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The teen years are not a “holding pattern” but should be a time of utilizing the power of youth. We are not preparing them to be leaders in the future; we are preparing them now for this moment. Being salt and light is not a post-graduate concept.

 Some of the most vocal advocates for change in student ministry are the “twenty-something’s” and “thirty-something’s.” I think this is because they have seen the fallacy or have been a victim of “unintentional” youth ministries. They are weary of program and personality-driven ministry models.  

 Another group of people I find ready for a change are parents. They are no longer afraid of questioning the status-quo. They are declaring it is time to approach student ministry with this new paradigm of intentional life-change.

 Intentional Life-Change Ministry Model

  1. Teach solid Biblical content including doctrine, not just the current trends.
  2. Develop students to take responsibility for their own spiritual walk with Christ.
  3. Train adults to be godly leaders who do “life-on-life” discipleship.
  4. Create partnerships between parents and youth ministry.
  5. Develop students with a Biblical worldview who are culture shapers.
  6. Answer real-life questions with the truth of scripture.
  7. Demonstrate how the spiritual life can be fleshed out in daily living.
  8. Focus on life-change, not life management.

 We have already mentioned it but discipleship of every student must be our ultimate goal. Intentional life-change ministry will reject the hypothesis that it is enough to have faithful attendees or groupies in our youth groups. The discipleship ministry model gives us a grid by which to evaluate every activity, program, idea, and goal, thus elevating all ministries to a new level.

 If you would like to explore this concept further, check out my book, The Greenhouse Project: Cultivating Students of Influence.


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