If we believe middle school students are ready to hear, understand, and respond to the gospel, we must also believe that they are ready to begin a life of following Christ, i.e. being disciples.
Discipleship encompasses all aspects of following Jesus (spiritual growth, meditating on the Word, prayer, fellowship, service, mission, dying to self, sharing Christ’s suffering, and more). Even if it doesn’t always encompass all of these things, Campaigners continues to be one of the primary discipleship inroads in our ministry.
Recently a group of WyldLife staff developed these working lists for Campaigners:
DRIVING MISSION OF WYLDLIFE CAMPAIGNERS:
- Helping middle school students grow in their faith (per the Young Life mission statement).
SPECIFIC GOALS OF WYLDLIFE CAMPAIGNERS:
- Read the Bible together every time. (More on that here.)
- Talk about real life issues
- Create memories that become specific markers on their spiritual formation journey.
- Establish a regular pattern of growth and gathering.
- Learn to pray: and because our prayers are a model for our kids, we must pray simply, personally, devoutly, and reverently.
- Encourage ongoing curiosity about faith.
- Make Jesus relatable.
- Build lifelong faith habits.
- Create an atmosphere where students experience genuine love of leaders and Jesus.
- PLANT SEEDS!
STRATEGIES AND TECHNIQUES TO ACHIEVE GOALS:
- Use creative Bible reading techniques. (Read here for some ideas.)
- Provide mapped-out lessons for younger leaders.
- Provide “cabin-time” discussion questions.
- Introduce various prayer strategies and styles (prayer partners, “snowball” prayers, etc.)
- Provide a Campaigners journal for each student – guide them on specific use.
- Group kids with same leaders each week.
- Focus on a single takeaway with each passage.
DESIRED MEASURABLES OF WYLDLIFE CAMPAIGNERS:
- Students know how to navigate the Bible.
- Students understand and are able to talk about their own faith story and journey (relative to their developmental stage).
- Students are less afraid of praying/willing to pray for and with the group.
- Students ask us additional questions.
- Students articulate their own ideas and observations of scripture.
- Students display fruits of the spirit in increasing measure.
- Campaigner community deepens.
WE WILL KNOW WE ARE PREPARING AND LEADING WYLDLIFE CAMPAIGNERS EFFECTIVELY & WITH EXCELLENCE IF:
- Kids are engaged and participating.
- Kids initiate follow-up (ask questions days or even weeks later; the conversation continues).
- Conversations include both Biblical truth and real life situations.
- The teaching is centered on Scripture.
- Kids begin duplicating a Campaigner model – i.e. discipling their peers.
- Kids want to know more.
- A kid “gets it” – “it” being their own comprehension, not my pre-determined interpretation or idea.
- I am learning and being changed during my own preparation and study of Scripture.
- We create shared and meaningful memories.
EVERY WYLDLIFE CAMPAIGNERS SHOULD:
- Include prayer.
- Be inviting.
- Connect to their world.
- Include movement.
- Be fun.
- Include (or at least attempt) discussion.
- Be comfortable with silence.
- Be thoughtfully prepared.
- Be a safe place to express doubts and ask questions.