Here are some of Mark Oestreicher’s ideas for helping high school students engage in what God is doing around the world. Some of them could be scaled down for children as well. I suppose it’s never too early to build these foundations.
Paul has been challenging our youth group of late to do this exact thing. We believe in our kids and know that they can live outside of themselves and accomplish something greater than they even considered possible. They have the potential to fight great injustices, if only their compassion can team up with their ambition. We couldn’t be prouder of a handful of them who are already being Jesus’ hands and feet around our nation and world. I just can’t wait to see what’s going to continue to come out of P’ville. Whoohooo!
Anyway, here are those ideas…
• Regularly share stories, and ask for teenagers to share stories, of places we “caught a glimpse of God.” Allow this storytelling to become natural and normative in your group.
• Encourage your students with the biblical reality that the earth is God’s, and everything in it . The natural extension of this is that God can be found, living and active, all over the place. Since all of us our God’s creation, even those who aren’t intentionally following Jesus leek out bits of the gospel in art, film, music, print, conversation, and other public arenas. Constantly ask your students – while standing in a forest or on a mountaintop, or in the middle of slum, or in the parking lot of their school – “What can we learn about God from this place?” and “Where and how is God present in this place?”
• Learn together about various injustices in your community, your region, your country and the world. Together, discern your individual and collective “holy discontent”. Devise a way, together, to address that issue.
• Try a wide variety of missional activities and together discern where God is moving you or calling you.