3 Ways a Teen Can Break Out of the Box

When a 15-year-old takes a fantastic stand for the gospel, heads turn in awe and wonder. And something extraordinary is born.

However, many young people either have been told or tell themselves that they can do very little, if anything at all, for the Kingdom. I’ve been speaking to teens for about 20 years. If there’s one thing I’ve realized, it’s the fact that the typical American Christian teenager has accepted the notion that he is limited in what he can do for the sake of the gospel. The teen has formed a box for himself to live in–a cube of comfort and limitation. But he really doesn’t like it there.

Inside that box exists school stuff, a hobby, a couple of church activities, perhaps a job, and a few friends. But most of all, inside that box is his philosophy of life: this is all there is for me right now. But what this teen really wants is to fight for a cause–a cause that is much bigger than himself! What greater cause is there other than the spreading of the gospel? He just needs a little inspiration.

Here’s how it works:

1. Inspiration to evangelize begins with the leadership. Can you see your church youth group as the bright light in your community for the gospel? Can you see dozens of teens believing in Jesus because of your youth group’s evangelistic work? I bet you can. And it begins with you, the leader. A group follows its leadership. When they see you evangelize, they will follow. When they see you inspired to move, they will move. Teens want a cause worthy enough to sacrifice for. You must lead the way!

2. Teens need to be inspired to do something big. That’s right. Big. REALLY big. They need to be told that because of Christ in them, they are capable of doing extraordinary things for the glory of God. That extraordinary thing may be sharing Christ to their friend at school, or it might be establishing a nationwide organization to bring blankets and Bibles to children in a 3rd world country who die each year from the bitter, cold weather. (I am watching both of these in the works now…by American Christian teens.) Teens need to be inspired to break out of their box of limitation and trust in God to lead them to do something big for Him.

3. Teens need to understand that prayer is their lifeblood for success. We can strategize, train, and inspire, and all that is good and necessary. But without bathing our mission in prayer, we are powerless. Prayer is reliance upon God to lead, asking God for boldness and success, and asking Him for wisdom to move accurately. Prayer aligns us with God’s desires. It keeps our focus on the real reason for the cause–to glorify God. And when a teen learns to rely on and glorify God when he is 15, can you imagine what he will be capable of when he is 35 or 50?

God used many teens to do the most extraordinary things throughout history. I think it’s because teens want to do something bigger than themselves. They want to give themselves to something worthwhile. They want to break out of their boxes of limitation. They just need some inspiration to move.

What are your thoughts on Christian teens and their boxes? Do you think youth today can do something extraordinary for God? Do you have a cool story to tell about this? Slap me some feedback! 

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