Guidelines for active, meaningful young folks' gatherings...
- Spend as much time doing community outreach work, both evangelistic and humanitarian, as you spend in structured learning sessions.
- Keep a strong focus on future events, plans, goals and commitments.
Teach God's Word the way the New Testament says: let folks discuss its truths with one another (Col. 3:16; 1 Cor. 14:3, 24-25).
- Meet at least half of the time in groups small enough to interact.
- Let everyone join in discussions, avoiding monologue and "know-it-all" dogmatism.
- Act out Bible stories, ask what the point was, and plan what to do about it. You do not need an 'audience.' Aim not to perform, but for all present to relive events in God's Word.
Experience the presence of the the risen, ascended, living Christ, and not merely learn abstract way facts about Him.
- Pray in Jesus' name for needs, healing, freedom from bad habits and demonic influences.
- Celebrate the Lord's Supper regularly, without defining it in rationalistic terms; let the mystery move hearts of all young folk who participate in the Body and Blood of Jesus.
- Let young folks lead lively praise times and give testimonies of God's work in their lives
Train apprentice leaders among the young people as the apostles did:
- If you are an adult advisor, keep as much as possible in the background, letting young folks lead their own groups.
- To develop leaders among them , let apprentices co-teach with more experienced leaders until they can do it alone.
- Select Bible passages to study according to needs and interests, and deal frankly with common temptations (drugs, premarital sex, disobedience to parents, lying, etc.).
Let the foundation for your group's activities be obedience to Jesus. He said, "If you love me, obey my commands" (John 14:15). All of Jesus' commands can be summarized in seven general orders that the 3,000 new believers in the first church in Jerusalem obeyed from the start:
- Repent from sin, trust Jesus and receive God's Holy Spirit (the three go together).
- Be baptized (and live the new, holy life that it initiates).
- Celebrate the Lord's Supper.
- Love God, neighbor, family, brothers in Christ, enemy (forgive) & be a good citizen
- Make disciples (teach folks to obey Jesus, shepherd His people, send workers to neglected peoples).
Youth Reach and Lead Each Other
and their Elders
from mentors working with
the younger generation
Many of today's young folks are easier to reach for Christ and more prone to follow HIm than their parent's generation, if...
- Older youth lead and disciple younger.
- Interactive groups balance learning with action.
- Participants teach with dialogue rather than monologue, as the New Testament requires.
- The group experiences together the presence of the risen Christ through spontaneous praise, testimonies, joy and prayer.
- Youth mix at times with folks of all ages, avoiding continual segregation by age.
- Youth are allowed to make mistakes. Yes, they'll will make almost as many mistakes as their parents' generation did, and will learn from them.
Want an experienced youth worker
to help you think through your plans
to work with young folks?