LEVERAGE INFLUENCE: Two combined influences mobilize generations
Create consistent opportunities for students to experience personal ministry
Let’s say you’re going to teach a class on mountain climbing. You tell the students all the details of what it’s like to climb a mountain, what rock configurations to look for, and what footholds to use. You even tell them what the experience is like when you get to the top of the mountain—the feeling of having climbed for hours and being awed by the breathtaking view before you. You create an exciting picture of what it’s like, but the students in your class never get to experience climbing a mountain for themselves. How motivated do you think they are to climb after just listening to you talk?
But let’s just suppose instead that you take them to a place where they can experience just a little bit of mountain climbing and you take them up the mountain as you teach. They get to apply all the information they are hearing. Do you think the impact will be different?
Here are a few realities. If you never actually climb, you will miss the wonder that comes with seeing the view, you will miss the discovery of personal capacity, you will miss the passion of engaging with the mountain.
The same principles hold true for the kids and teenagers who grow up in our homes and churches. If we really want students to head to college as competent climbers, we need to start handing them some rope. We don’t need to teach them about climbing; we need to take them up the mountain and help them experience it firsthand. Students need consistent opportunities to develop their faith, to see God show up as they do ministry and find out what He wants to do through them to influence others.
What does that look like at Horizon? Some prime examples are: 1. High school students leading worship in our junior high program 2. Taking high school students on a mission trip to Mexico where they work hand in had with orphanages. 3. Encouraging parents and students to serve meals to the homeless at a local mission once a month. 4. Having students serve along side adults in our children’s ministry in small groups, sound, lights, graphics, and events.
Things that we have had to get over are looking at students as territory. Meaning the children’s ministry wants to see the students grow as much as the student ministry does. It’s not a those are “my” students and I’m the only one that knows how to reach them. When we work together it makes it to where we are Leveraging our Influence.