Unfortunately, this statement is true for too many of us. We don't feel cool or relatable to a young generation. We don't know what to say, have tattoos or piercing, and wonder, "What in the world could I possibly do to help a teenager?"
If you've been following the BattleCry movement and understand the intense crisis we're in the middle of, it might seem overwhelming. Some people are fighting for our teens. Others believe it is someone else's job. Often, "I'm not cool," is justification for not getting involved.
The church is the solution to the massive onslaught facing our young people; not BattleCry events or other para-church ministries. It must be the local church. So much needs to be done in the next 4-5 years to turn this generation around. It's going to take the church's massive network to do it.
The end goal of the BattleCry campaign is for each church to double and disciple their youth group annually. What would happen if adults in the church—not just youth pastors—would pursue teenagers? What would your church look like?
Thousands of churches across the country are beginning to double and disciple their youth groups. Some are small churches without a full time youth pastor and others are mega churches.
Roman Saenz, after reading the book Revolution YM began to pray, read, and write down all his ideas. They named their youth group "Restoration Generation" and wrote down a vision statement, mission statement, goals, and talked to the pastor about it. "Restoration Generation" took their youth group from 25 to over 110. Gary and Kimber Auten started a skate park in the parking lot of their church! This creative idea launched their youth group from 12 people and now they have 96!
There are two main elements of engaging your youth group. The first is to engage the whole church— pastors, lay people, deacons, and congregation. Everybody gets a huge dose of what's happening regularly to young people in your community. They need to get involved by volunteering, with finances, and by loving kids who look wild when they come Sunday mornings! We've provided free videos that can be downloaded and shown to your church at www.battlecry.com. Materials and curriculum are also available including the BattleCry for a Generation book.
The second element is training and equipping the youth pastor. After years of preparation and planning, tools have been developed to train youth pastors to raise up leaders, act on their dream, and create an actionable plan. The book Revolution YM and accompanying curriculum will allow a youth pastor and his leadership team to form a 12 month plan to double and disciple in 12 hours!
We each should ask, "What can I do?" The good news is you don't have to be "Cool." The people who run MTV are not cool--they're smart. We must be their Christian counterparts—strategists who refuse to let young people in our region be unaffected by the Gospel! We must commit to making it hard for our young people to go to Hell. If you've made it to the end of the article—it may be God calling you to be the agent of change in your church.
What would it do to teen crime rates, drug abuse, and pregnancy rates if we all got involved? A little effort to compel your youth pastor and church leaders could result in leading thousands of young people to Christ. You don't have to be "cool enough" to love a teenager and be used by God—just available!
Ron Luce is the founder of Teen Mania, one of the world's largest Christian youth organizations, which inspires, empowers, and equips teens to reject the negative influences of pop culture and embrace the "coolness" of Christ. This year, Teen Mania is rallying hundreds of thousands of teens in the BattleCry movement to save their generation. For more information, visit www.BattleCry.com.