For many teens, TeenStreet is the only place they encounter lots of Jesus followers who are the same age. OM’s week-long international Christian youth event held each summer in Germany is more than just a retreat. TeenStreet’s purpose is to work with the church to motivate and equip Christian teens to have a real relationship with Jesus and to reflect Him daily in the world.
A few churches in Dublin regularly participate in TeenStreet. This year, Swords Baptist Church got creative and made use of the online videos and live webcasts to provide a TeenStreet satellite group for those unable to attend.
“We decided to give it a try,” said Hazel Pigott, one of Swords’ youth leaders. “We send teens every other year, so this option was exciting.”
Each night, the group watched the recorded session, joined in on the live worship session, and worked through the small group discussions just like the teens onsite in Germany.
“We had 20 teens the first night, which blew us away. We weren’t sure if anyone would come,” Hazel explained. “By week’s end, we had over 30 teens. They were totally engaged with it because it’s very normal for them to be linked over the internet.”
The overall aim of the week is to strengthen teens and local churches. “The result was a core group of teens doing life together a bit closer,” Hazel noted. “We also got to know some of our ‘fringe’ teens a bit more. There was an opportunity for others to come out of their shell and shine. The intensity of the six days together was invaluable in building relationships.”
“It’s a valuable time of being taught truths from God’s Word and having quality fellowship with other teens in Jesus’ name,” Neil Douglas, youth pastor at Crinken Church, said. “It’s a purpose-driven event for teens to consider their individual response to God’s fatherly love and what Jesus has done for them.”
The lessons instilled in the teens resonate in their minds long after they have returned home.
“I meet with teens year-round,” Neil said, “and I see a lasting impact because they’ve been clearly and creatively taught from the Bible. Seeing teens become Christians and follow Him with faithfulness and joy is a huge encouragement and prompts others to come along.”
“We hope our teens will be empowered to become the amazing people God has designed them to be,” Hazel shared. “We’ve baptised about a dozen teens in the last two to three years, and each one has spoken about how TeenStreet has helped them along on their journey.”