This year’s Youth Evangelism Conference in Tennessee was a real blessing for all involved, leaders and kids alike.  Besides the head pounding from lack of sleep and more bass than I’m used to in a weekend, the thing I’m most excited about is this next generation’s desire and potential to greatly impact the Kingdom. Throughout the weekend, teens were challenged to live the REAL life, to find freedom in Christ and then to live it…to be the same people on Monday at school as they were over this weekend.

This assembly has been going on for as many years as I can remember in our state and I must say I’ve seen plenty of individual success stories as well as some letdowns in students’ lives when they returned to “the real world.”  This year there was definitely an extra measure of hope.  Testimonies of kids who were living missionally went a long way in helping these young adults see that there’s a big difference between a youth group and a youth ministry.  I pray that we would have the latter.

As I think about how the church can come alongside our youth this next year, there are at least three things that we can do to improve our AIM in leading our teens on the journey to be REAL:

1. Accountability- Match teens up with adults who have similar interests and can encourage them to set tangible goals in their Christian development. They need someone who has faced the same challenges in life to walk this journey with them.

2. Involvement- Find ways to involve youth in real ministry that matches their gifts, talents, and abilities. This is a generation of doers!

3. Modeling- Teens need to see adults who are genuine, not ones playing church games.  As they see us passionately pursuing Christ, they’ll be encouraged to run the race too.

What are some other ways that we can helps these kids along the way in their journey to be REAL?