Before launching anything, you have to have a certain level of buy in. Whether it is a small group, discipleship group, evangelistic event, or a leadership group you need kids to buy in. You have to have kids who are interested, that have some want to. How do we get that? How do we do that? We have to get students to buy in with:
- Hearts (they have to feel it)
- Minds (they have to think it will be worth it, and t will be)
- Souls (they have to believe it will affect their walk with Christ and could have a greater impact on the youth group and the Kingdom of God)
- Bodies (they have to show up, sometimes just by faith)
So, what can we do to help our kids buy into the next level of their spiritual growth?
1. Make it a practice of telling kids you believe they can make it to the next level.
The students may not be ready now, but they can be and will be if they know someone believes in them.
2. Invite kids to taste the next level.
Jesus invited Peter, James, and John on special trips where they experienced things (mount of transfiguration, personal prayer time with Jesus in the garden). Find ways to invite kids to experience that next level of maturity.
3. Cast a vision of what life could like for them at the next level.
Kids need to see what’s in it for them and for the Kingdom. I know we want every choice to be altruistic, but most kids don’t have that. Their choices can be Spirit prompted, if they can see it with the heart and their imagination.
Jesus painted great pictures. We can too.
- Paint a picture of the rewards at the next level (eternity, crowns, presence of God)
- Paint a picture of the consequences at the next level (they will reject or persecute you)
- Paint a picture of the dangers at the next level (most guys are enticed by an element of danger)
- Paint a picture of the joy they will experience at the next level (the positive emotions will keep them coming back to that level)
4. Tell them there is a task custom made for them at the next level.
Jesus told Peter “Feed my sheep”. You have to show young people that their are important things to be done at the next level and they can do them if they step out in faith.
5. Let them know they will learn something they do not know at the next level.
We have a responsibility (on a program level) to make each level interesting, challenging, and educational. The disciples went from fishermen to walking on water, healing the sick, experiencing the power of the Spirit, proclaiming the gospel to Gentiles, and ultimately, giving their life. We have to make sure each level is not just fishing in different lake but deeper lakes with bigger fish to be caught.
6. Pursue and Live At Your Next Level
Before we invite kids to the next level, let’s make sure we are heading to the next level God has for us. We can’t invite kids where we have not been or are not heading. They will know if we are stuck at or scared of the next level in our own lives.
- Take your program apart into small pieces.
- Divide it into levels of deeper maturity (where do you want them to go?)
- Decide which kids to invite to which level. (invite them consistently)
- What rewards and consequences await at each level?