It doesn’t take much to impact a life.  And the cool thing is, often times when you make an impact, an impact is also made on you.  Since that’s true, who wouldn’t want to be a part of something that positively impacts people?

So at my church, we have a youth-led service once per month, and after the service, the teenagers usually enjoy what we like to call a Y-NOT.  It stands for Youth Night Out Tonight (Our former youth pastor, Michael Haley, came up with the concept).  So anyway, this past Sunday night, my brother issued a challenge to the teenagers.  He asked them to go out into the community and be a blessing to people in need.  The idea was to find people at Wal-Mart, the grocery store, the bus stop, the convenience store, or wherever, who look like they might be in need, keeping in mind that there greatest need may be a personal relationship with Jesus.  To facilitate their experiences, the teens were partnered into teams with each chaperon taking about four students.  They were also given business-size invite cards, and $40 to give away.  And so, off they went to make a difference, and that’s exactly what they did.

Upon their return later in the evening, each team gave a testimony of their experiences.  The event was a hit.  The teens talked excitedly about what they had an opportunity to do…helping the needy, giving to the disadvantaged, buying food, giving of their own personal money, and the list goes on.  They met people with real life stories to tell, but even better they got to share the greatest story ever told!  The teens benefited so much from the event that they didn’t just talk fondly about it while at the church, they also went home and talked about it on Facebook.  Some even said that it was our best Y-NOT ever.  Pretty cool.  I’d say that there are at least four reasons that this event was successful:

It was successful because…

1. The teens experienced that it really is a bigger blessing to give than to receive – As it turns out, the Bible is right!  Acts 20:35 tells us that we are blessed to bless.  The more you bless the more you are blessed.

Go bless someone this week!

2. The teens felt like they made a difference – Everyone wants to be a difference-maker.  That’s true in sports, and it’s true in life.  We want our lives to count for something.  The teens performed random acts of kindness that demonstrated in real life the teachings of Jesus, who had compassion on people and obviously made a difference.

Go make a difference in someone’s life this week!

3. The teens got excited when they got to share their faith – Sure, it can be intimidating to share your faith, but it’s much easier when you have a group cheering you on (That’s what our teams did).  And once you’ve shared your faith, it feels great!

Go tell someone about Jesus this week!

4. The teens liked the feeling of win-win – It can be fun to play a game, especially if you win, but if someone wins that also means someone loses.  And for the losers, it usually isn’t as much fun.  But with this event, everyone wins…it’s a win-win!  That means the night is positive for everyone.

Look for the win-win this week!

So was the event perfect?  Probably not.  Did everyone we sought to help really need/deserve help?  Who knows.  Will any of the people we impacted ever come to our church?  We sure hope so.  Will the people ever become Christ followers?  Only God knows.  Did we give away a lot of money? Perhaps.

Was it worth it? Definitely!  The four reasons listed above explain clearly why it was all worth it.  Plus, we planted seeds…in the community and in our own lives.

So, what are your thoughts?