rebelling against low expectations

How can I reach out to other teens in my area?


HALLE WRITES: I want to reach out to teens in my community and eventually across the world (especially other girls). I just don’t know how. My heart breaks for the many teens who feel hopeless and are hurting and I want to help them and give them the hope of the Gospel. I graduate this summer, so that opens more time up for me, but I don’t even know where to start. I’d love any advice.

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are submitted by real rebelutionaries who are looking for godly answers to tough questions and lively conversation with other young adults. You can join the conversation by commenting below. If you'd like to submit your own discussion question, email us at [email protected].


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  • I don’t know a lot, but here’s what I could think of:
    Pray for God to open doors, however He deems best. Follow Paul’s example from the Bible, where he becomes a slave so he may reach many.
    Get involved in a ministry, organization, program, etc., where you can actively serve.
    Witness on a regular basis. Witnessing is something I’ve been convicted of recently, and I want to be a missionary to Africa one day, so I really need to step on it, but witnessing is how we can give them the hope of the Gospel.
    And never stop growing in your relationship with God. Let the love He pours into your heart overflow into the lives of others.
    Hope that helps some!

    • wow, so cool because I want to be a missionary and I love Africa. That does help, thank you. You’re right about witnessing and I need to do that more too.

  • That’s such a good question! I’m really not sure how to answer it though… I love helping people, and reaching out to people, but finding effective ways to do that is nearly impossible… but we have a great God who opens and shuts certain doors as he sees fit. Pray for opportunities to witness, encourage, and just be available to those who need a friend. Reaching out to local teens doesn’t always have to be “big”. Sometimes, the little encouraging things are a really important place to start! Reaching out to others is something i know that i need to be doing better at. Thank you for this thought provoking question!

  • Hey Halle! Wow, great question!
    I agree with both @alliehaylie:disqus and @defyingdepravity:disqus – PRAY!! Pray for opportunities, pray for people you already know.
    Also, often youth group is a great place to start. Now, maybe your youth is nothing like mine, maybe it’s made up of solid Christians who know their hope is in Christ. But maybe it is more like mine – filled with non-Christians, and nominal Christians, who are hurting deeply and don’t know where to turn. If that’s the case, start there!
    Another idea is starting a blog. When God first gave me a passion for purity, and for all those girls who are distracted from Christ by their fancies (crushes), I wanted to do something, say something. Mum gave me two pieces of advice – (1) have something to say. Not just a vague idea amongst a myriad of thoughts, but a work out what you really think, what you would say, what you want to say. (2) Start a blog. It can be the easiest way to get out there what you think, what you want to say. Just a thought! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • I started a blog, too, to encourage others and “get out there” what I thought about certain things. It wasn’t what I had imagined – I had pictured it helping others out, but it’s reverse; it’s helping me! A blog is a great idea!

    • It is definitely good advice “to have something to say”. There are sadly so many that feel called to minister to teens, yet when they get the chance… they absolutely BLOW IT by not knowing what to say… most teens (Christian or otherwise) don’t want to hear “the same old thing”. They WANT to hear TRUTH! Even if that TRUTH makes them uncomfortable!

    • Love the idea of starting a blog to encourage people! And i really appreciate your point on knowing what to say. It made me stop and think about all the things i said today without thinking about it… Words do make a huge difference!

    • actually, my church has no youth group. But, YES! I totally want to start a blog. I’m praying about that. thanks!

  • Wow that’s a really good question and….well, I feel like I don’t have the best advice to give. The only things I could suggest are…

    1. Like everyone else has said, pray. ๐Ÿ™‚
    2. Read the Bible. See if you can find passages about witnessing.
    3. Invite people to your church/youth group/small group Bible study/etc.
    4. Give people copies of the Bible (or you might be able to find just the gospel of John for cheaper)
    5. Start witnessing to the people close to you (and this is as much to me as to anyone). I don’t know if you’re public, private, or homeschooled, but witness to people you know from extracurricular activities, or co-ops – just bring it up in a conversation one day.

    Well I guess I have a little more than I thought…hope this helps – and GODSPEED!!!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Wow… only four comments so far? Well, I’m game!

    Smaller steps to take: look for places near you where teens might frequent… ya know… like the library, recreation center, church (youth group), neighborhood skate-park, or any “teen hang-out”. Some of the places I mentioned above are looking for volunteers. Look into it! When you’re around other teens, do more listening than talking… Earn their trust… Pray for them… And when the HOLY SPIRIT prompts you… Share the Heart of CHRIST.

    Bigger steps to take: look for an organization or ministry (preferably one that is Christian) near you or abroad that targets teens. There are many! It’s just a matter of finding the right “one” or “ones”. Check out their website, read their mission statement, really see what it is that they’re doing and make sure it lines up with the Word of GOD. There are many ways to help and support these organizations. Most will have a list of ways you can get involved!

