular world. Sometimes I sense an attitude toward students that “someday they will be the church.” I believe that young people have the potential to be leaders today and vital parts of the church body now.
What can you do to help young people reach their “limitless potential?”
- Make Disciples: Build into a few young people relationally through mentoring, small-group leading, teaching, or modeling.
- Give students Ownership: Let them own something and help them along the way. Give feedback and encouragement. If students are not given leadership or ownership at church, there are a multitude of places they can find leadership- at school, in activities, and even online.
- Influence Others: Lead up to church staff or pastor and influence the spiritual growth plan for students in your church.
How will you impact the next generation so that they can reach their “limitless potential”?
By: Tara Rumler (@tararumler)
Student Ministries Group Life Director
Willow Creek McHenry
If you missed it, check out this month’s Defining Moments, Spiritual Formation of the Next Generation with Shane Farmer and Bill Hybels