I have been trying (and trying is the key word here) to follow Jesus and his teachings for the past decade. Prior to this I was addicted to the approval of others which lead to massive insecurities, major impairment in decision making, and a sad sense of self awareness (at times in my high school years I swore with every fiber of my being that I was a gangsta, super athlete, and/or chick magnet). It is quite humiliating to think through my past and how uncomfortable I was in my own skin. The worst part of looking back though is realizing what kind of impact I could have had for the grace filled gospel message and its King as a High School Student.
Here is a simple and straightforward post on why I believe a High School student has the best shot at changing a city with the gospel message.
1) They are trapped
High School students unlike the majority of adults are trapped, specifically with their oikos. The first church and the message of Jesus’ love and rescue mission spread like wild fire through “oikos”: Ones personal network. When something out of the ordinary happened to the father figure of a household, the news was shared immediately with his entire oikos (family, friends, neighbors, and employees). The entire oikos was then automatically brought into the new message and new trajectory that the father figure ‘s life was now headed on. In today’s society the adult has to work hard to maintain an oikos that they can influence. The sprawl of the suburbs has limited interaction with neighbors. The use of cars has limited the connection many would make on daily routes using public transportation. Investing in oikos is hard for adults, but the high school student finds themselves around the same few hudred people day in and day out, literally trapped with them. They are trapped between walls and within rooms sitting next to people of different cultures, different colors, and different creeds. If leveraged right, the structure of the high school could be explosive for the gospel message and the rescue mission of Jesus.
2) The Subculture strategy
It is often hard to reach a city because of how framgmanted it can be. From different ethnicities, different socioeconomic groups, different ages, and different lifestyles, the city is often broken into a billion subcultures. In addition, the majority of work places for adults are often monoethnic and monocultural because of different variables. Yet the high school is a breeding ground for different subcultures. From punks, to jocks, blacks to whites, student government reps, to burnouts, you have the makeup of the city within the high school halls. A Spirit lead student has the ability to reach different people groups and subcultures that would usually take churches and adults 20 years to reach.
3) They are unexpected
No one expected the savior of the world to be born in a crap filled manger, working a carpentry gig under the authority of a dad named Joseph and a mom who is still wondering how she conceived a child with the creator in the first place. In the same way, no one expects a 16 year old to step into a high school with the mindset that they can turn it upside down. They are there to get good grades, make some friends, and score well enough on some tests to get some cash for college. A student who walks the halls with the task of transforming the masses is unexpected and on the verge of something revolutionary.
And when it happens, when a school is turned on its head, when racial tension ceases between Arabs and blacks, when your most influential students choose to befriend the special need kids instead of belittling them, and when the 17 year old begins to push school initiatives in order to add life to the school with more passion than the principal, the whole community will take notice.
If you are parent of a student, valuing good grades is ok, athletic achievement can be admirable, but watching your kid shake the foundations of the entire school…that will change your entire family and will leave your kid a different person for eternity.
If you are a student, stop screwing around. Stop trying to get by, make it to college and score a girl friend. Live on mission to make things new and my guess is all three things will follow anyway.
I believe in you and so does the one who called the first 12 disciples (mostly teenagers) and asked them to move the world one step closer to their creator. There are a ton of students and entire cities waiting on you.