    I will lastly say… ASK YOUR PARENTS OR PASTOR FOR HELP! You would be surprised at just how many ways there really are to reach out to teens: music, dance, drama, art, athletics, technology! All are being used for this purpose. Pray that GOD shows you “the open door that’s right in front of you” and walk on through! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Hey Halle, I too share the passion for wanting to minister to other teenage girls. So this past summer, I started a girls club with some of my Christian friends. We meet at my house every two weeks,and did devotions, crafts, games and baking. We had a blast! This summer I hope to expand it to non- Christian girls , by getting everyone to bring at least one friend who they want to share Christ with.
    I don’t know if this will help you or not. But its an idea. I wish you the best of luck! God bless.
    Sincerely , Kasey

    • That’s a great idea Kasey! The hard thing for me is, I live an hour away from my church {and thus, most of the people there :)} so that would be hard for me. I still would like to try that though. Thanks for sharing. It’s awesome to know there are others out there who want to impact others’ lives too! And sorry this is late. I’m not on here everyday!

  • I don’t really have anything more to say than everyone else, just that you might not be able to reach out to all the teens that you would want. Like every one else said, God opens up doors when He sees fit, and sometimes we don’t understand when he doesn’t give us all the opportunities that we would prefer. He will use you where He knows is best, and of course, PRAY that He will open up some more doors if that is His will. I don’t know if that was encouraging or not….just what I was thinking.

  • I agree with Cassie, starting with youth group(or the college group) is a great idea. Sometimes its the ones that you wouldn’t think need your help are the ones who need it the most! I have found that so many teens in my youth group seemed like great kids that lived struggle free lives. Yet, the more I spent time with them, the more I listened to them, they opened and up and have shared so many struggles and burdens. I think spending time just hanging out and getting to know them is key in wanting to reach out to them. When they finally do open up to you, I’ve found when I lack words, its best just to go to God is prayer right there with them! Then follow up by encouraging them and keeping them accountable.

  • As you try to minister to other teens, remember that having a relationship with them is key. Becoming someone’s friend is probably the best thing you can really do. Don’t see people as ministry ‘projects’. Just be open and real with them, and you’ll end up having an impact. On the other side of things, don’t necessarily wait till you’re really close to someone to start ministering to them. How are you going to get close to someone unless you are ministering to them already? And don’t be scared to share the gospel with people you don’t know very well. Although I don’t know many non-Christians my age, I think something important to remember when talking to a non-Christian is that you are not really trying to ‘convert’ them over to a religion. You are trying to bring them into a relationship with Jesus. This IS a life or death situation. It’s actually even more pivotal than that; this could be the conversation that changed their eternal destiny, so don’t back away from sharing the gospel in fear of what other’s will think of you. Thanks for the question. Hope this helped.

    Also, if you want to have an impact on not just people you know personally but across the world, I think it would be good for you to figure out what you’re really good at or interested in. If you like writing, you could impact people through books. If you enjoy music, you could share that gift with the world and bring hope to the world that way. I think it really depends on you. Everyone can impact the world. Not everyone can impact the world as effectively in the same ways, though. So, just a thought, but if you know what you are interested in, you could impact the world by just pursuing that and blessing others through it.

    One more thing: Personally, I believe that changing one person’s world for the better is just as important as trying to change the entire world, if not more so.

  • I’ve been raised in a fully Christian home and have been homeschooled my entire life so I often ask my self the same question. Well in September I joined the Civil Air Patrol and was faced with my first non-Christian, or secular, activity I’ve ever done. Through that God has taught me a lot about how I can be a witness even in a secular environment. I tried to think, “what would Jesus do in my shoes” With that mind set I was just well, friendly. Something as simple as introducing my self to a Cadet I hadn’t met. A couple months ago one of my officers sent out the message that he couldn’t make it to the meeting cause a family emergency had come up. I sent a message back and told him that I was praying for him and his family. My continual prayer is that God would use me to shine the Light of Jesus into their lives, even if it’s just through helping a newer Cadet with his military drill.

    I guess what I’m saying is it’s often the little things that mean the most. Being someone’s friend at school or youth group. And continue to pray. God will open doors and place you just where He wants you to fulfill His will. A little love can go a long way.
    In Christ,
    Colette Sweers

  • Hey Halle!
    There are so many good suggestions here already – but I thought I’d throw in my two cents as well. ๐Ÿ˜€

    Reaching out to other girls has been one of my dreams for several years. I had a lot of ideas – but none of them ever materialized. But God keeps opening doors for me to touch other people’s lives in small meaningful ways. Like yesterday I realized I hadn’t emailed a friend in a looooong time. So I did. I didn’t realize it was her birthday.

