Young people are probably the best people to engage in power ministry, in outreach, or really any form of ministry for that matter. Everywhere I travel (which includes 33 countries and throughout the U.S.), I am always excited when teens are in the crowd. My absolute favorite is when it is a Youth Conference where I have enough time to equip students and then take them out on the streets. Honestly, I get a little disappointed if there aren’t any teens when I am doing a general church conference. I know that they will be ready to go out and practice what I am equipping them with.
Youth are naturally given to the extreme. They love extreme sports and on the edge living. It comes naturally to them. The thing that seems to get them stirred and jazzed are the stories of those who are already out doing extreme things. They feel a sense of permission coming from the individual that is sharing those stories. I have found this to be the case in every country and every culture around the world. I was a youth pastor for 12 years before planting a Vineyard church in a poor urban/inner city part of the Chicago area. I remember taking kids out and sharing a couple of stories of healing that happened among the lost. After hearing these stories, the young people went absolutely crazy with praying for people who weren’t Christians. We would hear of crazy healings afterwards.
At first, a lot of young people will hold back because of fear of the unknown or fear of rejection. Trust me, it doesn’t last long. Just last weekend I was doing a Power Evangelism conference for almost 300 students in Michigan. One very shy girl was telling her youth pastor that she was afraid to approach people, pray for healing or even try to prophecy in or out of the church. After my second session, she was put with a group whose leader had practiced prophecy before. After the groups’ first approach with a person out on the street, she was hooked. The group said she took over the approach part (asking people if she could pray/minister to them) and after 1 hour she was leading a separate team. She had not only prayed for healing and seen it happen, but the other kids with her said she was giving the most accurate prophetic words they had ever heard. She was the hit of the conference.
Kids feel empowered once they see ministry modeled. In my DVD training on “Empowered Evangelism”, I tell tons of my own and others’ stories. I have heard so much feedback from teens about how that gave them permission to go out and do the same.
Here’s some tips for a training that I did yesterday with students at Princeton University on doing a “Holy Spirit Scavenger Hunt.” And FYI, we saw incredible healings and clear prophetic ministry happen at one of the most liberal Ivy League Universities in the world.
- Set aside some time for students to break up into groups of 4-5.
- Have them pray before the go out and ask the Holy Spirit to show them some clues about people to pray for. Someone may see a picture of red hair another a blue cap. Someone else may get a sympathy pain in their right leg or feel that the person is discouraged about their job or family.
- Someone in the group write down what it is that they see. This creates a map of who to look for and possibly even where to go.
- If you don’t already have a Spirit directed clue of where you take them, inform them that you are all going to a park or any place where people hang out.
- The kids can go find the people that are their clues (it may be that only a portion is correct). Have them find the people.
- Tell the person that they approach what they saw and that they think God highlighted them to them earlier in prayer.
- Pray for that person and tell the students to listen to the Holy Spirit while praying for more information. Tell them to use the information that they get from the Spirit during prayer in the form of questions. For example, if they sense/hear something about trouble at a job, have them ask a question like: I sense that you are having difficulty at work, is that true?
- Come back after 1.5-2 hours of being out and celebrate the results. Make sure and celebrate the success and failure stories, remind them God celebrates because they were courageous and obeyed Him even when nothing happens. Celebrating the failure stories along with the successes helps keep the kids from exaggerating the success stories.At your next Sunday celebration, ask the pastor if you can have a few of both stories get up and champion it before the whole congregation. Go practice ministry out in the world and see how students can transform our church and world.