3 Reasons Every Teenager Needs A Tribes
Tribes are central to everything we do in ANTHEM and our hope is that every teenager would become a part of one. The Jr. High and High School years of life are complex, inconsistent and incredibly formative and unfortunately many of teenagers don’t have an opportunity to process their experiences with other people. Yes, they have friends and parents, but what they need most is a safe place that, over time, will point them to discovering a faith of their own. Tribes can provide that type of place that, in addition to parents, creates an environment of safety and consistency for teenagers. The key part to how we do Tribes at MISSION is that they aren’t exclusive to certain “types” of teenagers, and they are the best place for teenagers to ask big questions about God and make lifelong friendships.
Here’s why every teenager needs one:
1. They’ll hear the same things you’re saying, but from a different perspective.
The purpose of a Tribe is not to replace the voice and influence of a parent, it’s to increase it. Your child’s Tribe leader will often times be saying the same things as you, but in a way that might be exactly what your teenager needs. They are going to be pointing your son or daughter toward next steps in their faith, healthy familial relationships and a life of character building choices. We all want these things for our kids, but it might just take the voice of a small group leader to catalyze lasting impact in the life of your teenager.
2. ANTHEM is intended to be a 2 part experience.
We’ve designed ANTHEM to be a 2 environment experience. Large group and small groups are both crucial aspects of the relational and spiritual development of a teenager. Both large group on Sundays and small groups on Wednesdays go hand-in-hand with each other. For one, the conversation in groups is centered around what your son or daughter heard taught on the weekend. In addition, the weekend provides an incredible opportunity for them to experience communal worship, Biblical teaching and the power of inviting a friend into a safe, fun, energetic and engaging environment. We create our weekend experience to be a great place for your child to experience the power of inviting others and to create unforgettable experiences that are connected to the local church. Their attendance on the weekend then fuels their excitement and participation in the conversation on Wednesdays.
Let me be really clear on this: if your child is only attending one of our environments, they are missing half of the experience we’ve created for them. This means that if they miss weekends they’ll come to Wednesday night Tribes completely in the dark on the topic of conversation and might even have difficulty participating in the conversation with their Tribe and building the connections necessary for a healthy small group. The same happens if they’re only getting the experience of the weekend service. Although it’s incredibly helpful for them to experience large group community and the aspects of worship and teaching, it’s not the only experience they need. If they aren’t connected in a small group, they’re missing the opportunity to be known by a few within our community of many. They’re missing the opportunity to take the content from the Sunday service further through conversation and question asking.
Please hear me on this, I am not trying to shame you for taking vacation, having your child participate in club sports, or whatever else might cause him or her to be unable to attend every-so-often. Instead, we’re asking that in order for your child to have a consistent experience at their home church, you would be committed to prioritizing their engagement. We promise that if you do, we will work hard to cultivate irresistible environments for them to discover and strengthen a faith of their own.
3. Everyone needs their people within a group of a lot of people.
This one is key to a teenager’s fundamental needs. Everyone wants to be known. By being a part of a Tribe, your son or daughter moves from the large community experience of sitting in a row on Sunday’s, to the intimate experience of small groups on Wednesday nights. As parents, we all want a safe place for our child to be accepted, loved and cared for outside of the home. Although our Tribes aren’t communities of perfect people, they are guided by incredible adult leaders who are committed to loving your child exactly where they are at. Our Tribes are confidential and safe groups for teenagers to talk about anything. Yes, there may be drama. Yes, there might even be conflict. The difference is that in a Tribe, teenagers have the opportunity to be guided by a caring adult through the complexities of adolescence.
In a Tribe, your teenager will know that they are not alone. They’ll know that no matter how popular they are at school or how unnoticed they feel by the world, they have a place where they can be themselves and be loved no matter what their life looks like.
I cannot wait for the 2017-2018 Wednesday night Tribe experiences. What’s been so fun this past summer is that some of our Tribes continued to meet and share experiences during the break from Wednesday nights. This is what it’s all about. Tribes aren’t bound to a calendar. They are always on, always open and always for everyone. On September 6th, we’ll pick up where we left off and create environments on campus for our Tribes to gather together, Many As One.
Here’s to The Best School Year Yet!
Shane Sanchez, Youth Pastor
To register for a Tribe, click here.