Here’s my final tip: Make it Relational. I attended a mission training a few years ago and the leader of that training said quite simply, and yet profoundly, mission (service) is relationship. At the center of all that LebCamp is is building relationships. This means it is less about the work being done and more about the people. When it’s about the people, youth tend to not care what the work is, because the focus is on the people.
Kendra Creasy Dean and Ron Foster, in their book The Godbearing Life, point out that most of us don’t remember the Sunday school lessons of our adolescents, but we remember the people who taught us. Because we were in relationship with them. Get to know the youth who are engaged in your service projects. Learn what interests them. Welcome their questions. Welcome their suggestions. Don’t shut the door with, “We’ve always done it this way.” That is the number one way to ensure that youth will not get involved.
We are transformed by relationships. Our mission/service projects are transformed by relationships. Youth are transformed by relationships. Our community is transformed by relationships.