Greater Houston Teen Ministry Witnesses a Revival Featured

Written by  Barrett O'Connell -- Houston, USA Monday, 15 May 2017 15:34

Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, spoke up, "Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?" Jesus said, "Have the people sit down." There was plenty of grass in that place, and they sat down (about five thousand men were there). Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish.

In this well-known miracle of Jesus, the story begins with hungry people, continues with a boy who gave what he had, and concludes when God multiplied that gift. This simple formula remains miraculous today.

In the summer of 2015 our small region of 120 members had just over 20 teenagers and only one had been baptized. The teens who had not been baptized were, generally speaking, also not interested in God. After a series of discouraging events, where the teens became increasingly disengaged and disinterested, we knew we had to do something.

Our first attempt to change things was to combine our young marrieds Bible talk with the teens. Our thinking was that the teens might not be able to have their own fun, but surely they could join in somebody else's. We also secretly hoped that after a six week period, our young marrieds would be having so much fun that they would become teen leaders. We were partially right, as the teens did join in the fun and did have a great time. However, our young marrieds declined the permanent role, and our existing teen leaders also expressed that they needed to move out of teen ministry.

As a result we now had a large group of teens, little positive history in the group, and nobody to help. It felt like a miniature version of the 5000 hungry Israelites. I decided that my wife and I would lead the teens and do everything we could while also leading our region. The outstanding parents of the region rallied around us and helped in many ways. It felt like we were the young boy willing to share a few small fish and loaves, as God took our meager efforts and worked miraculously.

The parents began to facilitate and host Bible talks for the teens that the parents also attended. Over time the teens grew to trust and accept the parents who attended regularly. Those parents built great relationships with many of the teens and the dividing lines between the generations seemed to fade away. The weekly Bible talk was the foundation for what we were building, and we also did other fun events and attended every congregational and state wide teen event.

The next year saw many changes. Our teens began bringing out their friends to events. There were over 20 teens studying the Bible, and several were baptized into Christ. All those who were baptized are still faithful and now lead the charge to go after reaching their friends. The Teen Ministry is without a doubt the most evangelistic group in the region. They truly set an example for the believers in many ways.

The amazing parents in our region saw a spiritually starving group of teens, rallied together and resolved to feed them with whatever they had. God multiplied the efforts beyond anything we could imagine. We are excited because we also know that he is not done yet!
Houston Teens

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