Missions for Post-Teenagers Who Don’t Go To College

BY 30 HOUR FAMINE TEAM

By Kathy Jackson

I am just 2 days back from a Praying Pelican Mission Vision Trip in Haiti and am slowly getting acclimated back to home. This was a trip for church leaders to get a hand on just how PPM works and to visit with the Pastors they are partnering with. None of us on this trip were new to missions but for some of us, it was our first time in Haiti. What an eye-opening experience.

I am not going to tell you all the gory details of the trip. Basically we visited pastors and the churches, saw the projects that were ongoing by PPM groups and heard the dreams of the pastors. The work the pastors are doing in ministry is amazing. They are the hardest working people I know.

But while I was listening, what I kept hearing was the need for people to help their school students to learn trades. They are in need of tradesmen who can teach their students about electrical, plumbing, wastewater treatment, carpentry to name a few.  The basics that we take for granted.

What does this have to do with youth ministry, you ask? Well, in my church, our kids come through youth group and they love doing missions. They want to do it, they will work hard to earn the money needed. But then they graduate high school and many head off to college. Many times they are not connected to us.  But guess what: they still hunger to be out on the mission field. If they are wise, they will connect to a group in college that will still fulfill that hunger.

But what about those who go into the work force or to trade schools? Where do they go to get involved? Many times, a smaller church like mine does not even offer a ministry for that age. We lose them completely or they find that it is easier to sleep in on Sunday and they will show up once in awhile at youth group just to visit. Yes, they are employed making good money, going to school at night to get their licenses for electrical, plumbing, and other fields. But they are not being led into the mission field. They now see that the mission field is impossible because of being too old to do what their youth group did.

I wonder if there are ways to combat this. I know in my church we are going through a revitalization that could attract those twenty-somethings back to our church. We are also forming small groups of people who like the same things. We are going to try to attract young people who are working and need a place to be social. Perhaps we will form a group that is called Young Adult Missions to attract those who have moved into the trades.

God is at work everywhere. He needs everyone’s help. Youth groups, medical groups, tradesmen and adult groups.