ET Youth Planning

Your posts will be used in the Spirit-led Strategic Planning process for the ET Youth. Content from Discussion Posts will be shared with the planning team during the meetings.

Please post your reply to the following question:  If the Lord gave you the desire of your heart, you knew you couldn’t fail, and you had unlimited resources, what would you do to extend the Kingdom of God through ET Youth?

29 thoughts on “ET Youth Planning

  1. The desire of my heart is really to see the youth at ET (and adults) be able to defend their faith. There is undeniably an increasing necessity to be able to stand up to those who have made it their missions to debunk the gospel and discredit believers. Satan is working overtime to catch us off guard and shake our confidence in what we believe, in our presentation, and in how we feel we are being perceived by those who don’t agree with us. Now is the time to be bold for Christ, but the world wants to call us narrow minded and even goes so far as to call it discrimination, bigotry, or hate. If we aren’t able to defend our faith, it is so much more difficult to bring others to Christ, which should be the ultimate goal of every Christian. If I knew I couldn’t fail, had unlimited resources, and had the attention of believers committed to this cause, I would love to see us be able to equip our youth through apologetics and evangelism training. I think mock debates could get young people excited to prepare themselves for real world conversations and assaults from people against the Christian worldview.

    1. Thanks Amy for a thoughtful and well written post. I agree about the need for apologetics and evangelism training. Love the idea of mock debates as well. Thanks for your contribution to our strat plan process!

  2. Wow- and they accuse me as a professor of verbosity? Thanks for posting your document, sorry I haven’t been able to allow attachments to the post :-(.

  3. If I had all the resources and knew I wouldn’t fail, (I promise Im not copying, I had already talked to people about this) I would stress apologetics and answering the hard questions. I love the idea of mock debates and scenarios of how to share ones faith with others on philosophical road blocks for peoples faith. Not only for the sake of witnessing to others, but preparing for the our own sake as life comes and it becomes harder and harder to believe in God just because our parents told us to. It seems easy to believe in God when we grew up in church and know nothing but that. Though I know its not the case for all students at ETY, for a lot of us, the life-altering tragic events are minimal thus far in life but that doesn’t mean its not inevitable in the long run. So when youth grow up and are given the option to walk away from church and loved ones pass away and evil seems to be more and more real on a personal level, it is imperative to know these hard questions for ourselves and not just for witnessing to others. We need to know how to express effectively to other people that God is compatible with evil in the world but we also need to know these things for our own lives when the times come. So I would say on many levels, the deep questions are important both for apologetics and for sustainable and long lasting personal faith.

    Another thing, if I knew all the things we did to make this happen wouldn’t fail, I would want to implement ways in order to bring about a greater unity within the youth. This is so hard in all age groups, but I think the age of youth is especially difficult on this front. Though I definitely see the benefits of diversity and range of talents/interests, so Im not saying that we all be uniform in jobs or spheres of influence or even be uniform in every single little belief, but it would be amazing to see a youth group have a specific goal and like-mind in mission, regardless of their specific communities outside of youth, so that they can help each other better do it. To see people not just talk to the 3 or 4 individuals every week they are most comfortable with and hang out with outside of youth, but to find a way that when they are inside youth, to have a relationship with everyone– even those they don’t hang out with outside of the ETY atmosphere. I think this goal of community would make ETY not just another hobby for teens like a lot of youth groups but one that kids go and share stories/testimonies and mutually encourage one another and have a bond with other christians that gives them fuel for the rest of the week that without ET they wouldn’t have.

  4. I think that a great way to expand the kingdom of God through our youth group, would be to have fun events or meetings where anyone can come an just have fun and let go of the stress of the week. It would be a simple and convincing way to get someone to come to our church, and maybe eventually come to Christ.

  5. Youth Leaders— Investment in my youth leaders is top priority. We are blessed with an outstanding opportunity to train up ministers of the Gospel who have committed their life to full time and long term ministry. Therefore, I believe ETY should be a training ground for youth leaders by investing in their spiritual development and allowing space to integrate their education into practical ministry.

    Fine Arts-Our participation and commitment to fine arts is a product of the creative gifts many of our students are blessed with. I would like to see our fine arts students use, expand, and sharpen their gifts within the context of our services, but also used as a tool for outreach.

    Family Training Center-I’d like to see our ministry be eager in equipping parents to equip their teenagers as ministers of the Gospel. These are the last precious years of most students living under their parent’s roof and I believe these few years are vital to encourage and invest in strengthening family ties.
    Mission Trips-I’d like to use short term mission trips to stir the souls of our youth to be actively engaged in the mission of God.
    Outreach Events-events designed for our students to invite their friends to a non-threatening environment.
    Personal Outreach Training-Training to equip our students to not only defend their faith but engage those placed in their path as neighbors whom they share life with.

