What else can be done to reach out to teenagers and keep them accountable?
I’m sure you want to keep your teenagers in their Bibles. You could keep them accountable on their Bible reading by designing a live Google sheet where the teens can enter what they have been reading in the Bible and list prayer requests as well. I’m not sure if you can make parts of the spreadsheet private so that teens can be more specific about their prayer requests, but that would be worth researching. Offer incentives such as gift cards or summer camp scholarships for personal achievements in their Bible reading (as opposed to offering incentives for beating out other teens in the youth group in amounts of chapters they read).
Facebook Live or Zoom can easily be used to do a youth rally complete with games, preaching, and interaction to reach new, unsaved teens that your church teens invite. I’ve done two “QuaranTeen Activities” complete with text-in games, gift card giveaways, and Bible preaching through Facebook Live and a free program called OBS. The first QuaranTeen reached over 110 teenagers nationwide and the second one over 40 teens. Feel free to contact me to gain details about how to utilize these free tools to reach some new local teens as well as encourage your home crowd of youth.
Get creative on making excuses to visit teens (especially those fringe teens that may or may not be saved and haven’t been to church since March). One thing I’m looking forward to doing this month is getting with one of the other youth guys in our church and going to each teen’s home. We’re going to get their coffee order, pick it up, and bring it to their door. We’ll have a dozen donuts with us and a box of plastic gloves from the church kitchen for them to reach in and pull out the donut that they want. It won’t be hard to stand six feet away on the porch and just talk to them. Try it! Tell them you’ve missed them at church and that services and/or youth group are still happening and happening safely. Let them know that they are loved, that they are being prayed for, and that they are still accountable to the Lord. Encourage teens to answer why they don’t attend church and/or youth group if it’s safe enough for them. Urge your young people that this year may have exposed a lack of commitment to the Lord that’s been in the heart all along. But don’t just pummel them for a lack of church attendance. Find out what their prayer requests are. Find out what other needs they have in their lives such as boredom, loneliness, bad relationships with family, sinful media viewing, etc. Wear a mask if you know the family would be more comfortable with you doing that.
Don’t be discouraged by some teens not being allowed to come back to church yet. Preach to the ones who are there! Reach those you can. If it’s just four teens, drive those four to Christ! If you need forty teenagers to succeed at youth ministry, then you are program-oriented, not people-oriented (by the way, you’d never last in persecution). Let’s do the job God’s called us to do and reach the youth in our areas.
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