Get Real About Your Mission: No Place to Lay Your Head...
The only real way to live out the Christian faith is to live it radically and passionately with a mission! What a waste if it’s not! God wants us to live with passion for Him and His purposes on the earth. His main Cause or purpose was for His followers to bring about world-wide life transformation by expanding His Kingdom on the earth by making disciples who make disciples (Matt 28:18-20).
Many youth groups today have heard of the Great Commission (THE Cause) in Matthew 28, but they don’t see results because they simply don’t believe in it enough to live it out as Jesus’ only method to expand God’s Kingdom. Many think its teaching a sermon on Wednesday night or a Bible study on Sunday. My dream when I moved to Florida was to have a youth ministry just as Jesus did when He was with His disciples. I wanted to see the book of Acts come alive and see revival hit the city! And I believed with my whole heart that the teenagers in my city could bring about this kind of transformation just as the teenagers (disciples) did 2,000 years ago!
Jesus’ main purpose for the church is nothing less than life transformation and revived hearts for cities and nations! And that this transformation is to take place in families, campuses, communities, governments, cities, and world-wide! This way we go from being clusters of Christians in a building once a week in youth group to being transformation agents to the city. We go from a social club to a transformation center for our city when we become missional. And the only way we accomplish this is by making disciples as we live our everyday lives throughout the city!
It’s not enough to make converts and to “say a prayer”. But we need to grab a hold of the vision to build relationships for the purpose of transforming cities for Jesus! And the only way to get there is by looking at youth group as a mission! Everything we do needs to get us to that goal! That means we need to get out of the 4 walls of the youth house and live with each other and among the people daily we are trying to reach with the purpose of transformation.
“Some want to live within the sound of a church; I want to run a rescue mission (shop) within a yard of hell” (CT Studd). This is what it’s like not to rely on the youth house as a place of comfort and really live THE Cause on our city streets!
This summer the elders of my church decided not to have me plan a mission trip for a week to help another community out of state because my wife and I were having our 3rd child. I admit, I was kinda bummed at first, but later I realized it was one of the biggest blessings for living THE Cause daily! We were forced and challenged to do the everyday evangelism and making disciples!
Our prayer this summer was to have a productive Spirit-filled, non-apathetic summer that produced passion to Live THE Cause once the Fall came. Well, God blew our small vision out of the water! Not only was our summer non-apathetic, but there was passion to live THE Cause daily this summer.
Jesus had no place to lay his head when He did ministry with His disciples and this summer neither did the students! The students really believe that the church is not the youth room! It was a blessing this summer that we didn’t have even the youth house to just chill in (took the challenge not to go there this summer—but to live as Jesus did in His day). This was an everyday thing for us (literally like everyday students got together to do the following Kingdom work)…
We were out all the time on treasure hunts (street evangelism), at each other’s homes (praying for each other and for students that brought their friends), in the car rides, parks, and our very own radio show on Saturday nights at the local Christian Radio Station (where we get to share testimonies on how we are living THE Cause every week).
This summer of “no youth house” and “no mission trip” has forced us to reach out even more than we had been doing—and there is no permission slip or money required! And the results are unbelievable! We have had over 30 new students in a 2 month period all because the students are reaching their friends for Jesus by making disciples!
Here is a quote from one of my students—this should give you a picture of what the summer looked like, “I have fun worshiping, singing, and learning about Jesus. Meeting new people is a bonus, having a blast comes with accepting HIS love. I go to church Wednesday and Sunday like most students. But honestly my youth group IS the church. Its Anywhere we go that makes the church. Taco bell= Church if my youth group starts having convos about Jesus. The Car= Church when we start praying for a student that needs it and strike up a convo on the way to somewhere. Someone’s House= church if we start talking about God.” Kail R (junior).
Not only are my high school students loving this way of life, but my Seniors have also taken it to the next level on their soon-to-be college campus. These students are taking college classes this summer and they are already living THE Cause by sharing the Gospel and praying for people in the classroom and in the courtyard after class. The high school students even went on a few “treasure hunt”—street evangelism on the college campus to give them support to jump start a ministry for next Fall.
Also students are bringing transformation at their work places this summer! One student has literally changed the spiritual atmosphere by praying for it and seeing conversations pop-up all over work about God and she is bringing them to youth group on Wednesday night. The other day one of her co-workers was crying in their car because they never experienced the presence of God after she prayed for him. Since then, she has given him books, messages, texts because he is so hungry to live for God now. Her everyday life has become a mission because she really believes that Jesus’ purpose for youth group is for city-wide life transformation!
Students literally can’t wait until Fall, they believe they will be a force to be reckoned with! Not a pebble, but a boulder force coming at the school with the love of God and the Gospel of Jesus!
The Bible says, without vision man dies. Someone once said, “Work without a vision is drudgery; a vision without work is only a dream; work with a vision is victory. Vision is a picture of the future that produces passion in your life! The vision that produces passion in the students’ lives is campus and city-wide life transformation and hearts that will come alive that were once dead toward God by them sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ!
We are stopping at nothing short of campus-wide revival this fall! This will give us reason to say yes to certain things and able to say no to certain things in the group when we are together. And by living the Vision that Jesus calls us to by making disciples who make disciples—we will transform everything in our path this fall through the power of the Holy Spirit!
Are you living THE Cause as a youth group? Draw the line in the sand– either you will be an agent of complaining and complacency OR an agent of change for your city!
Students decide now to surround yourself with those who have your same destiny on mind! Take my students advice, “There is Nothing like being around those who fire you up to live the cause and being around a family that want to see revival as a vision for your city!”
What’s the vision for your city? It better be God-sized….
My name is Brian Ford. I'm a husband to my beautiful wife Kim, a speaker, a writer & youth pastor. Looking for a speaker for your next retreat, camp or youth event? Check out my Contact & Schedule pages for more information - www.xposed2jesus.com