Step One: Create a C-4™ Community
I want to prepare you; the solutions I share below aren’t “sexy.” Turning Postmodern Christian teens into multiplying disciples is, in a word – hard. Only those who wish to get their hands dirty should continue to read these posts and answer the five questions at the end.
I am looking for partners who are willing enter into the culture wars. We are in a battle for minds, hearts and souls of our youth. I look forward to hearing from you. Here we go!
In Acts 17:28, the Apostle Paul writes, “In Him we live and move and have our being.” In essence, where our kids “live” and “move,” they “become.” Our youth are attending church for a couple hours, but they are living and moving in a world that no longer recognizes Christ as God. Actually, should we be surprised at what our youth are becoming?
In Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, we are creating a C-4™ Community, A Christ-Centered, Counter-Culture. The biblical foundation for a C-4 Community is Jesus’ ministry with His disciples, Acts 17:28 and Paul’s ministry found in 1 Thessalonians chapters one and two.
A C-4™ Community is a vibrant, growing group of Christian youth and their families on a mission. These Christians love Jesus and have a burning desire to see their family, their friends, their community, their state and America come to Christ. This is important: When people come into our C-4™ Community, we do not become like them, they become like us, then Christ.
The object of a C-4™ Community is to create a Christ-centered culture that is counter to what the American culture has become. We believe we can be more effective reaching people for Christ by bringing people to us, rather than trying to reach them where they are living.
Spiritual development happens best in a C-4™ Community. Spiritual growth is all about people and places. Who teens are with and where they are is very important. Jesus built His training strategy on a powerful spiritual principle – Christianity is caught more than taught. Yes, there is an important teaching component to disciple-making, but you catch Christianity the way you catch the flu, you catch it from being around someone who has it!
CREATING C-4™ COMMUNITIES — “CHRIST-CENTERED, COUNTER-CULTURES”
Youth must live and move in Christ-Centered, Counter-Cultures if we expect them thrive. The perfect example of a C-4™ community, of course, was Jesus and His disciples.
For three years, the disciples lived and moved with Jesus, and they took excursions into the world. They didn’t live and move in the world and visit with Jesus for a couple of hours a week. The disciples walked with Jesus daily and had a front row seat as He taught, performed miracles, and confronted the religious leadership of the day. After a day of watching Jesus, He would sit down with His disciples and hold de-briefings on what they saw and heard that day. Eventually, Jesus sent the disciples out into the world with specific assignments, and they would return and report.
After three years of intense training, of living and moving with Jesus, the disciples were ready to launch out on their own – they had become everything Jesus needed them to be. Jesus could now return to the Father.
What was the result? Just read the book of Acts and beyond!
With our youth attending church activities (worship, youth group, etc…) for just a couple hours a week, can we expect to get similar results from our youth that Jesus got with His disciples?
At Reach America we are creating a C-4™ Community where youth are able to live and move daily and become everything God made them to be.
Parents, Pastors, Youth Pastors: I would like to end this post by asking five penetrating questions.
- Is your youth ministry Christ-Centered?
- Is your youth ministry Counter-Cultural? Recently, I was speaking to a teen who is a regular at his youth group’s Wednesday night meeting. He said, “Pastor Gary, I believe our youth group is a C-2 Community. We talk about Jesus, but we don’t see a lot of real life change, and I don’t believe we are impacting the culture.”
- How many of the teens in your youth group are seriously leading others? Do you have a leadership training process in place? Have your leaders been equipped to lead others, and are in fact leading?
- How many of your youth are actually leading people to Jesus at their public school versus how many of your youth are being led away from Jesus at their public school?
- Are you open to something a little different? If you are open, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Without a doubt, this is a tough culture in which to be a young Christian. At Reach America, we do not pretend to have all the solutions, but we have dedicated our lives to cracking the code that unlock the answers for turning postmodern Christian teens into multiplying disciples.
Interesting in partnering?
Next Post: Equipping Teen Leaders in This Postmodern Age
Pastor Gary Brown