Why I Love Rent-A-Teens (And Other Challenge Fundraisers Too)
CHALLENGE 2018 (THE EFCA BI-ANNUAL YOUTH CONFERENCE) will be here before we know it. Well, okay, it will be here in exactly 266 days, but it will feel like much less than that sounds. There is a lot to do in preparation for the trip to Kansas City, and much of that comes in the form of fundraisers. It will come as no surprise to you that to send 20+ teens, plus adult leaders, to Kansas City for a week-long conference is expensive. What may surprise you are the incredible ministry opportunities some of our fundraising efforts provide.
Consider the following statement from Kara Powell, the Executive Director of the Fuller Youth Institute. “Of all the youth group participation variables we’ve seen, being involved in intergenerational worship and relationship was one of the variables most highly correlated to young people’s faith.” In other words, while participating in youth ministry activities is great, the result of that alone is students’ graduating without knowing their church, and without their church knowing them. It’s no wonder then that so many students drift from the church (and their faith) after high school – they feel they’ve graduated out of it.
There’s a difference between “intergenerational” and “multigenerational” too. While multiple generations can be present in the same room (say, at a worship service, or a baked potato lunch), intergenerational means that members of two or more different generations have some degree of mutual, influential relationship developed through cooperative interaction to achieve common goals. If I may say it more simply, it’s students and adults getting to know one another while working (or serving, or worshiping, or playing) alongside one another.
This is where Rent-A-Teens come in. Could you view this as a way to donate money to a few teens’ trip to Challenge in exchange for a few hours of work around your home? Sure. But what I see is our students spending a Saturday morning with adults in our congregation, working alongside them, and developing a relationship with one another. I see students being known by the adults in the church, and adults being known by the students in the church. I see intergenerational ministry. I see lasting faith being built.
Are you interested in being a part of these intergenerational ministry opportunities? Here’s how: