Recently we have been working with teenagers and leaders to advance a movement of students reaching students across New York.

Our training event is called ADVANCE and the content is called GUTS: Acting selflessly with the gospel and was developed by us for New York students and leaders. The workbook and training walks youth leaders and teenagers together through the HEART, the HOW and the WHO of mission. This ADVANCE training is first in a series, and focuses on gospel fluency and the key quality, GUTS, and key actions of a campus missionary that correspond to gospel fluency, which are taking initiative and self-sacrifice.

In teenagers’ own words:

“I learned lots of ways to reach out to my friends and eventually start a Christian club at my school.”
– high school junior, Queens, NY

“Now I feel like I have the courage to do this!”
— high school student, Binghamton, NY

“It helped me realize that God wants me to reach out…”
– high school student, Western NY

“It was really useable and it helped me know my next step.”
– student, Western NY

I am so grateful for the incredible support from 30 local churches and cooperating ministries across New York. We are believing we have played a part in advancing a movement of students reaching students, for the social and spiritual renewal of every school.

Here is Jesus’ response to the same mission, from scripture:

“When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” Mark 9:36 ESV

The word used in the original translation for Jesus’ compassion is splangchnizomai, a word that can be better associated with the English figurative and literal word “GUTS.” In other words, Jesus’ guts were affected by the need around him–and it is perfectly faithful to the original language of this scripture to say that “his insides went out to them.”  Then, in the very next verse, Jesus asks his disciples to pray for laborers that will work for this compassion-driven mission. I love that we use the word GUTS to define our first training for this reason!

One of our teenagers commented after ADVANCE: “Now I feel like I have the courage to do this!” When we are talking about the mission, I think we can call that the guts. As our teenagers begin to get the GUTS, let’s pray they do respond selflessly with the gospel. We look forward to their stories!

One of our training sites this fall. Brandon Scholes leads students and leaders in our Getting the Guts session.

ADVANCE training, Western NY. Brandon Scholes leads students and leaders in Getting the Guts