Life on Mission: How to Create a Missional Narrative All Year Long

One of the greatest joys of youth ministry is seeing our students step out in faith and develop as disciples.  On mission trips, we get to see our students at their very best- living out their calling as servants, leaders, and friends.  While the spiritual high after a time away at camp, on mission, or at a retreat can infuse conversations for a time, once school starts back up, activities keep our students plenty busy, and new friendships are formed, it can be hard to access the same excitement and zeal for mission.  We want to equip you with a few ways you can create a missional narrative all year in your youth ministry, and you don’t even need to have a trip planned to do it!

Service!  One of the best ways to bridge the gap between the youth and “big church” is to get youth and adults serving together, learning from each other along the way.  Anytime we get our students more invested in their church, community, and people around them they are able to gain more insight and perspective into the world and their place in it.  Students serving routinely offers a mutual blessing as they infuse energy and encouragement to those around them.

Outreach!  TEAMeffort is an interdenominational ministry- meaning we get to experience God work through so many different traditions and backgrounds, all for His glory.  Many different churches, youth leaders, or communities have different ways they practice outreach.  A great place to start is to teach students how to tell their stories, and give them opportunities to tell them.  Whether they have an amazing death-to-life testimony, or a great story of what they saw on mission, to what they love most about their sport- giving students an opportunity to see how their stories play a role in God’s bigger story of redemption encourages them see their experiences as valuable, and as a cohesive story God is writing.

Leadership!  Nothing reveals a leader like serving.  Service creates opportunities for students to lead- after your mission trip or retreat event, take note of the students who stood up and took charge, dealt patiently with a hard situation, or asked hard questions.  Offer these students opportunities to lead throughout the year!  It can be as simple as leading a game, sharing their story one night at youth group, creating opportunities for them to use their gifts at a Sunday service, or having older students help with set up or clean-up for events.  Any opportunity a student has to lead increases their ability to be influential in their world.
As you plan out your school year, think about different ways you can infuse your youth ministry with mission.  Jesus lived His life in such a way that people took notice- let us be leaders, ministers, and servants who do the same- serving boldly, loving well, and telling stories of God’s goodness in our lives.

We are here for you!  If you are new to youth ministry, in a transitional season, or just struggling, we want to be a resource for you.  We can connect you with other youth leaders in your area and are always available to pray with you- we are just a phone call or email away!  It is an honor to work alongside you for the Kingdom.