    1. I LOVE the idea of Missions Trips and Outreach Training. And for both of those to include traditional evangelism activities, but also to have service components to them. Building, paining, giving to a community can be a wonderful bridge to sharing faith.

  6. My heart for this group is to watch them grow spiritually in community and also individually. If resources were unlimited, I think a great way to do this would be through community outreaches. Living in Springfield, there is an obvious need for hope and resources, especially among the homeless population. I was sitting at the square the other day watching people walk by, and noticed that probably half of the people I saw were in need of better clothes, a haircut, food, etc. Although having young people reach that need presents itself to be very risky at times, I think with the right planning and preparation it could be possible. I know from experience that serving alongside my peers in my community to meet those needs is one of the best ways to take ownership of faith and the youth group.

  7. I would love to have student-led outreaches where they can participate IN the reaching in their friends and people they know, instead of being WITH their friends as leaders reach their friends. I think there is something special about students actually sowing seeds and taking care of them, as opposed to only bringing other students to youth/events. This would also involve those students who have talents in fine arts and those who feeling a calling to ministry!

  8. I think the biggest thing i can think of is missions. this could be local or in other countries but i love mission like Royal Family Kids Camp or going on a trip to Mexico. Serve Springfield was also awesome. I guess i feel that one thing our youth group is lacking lately is service to others and sharing the love of Jesus through generosity. i think it’d be amazing to help the people in our community in a tanglible and spiritual way.

  9. I would like to see ET Youth should partner with their “sister” church Embassy of Hope in ministry to those in great material and spiritual need in North Springfield.
    I would like to see them equipped in personal and event evangelism to be more effective in personal witness and apologetics to reach their peers with the gospel.
    I would like to see a smooth running assimilation process for the group that would take seekers through conversion into a long-term discipleship process.
    I would like to see a long-term discipleship process functioning effectively to help students identify where they are on the spiritual journey, identify their spiritual gifts, and mobilize them to minister to others as they themselves grow closer and closer to Christ.
    I would like to see much more intergenerational events/outreaches/meetings, etc. to provide long-term relationships for our youth in transition from the youth to young adult or adult ministries.

  10. Money and resources are not required for my greatest desire for our youth, but willing, seeking hearts are essential. I desire for my kids to come to church and feel the presence of God. This experience changes hearts forever. It soothes hurting souls. It convicts hearts. It draws youth to Him. They sense His power. They feel forgiveness. They know His love. It makes God real to youth because they have felt Him!
    The undeniable power of God felt in your own heart will stabilize your life and solidify your faith for eternity. This is what I want for my kids.

    My greatest desire is that our kids experience God’s presence in the deepest way when they walk into ET. This would revolutionize their generation. It would captivate their friends. It would set our youth group apart from others, as a place of God’s truest presence!

    1. Joanie, this really resonated with me. If our kids are full to the brim with the Holy Spirit and His power, and truly have powerful and deep relationships with God, they can’t help but let that spill out in their relationships outside of ET. An unquenchable thirst for God, and experiencing His touch on their lives, will impact everyone around them. I also agree that it doesn’t take a ton of resources for that to happen!

    2. Thanks for your wise insight here. I would concur that an experience of God’s presence is essential to Spiritual growth and maturation. How one goes about achieving such a worthwhile goal with a spiritually diverse congregation is the challenge – perhaps the answer is inherent to the same premise – only through God’s presence can it possibly be accomplished!

  11. My desire is for our youth to be people of integrity. Would a complete stranger walking into our youth service see something different in our kids? Our culture drives each of us and our kids to conform to a norm that is not usually Christlike. My prayer is that our students are so grounded in the Word that their daily actions/thoughts/words at church, at school, at work, at home, and at play reflect the character of Jesus and then begin to influence and impact the people around them.

  12. My desire is wrapped around Special Needs Education and the ability to minister to those with these needs. It is such an untapped missions field that would be amazing to see our kids develop a “buddy program” where they bring a child with special needs to church every Wednesday, not only does this expose the youth to it but it also develops a deeper understanding on life for our group. For the kids with special needs it will be huge to them because it helps them feel normal. For the parents who have special needs kids it can help because it gives them a “night off” as taking care of a child, or anyone really, with special needs can be very difficult sometimes.

    1. As a parent with a child that has disability, I appreciate your thoughts here Noah. They are in need of a relationship with Christ just as much if not more. The daily challenges faced by individuals with disability can be isolating and discouraging. There can be no greater healing for those empty, broken places than a relationship with Christ. It is that foundation that has helped us countless times as a family to persevere.

  13. Joanie Brown and Erica Harris’ posst!! That is my desire for the youth. I want our youth to be so poured into and confident in their faith, so that the outside world (school) can’t shake their faith! That is what will draw people to Christ! It has been my faith and how I have reacted to the tough times we go through that have reached my unbelieving clients.

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