Teen Challenge is an evangelistic, discipleship ministry. When we first think of Teen Challenge discipleship we think of chapel, GSNC and PSNC. These are key backbone elements. But discipleship does not stop there.
Teen Challenge takes a “holistic” approach. That is, it involves the whole person: “Teen Challenge endeavors to help people become mentally sound, emotionally balanced, socially adjusted, physically well, and spiritually alive.” We want to address the needs within the whole person. For that to happen, every aspect of the entire program must be seen and treated as discipleship.
We want to create a structured loving environment that facilitates healing and discipleship. We must ask ourselves, “Is this happening in my TC ministry?” Don’t just assume that it is. We must evaluate and reevaluate every aspect of the ministry and our personal interactions with and contributions to the lives of the students to see if this is happening from wake-up to lights out.
For TC to be a discipleship ministry every staff member must see themselves as an important part of the discipleship process. It is NOT just the GSNC and PSNC teacher or the person who preaches chapel. Each and every staff member is a teacher, a mentor, a discipler, from the staff member who does wake-up, to the work supervisor and the recreation supervisor. If we see work and recreation and free time as just “time fillers” we are missing some of the most important discipleship opportunities that we have.
Jesus teaching and parables make it very clear that practical Christianity applies to every aspect of our lives. The GSNC and PSNC help to build a foundation for holistic approach to living out our faith by being application driven, that is, they focus on putting the principles into practice in everyday life. So, where are the students going to put the biblical truths they are learning in chapel and class into action? In all the activities and relationships that fill their day at TC.
To quote Dave Batty, “We need experts at discipleship.”
I will deal more specifically with other aspects of discipleship in the next few upcoming e-newsletters.
Think about it!
Have a brainstorming session with all staff to discuss the “discipleship” nature of each aspect of the program. Discuss the steps that can be taken to improve the quality of discipleship in each element.