I think one of the things that youth leaders battle is trying to "make Christianity fun." We try to balance between discipleship and a good show. It is a delicate balance! We can not just draw them in by our outrageous programs, but we must also draw them near to Christ, build the foundations of their faith and then lead them down the path to spiritual maturity!
The great part is, there are already many things that we can do that will accomplish both agendas! One of these is to take part in events that take place near you - concerts, conventions...these are great places for your teens to have a great time and get a real, impacting message. One of these places is
I have attended Winter Jam since I was in High School myself! I still remember my first - Newsong, Newsboys, Rebecca St. James... I even went when I was very pregnant, feeling the baby jump to the Newsboys beat! I try not to ever miss a Winter Jam concert! Now that we work in youth ministry I love it even more! It is a great experience for our teens to have a great time and see real (cool!) people on fire for Jesus Christ. It is a place for them to feel unashamed of their faith. It is a great opportunity for me to connect with them on a level that they are oh, so familiar with - music! And it is a great opportunity to show them that Christians do know how to party! There's singing, dancing, lights, smoke and flames (thank you, Skillet!!) and a whole lot of jumping and screaming! It doesn't get better than that!
The amazing people that put together the Winter Jam tour do an amazing job of giving pure, incredible musical talent, an outstanding show, and real, heart to heart testimonies of faith in Jesus Christ. It's one of my favorite events of the year, and it has become our teens too...they won't let us miss it. Know how I know?
This year we were planning on attending Winter Jam in St. Charles, MO instead of Springfield, MO (they like the mosh-pit). When the date came we had 25 teens and only seats for 12 and couldn't find more drivers. We rescheduled for last night's concert in Springfield, MO. On the way to the concert last night, we blew a tire on the church van. Some wonderful kind person changed it and we hit the road again...only to blow another tire. We made it to the tire store, got a replacement and I called my hubby. He suggested we just come home...not a chance! Our teens were even more fired up than before! I know that when something great is going on, Satan is quick to try to jump in. Winter Jam is something great. We had an amazing night and I heard the feed back all the way home (until they all fell asleep in the back and I had to crank up some Peter Furler jams to keep me awake!)
Winter Jam 2013? I'm there. You should be too!