Most Christians can point to a moment
or an event that was life changing for them. Something
happened that enabled them to live their faith at a
higher level than they did previously. Many can point
to several high-impact experiences, whether it was a
retreat where they gave their life to the Lord, a Life
in the Spirit Seminar when they were baptized in the
Holy Spirit, or a prayer meeting when they suddenly
knew they needed to do a GAP year as a missionary.
The dynamic of high-impact events is similar to a ship
going through a lock. The lock raises the ship to a
new level – a level the ship would not be able to
Good youth work capitalizes on this dynamic. It
recognizes that change often happens quickly for
teens, whether the change is physical, mental,
emotional, or spiritual. Providing high-impact events
is an important part of any effective strategy for
moving youth ahead in their faith. It is why we build
in opportunities, or locks, for this to happen.
Adventure trips help young teens by giving them the
chance to experience the grandeur of God reflected in
The Youth Equipped to Stand Retreat (Y.E.S.) presents
a clear call to respond to the Gospel message. Many
churched youth believe in God, pray, obey their
parents (usually), and are “good kids,” but they have
not really taken the step of inviting Jesus to be Lord
of their life. It is this step, going through this
lock, that is necessary for them to become an adult
disciple and live their faith at a new level.
Mission trips have a “lock effect” by helping youth
choose to live in love and service to others, and not
to live just for themselves.
A GAP year brings a new maturity of faith, personal
discipline, and clarity about following the Lord. It’s
a year of one’s life that affects the rest of one’s
life. One of the most important things youth workers
and parents can do for teens is to encourage them to
attend these high-impact events and give the God of
the locks the chance to raise them to the next level.
More information on each of these programs is
available at www.kairos-na.org.
The transition from high school into college is one
fraught with challenge for Christian youth. All
freshmen are likely to experience the equivalent of
“transplant shock” to their faith. For those who move
away from home and into a dorm the shock can be