By Abb Thomas
What It Does
The scholarship program is one of the best incentives we have ever used to motivate teens in daily devotions, soul winning, follow-up, faithfulness, scripture memory, and other areas. Through this program, we see the Great Commission accomplished in our ministry
Win: We see hundreds won to Christ each year.
Baptize: We see scores baptized each year.
Teach: We see teens winning others, following-up their converts, involved in Bible devotions and study, scripture memory, and literally going into all the world.
We have seen many teens give their whole life for missions, surrendering while on our trip or shortly after their return. We have actually had three couples (our own workers) surrender and go to the exact fields we visited. God laid it on their heart while there.
Something to Think About
The original thought which stirred our thinking toward a mission tour was the desire to see more teens give their heart for missions and full-time Christian service.
In every youth group, you have a core of your “best” kids. These are the ones who really love the Lord, are faithful to everything, are soulwinners, but have never really given their life fully to Christ for His service.
We want to motivate these core teens to be consistent all year long (requirements), then take them for a two-week period of concentrated missions exposure. This would be a great opportunity for God to really touch their heart.
Short Cuts Help Cut Down Cost
Your trip may last for a week, or two weeks. Plan your trip well in advance, using some of these guidelines:
1. Find cost per-camper on actual field.
2. Set up one church per-day in which to stay going and coming. Ask for a room to sleep boys and one for girls. Sleep on floor.
3. Plan to eat a “brunch” about 11:00 a.m. each morning. This combines a breakfast and lunch meal.
4. Cook your own meals “on the field”, if possible.
5. Have teens pay 1/2 or more of individual cost, or all if you must.
6. Projects by the teens, months before, could pay for all your transportation cost.
7. Have a Teen Missions Day in your church, a week or two before your trip. Encourage each adult to bring one or more food items for your trip. Write up a short list of items you could use to feed your own kids, such as:
Cans of Soup
Fruit (Fresh or canned)
Canned Meals (Such as spaghetti, beef stew, etc.)
Have decorated boxes located at all doors of the church on that big day. Emphasize to your church people that “if everyone did something, it would mean a lot.”
Note: We have often used the same idea of getting others to give, but taking all food items directly to the missionary family, for their own use. It’s a real blessing to them.
8. Think of other ways to save money.
Other Variations for Trips
1st Year – Week of Summer Camp
2nd Year – Mission Field
3rd Year – Tour or your state (witnessing, meetings, etc.)
Purpose of the Scholarship
1. To obey the Lord in the commandment to witness.
2. To have a proper soul winning emphasis.
3. To encourage a daily Quiet-Time.
4. To encourage involvement in the local church.
5. To encourage faithfulness in Church attendance.
6. To recognize the need of missions.
7. To promote Scripture memorization (especially soul-winning verses).
8. To encourage reading of good Christian books.
9. To excite our young people for Christ with the goal of seeing many of these surrender fully and give their lives to full-time service.
10. To actually take teenagers to the mission field to see and feel the heart-beat of the missionary and the field.
It’s Not the Best Way…But It Works
You’re right, it’s a shame that we have to motivate and beg teenagers to develop these objectives in their lives. However, I would much rather beg and plead, and motivate teens to do all these things, than to sit back and do nothing.
The establishing of consistent Godly patterns in young lives is a must. We’ve seen many lives change because they were “forced” to be consistent over a year’s time. I say,” Praise the Lord!” I refuse to let the devil have my kids.
“Win Scholarships”. By Abb Thomas.
“This article may not be written by an Apostolic author, but it contains many excellent principles and concepts that can be adapted to most churches. As the old saying goes, “Eat the meat. Throw away the bones.”