Across Virginia, CEF Chapters are praying and planning for the week-long teen training camp – Christian Youth in Action® – the last week of June. Teens 13 years and up learn how to share God’s message of salvation on a child’s level. Then teams of 2-3 youth leave totally prepared to teach outdoor 5-Day Clubs (2-3 per week!) throughout July and August.
Tom Boor – former Director of CEF of Peninsula – is convinced that introducing children to Jesus and discipling them through the teen years is the only way to prepare them to stand for God against the anti-Christian forces so prevalent in our society. This is an article Tom wrote in April of 2018 that is still so relevant today.
George Barna in his book, Transforming Children into Spiritual Champions, states:
“…if you want to shape a person’s life—whether you are most concerned about his or her moral, spiritual, physical, intellectual, emotional or economic development—it is during these crucial eight years (ages 5-12) that lifelong habits, values, beliefs and attitudes are formed.”
How can parents and the Church incorporate this truth to purposefully evangelize and make disciples in their community?
Ideally, the Church will offer child evangelism training in addition to evangelism geared toward adults! This training should not be limited to Sunday school teachers and other children’s ministry workers, but also be easily available and geared toward parents and grandparents. This way the adults who care the most will have the confidence to present the gospel of salvation to children on their level.
After salvation, the disciple-making process is crucial through early teenage years. This includes a firm grasp of the character and promises of God (Who God is), the identity of a believer who is rooted in Christ (Who I am In Christ), and what God’s express marching orders are for His Children (Grateful Obedience and Tell Others).
There are two strategic reasons to reach children and disciple them during the formative years:
- If disciples of Christ are not formed at this time, chances are slim it will happen later. The teen years are filled with turbulence and questions about identity. Without a firm trust in Jesus and understanding of His power in them to withstand temptation, many teens flounder.
- Discipled teenagers are the most effective group to evangelize younger children. A youth who is trained in child evangelism has the energy and enthusiasm to, in turn, reach younger children who are the most responsive to gospel presentations.
When teens learn the power of the Gospel in its simplicity and can practice sharing with children, they are much more likely to stand for the Lord against peer pressure in high school and college.
This cycle of reaching children, discipling them in TRUTH, training to share the Gospel, and thus raising up spiritual champions who become leaders in the church – what could be a better strategic method to reach our community for Christ?
That is why CEF partners with Churches and parents in both child evangelism for adults and training teens to share the gospel. CEF Staff is available for half-day to weekend retreats on child evangelism training in the church.
CEF also offers a one-week, intensive training each June for teenagers to learn how to present the gospel to kids. The teens then live out what they learn by serving on a team reaching children through parties and clubs where children gather – neighborhoods, parks, rec centers. You can view CYIA 2021 details online.
Contact Kevin Mooers for more information: 757-871-6382