Discipleship is part of the four-fold vision of Teens for Christ ministry, and a regular scheduled part of each of the times we meet together. Our discipleship time not only focuses on the “what” of basic Christian discipleship, but also practical implementation in day-to-day life.
We define discipleship as the process by which disciples grow in the Lord Jesus Christ and are equipped by the Holy Spirit to overcome the pressures and trials of this present life and become more and more Christ like. TFCs encourages students to journey in this process by learning to listen the Holy Spirit’s prompting to examine their thoughts, words and actions, studying God’s Word, praying over it, and obeying it. In addition, we should always be ready to give testimony of the reason for the hope that is within us (1 Peter 3:15) and to disciple others to walk in His way. This includes learning to put Jesus first, follow the teachings of Jesus, be fruitful and share their faith, and learn to love like Jesus did.
To accomplish this, we set specific times daily for discipleship training during TFC camp. Many of the students coming into the TFC ministry lack common basic doctrinal understanding. Or, if they know “some things” about God, Jesus and the Bible, the amount they know is limited. If these students are expected to share the gospel with knowledge and grace and stand against teachings that “sound spiritual” but lack biblical truth, more focused knowledge is needed.
This process begins at TFC camp, with daily focuses on what it means to be a disciple of Christ, and continues on throughout the year with how to implement those things they learn into their daily lives through prayer, Bible study, accountability, service, and other Christian disciplines.
Mentoring students is one of the cruxes of Teens for Christ ministry. It is a powerful personal development and empowerment tool, and an effective way of helping students progress their faith.
Mentorship is a partnership between two people (mentor and mentee) based upon mutual trust and respect. A mentor serves as a guide to help the student find and follow the right direction.
Mentors help guide the student to a deeper faith in Jesus. A good mentor asks the hard questions, and helps the student learn to dig deeper into their lives. Mentors help students take the other areas of the ministry (discipleship, equipping and networking) and synthesis these things into “whole person” spiritual development.
Guys and girls are separated into small groups of students, lead by both a couple of student leaders, as well as an adult mentor that serves as either their TFC “parent” (mentor). These small groups serve as discussion groups during our Saturday group days, as well as accountability groups and safe places for students to ask questions, challenge one another in their faith, and make deep meaningful friendships.
In addition, each focus contains mentors that are specifically gifted in that ministry area. As the students develop their ministry talents, these adults instruct them, guide them and then encourage them as they serve
Mentors are key to our ministry. Our staff are gifted mentors that help students apply the truths they learn in times of discipleship, teaching, and personal study to discover their gifts and operate in their talents, while learning to navigate their complicated lives in light of God’s word and direction.
Teens for Christ ministry desire to equip students for a lifetime of ministry opportunities. Often, we look at a young person and see the “church of tomorrow.” But we believe students who are passionate for God and well equipped for ministry are able to build their local churches right now.
First, TFCs attempts to match the students’ passions and talents with a specific equipping opportunity. Currently, that involves the ministry areas of vocal music, instrumental music, drama, technical arts, and service. Once a student has chosen an area, they are matched with an equipping mentor. The “equipper” works with the student to provide them with training and resources needed for the ministry area.
In addition, TFCs attempts to furnish students with intellectual and emotional resources. Students learn skills that are useful for existing ministries in their local congregations. They graduate from the ministry prepared and trained to both offer support and, if they desire, to begin new ministries wherever God takes them.
Equipping students for powerful ministry both today and tomorrow. It’s a part of Teens for Christ’s core belief and practices.
Networking is about connection, linking the parts into a bigger whole that together better accomplishes a goal. We believe TFCs is a part of the bigger picture of God’s Kingdom, and believe part of our ministry is to help network students into better connect with their local churches, their communities, other ministries and their future.
We do this in a variety of ways. The training students receive in TFCs, both in discipleship and equipping, prepares them join with ministries already available at their local churches.
In addition, TFCs provides various ministry opportunities through our “portion” programs. This involves a concert-like presentation, where students share material they have learned and practiced during our bi-monthly get together times.
Another opportunity we give students is to develop and implement small group “outlet” ministries. This happens in two different ways. When there is a need (think youth retreat, community outreach, etc.), local churches can contact Teens for Christ ministries and request teams to lead music, children’s programming, special drama presentations or such. Or, if students learn of needs in their local communities, they can bring those needs to fellow TFC students. These small groups of students will be matched with specific mentors to meet these community needs.
We hope to network with churches that want or need help in specific areas. As our students are equipped and discipled, we want to make them available to provide “workshop” opportunities. This would involve churches setting aside a specific time to gather area students for training in technical arts, preparing drama presentations; etc. TFC students will then join them, share the equipping lessons they have learned, and then encourage the churches’ own students to perform in an evening gathering time.
Further, it is our hope that through these and other ministry opportunities TFC Ministries will begin to build healthy, connective, sharing relationships with local churches. It is through the sharing of our resources and talents that all ministries involved can find greatest benefit. We are strong believers that we are about Kingdom work, so we’re all on the same team! TOGETHER we will most effectively reach this generation for Christ!