I call our Sunday mornings "Big Church" to our teenagers. My philosophy is to try to involve our teenagers as much as possibe with adults. I love to see them rubbing shoulders together, serving beside each other, and worshipping together. I read this article by Mark Oestreicher in the September/October 2009 edition of Outreach Magazine. It's really good stuff.
Strategies to Better Integrate Young People Into the Life of the Church Include:
- Never mistake young people as "the future of the church." Integrate them into the life of the church now.
- In profiles and, where appropriate, in sermon illustrations, continually tell stories about the transformation of teenagers through the life of Jesus.
- Equip and empower students to develop their own ministries outside the youth ministry.
- Preach and incorporate the Titus 2 principle of discipleship - the responsibility of the older generation to build and invest into the younger generation.
- Have at least one young person represented in some form of church leadership.
- Facilitate apprenticeship groups withing adult ministries to help develop the skills and passions of young people.
- Incorporate the gifts and talents of the youth into weekend services.
- Build small groups that emphasize a diversity of ages and intergenerational ministry.
- Develop adult ministries designed to disciple parents and adult youth leaders into a maturing relatiosnhip with Christ.
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