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Mastering Mission Trips Serving Children and Teens

Mastering Mission Trips Serving Children and Teens - Teach One Reach OneAs summer approaches, Christian kids and teens all over the country begin preparing for mission opportunities their churches provide for them. Unfortunately, most young people don’t experience the lasting spiritual growth hoped for by participating in these experiences. What’s even worse is that many missionaries will tell you off the record that mission teams can cause more trouble than they help.

It doesn’t have to be that way though. With a little more intentional preparation, your students can grown spiritually and make a meaningful positive influence on those they serve.

It’s essential before you take young people into the mission field that you actually train them to do what they will be doing. They need to be able to do it well. “Playing with kids” and “loving them like Jesus” sounds like it wouldn’t take any training, but it does. A missed safety step and a child you are going to serve could be physically hurt. A missed empathy moment may cause a child you serve to no longer want to attend any church. And on and on.

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Signs Your Ministry to Children or Teens Is Drifting

Signs Your Ministry to Children or Teens Is Drifting - Teach One Reach OneWhen Christians start a Children’s or Youth Ministry or community outreach program for youth, they usually have the best of intentions. There is talk of raising up the next generation to be strong Christians. There are goals of conversions or lives being changed by learning about and following God.

Yet, when you examine many of these programs a few months or at best a couple of years later – they are virtually indistinguishable from secular programs. Oh, a Bible story is still probably told, but the emphasis has totally shifted. Instead of their original goals, they are now trying to merely entertain or provide secular education or housing or clothing or a safe place to hang out with friends.

Don’t misunderstand. None of those things are wrong. It’s just that when your focus switches from the spiritual to the secular, you are no longer meeting the entire standard God set for us. In scripture, there is definitely talk of social justice. It is always, however, in the framework of caring for those who are already God’s people or for pointing the unchurched to God so they can follow Him.

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Rethinking Social Bonding In Youth Ministry

Rethinking Social Bonding In Youth Ministry - Teach One Reach OneYouth ministry has always been famous for taking teens on fun outings to hike, bowl or for a day at an amusement park. In many churches, it is a major expectation of youth ministry from teens, parents and even church leaders.

In the last few years, that emphasis on fun and “bonding” has entered the teen Bible classes as well, with many youth groups spending as much as half of their Bible class time allowing students to chit-chat socially.

When pressed as to why these things are considered necessary staples of youth ministry, you will usually get one of two responses.

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Why We Need to Change How We Teach Kids and Teens About Christmas

Why We Need to Change How We Teach Kids and Teens About Christmas - Teach One Reach OneChristmas is a beautiful time. Everything is decorated. The air is often filled with the smell of hot cider and cookies baking. Everywhere you go beautiful music is playing. It even provides a great opportunity to teach kids and teens about Jesus.

The problem comes when we as teachers editorialize the birth of Jesus to make it fit the way it has evolved in our cultures over the last two thousand plus years. Satan can, and often will, use those additions and changes to the story to try and convince young people they are being fed a bunch of lies about everything at church.

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When Bible Classes for Kids Are Cancelled for Weather or Holidays

When Bible Classes for Kids Are Cancelled for Weather or Holidays - Teach One Reach OneWinter can cause all sorts of cancellations of children’s bible classes. Snow and ice, holidays, flu season – you name it – it seems like every other week for several months you either don’t have class or most of your students are missing.

The time you have with your students is limited enough without losing weeks of valuable class time. There probably isn’t much you can do about the weather or holidays. You can however do some things to encourage your students’ parents to spend some time with their kids teaching them about God.

Often parents don’t do much Bible teaching at home, because they have this mistaken belief it’s too hard. Or costs a lot of money. Or requires them to have a degree in Bible.

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