We listen to the pastor say the word "missions" and we hear "grass hut, jungle, wicked snakes".
As parents part of our responsibility in discipling our kid is to teach them what missions really is all about. As youth pastors we need to give students and parents the opportunity to experience missions first hand (together when possible). There is no better teacher than experience.
After we had a week long local missions project last summer I received an e-mail from a student who chose not to participate. The student asked this question, "When are we going to go on a mission trip?" Evidence that this student and many others aren't quite ready for a "missions trip" because they don't see reaching those around them as missions or as important. Why? Because they haven't learned. Either the youth ministry isn't doing a good enough job communicating missions or parents aren't teaching their kids about missions or students are hearing but not listening.
I'm stoked about Sunday's Contagious. Students have gathered all the food needed to deliver complete Turkey dinners to families who are in need. Each POD is going to go with their leader, and a few spare parents, to a family's home and deliver the box. Simply to say, "Happy Thanksgiving. NHC youth cares about you and God loves you."
After delivery we will gather back at the building and the PODs will discuss their missions experience together. Should be a great youth group gathering.