    Some times reaching out can be as simple as stepping back at an event. Step back from the circle you are in, disengage from the conversation for 23 seconds :D, and survey the edges of the room. Who is standing there all alone? Who isn’t included? Also understand if you can the dynamics of a situation. For example in my church’s youth group there are a couple “groups.” Some are more cliquey; others are open. But they are groups. And when you don’t have a “group” or don’t feel like you belong in a “group” even if you are accepted, youth events get hard. If you notice that there are two or three girls who just don’t seem to belong anywhere… there is an open door.

    Thanks for sharing your desire to bless others.
    In Christ,

    • Yes! People outside of groups need someone. In my church there is one group, which is pretty cliquey – if they don’t really like you (aka, if you’re not willing to think what they think), you’re stuck. Unfortunately, there’s only two or three teens who aren’t in that group. So I’m trying to bring all us outsiders together ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Thanks Lauren! You’re right about doing “small” things and I’m going to try to start spreading out more when I’m at a “fellowship” I know that can be hard since I’m not super out-going, but we’re doing hard things, right?! ๐Ÿ™‚

      • I completely get the “not super out-going” part. Neither am I in certain situations. For reaching out to total strangers, it is helpful to come up with a list of questions in your head that you could ask to get conversation going – like “where do you go to school? What is your favorite subject?” Granted this can be the most awkward and boring conversation of your entire life – but then you could find a new friend! ๐Ÿ™‚
        I noticed also that you posted that you wanted to know how to go deeper in friendships. One of the best ways I’ve found is to ask for prayer requests, really pray for them, and then ask follow up questions. Most of all ask God to give you opportunities to encourage other believers. Might not look like what we think it should. ๐Ÿ˜€ but God is good!!!!
        In Christ,

  • One thing I suggest: Start within your church. When I was
    about 11 circumstances arose that caused my family to stop attending a church
    Iโ€™d been going to since I was born. For the next three years we went from
    church to church trying to find one to attend regularly. Every Sunday when we
    went to a new church I waited and prayed for a kid to come up and say โ€œHi, Iโ€™m
    Jill, do you want to come to the Sunday school class with me?โ€ and it didnโ€™t
    happen. We finally found a church to go to for good, and now weโ€™ve changed
    churched once more. The hardest part about visiting new churches no knowing
    anyone. Since Iโ€™ve been going to this new church Iโ€™ve been trying to introduce
    myself to one young person a week I donโ€™t know. Itโ€™s not easy, but it makes a
    difference. So I urge you that if you see a young person at church or youth
    group you donโ€™t know, go and introduce yourself to them. Who knows, maybe they
    were like me just waiting for someone say hello.

    • I remember being about the same age and switching churches. It’s not easy and most kids aren’t willing to make an effort to welcome you. I can totally relate

  • Wow, people have said a lot of good stuff as relates to new people or people you don’t know, besides your friends. In reaching out to new people, though, don’t forget the people you already know. How well do you really know them? I know when I bump into someone I know the first words out of my mouth are usually, “Hi! How are you?” and the typical response is some variation of “Fine” or “Good”. Go deeper than that. Take the time to really find out how they’re doing. Under the surface there can be a lot going on. Recently I had this happen with a girl I know slightly and all of a sudden she just started spilling everything and I was able to really encourage her. Couldn’t have seen that one coming. ๐Ÿ™‚ Be willing to step outside your comfort zone.

      • Another question along the same lines: how do you go from a shallow friendship to a deeper friendship with someone? I don’t really have many close friends, but I would like to.

        • Well, I know most of us are homeschooled and might not have smartphones, but when I got my friends’ phone numbers and started texting them, it helped me grow closer to them, and I was able to keep in touch with old friends as well.

          Also, I like to have “game nights” at my or a friend’s house – I mainly invite people from my church, but I’ll bring a friend or two that I know from somewhere else.

          Hey, this would make a great DQ – maybe you should submit it to the website.

          • Hey Josh, thanks for this. I just asked my friends for their texting numbers. Also, I was thinking of posting a question like this for discussion, but I wanted to wait a little because I’m new on the Rebolution.

          • Don’t worry about waiting – I submitted a couple of DQ’s the first couple of days I was on here… and then I submitted an article about a week after ๐Ÿ™‚

        • Just plan some time to spend together. Watch a movie, go for a walk at the park, invite them to church, whatever gets you guys together and making good memories.

      • That is a really good question and it is one that I am not completely sure how to answer because honestly, I haven’t figured it all out! ๐Ÿ™‚
        First, what exactly do you mean by “deeper”? As in, having conversations about spiritual stuff? Or just talking about important stuff like family or where you stand on different topics? As far as the spiritual stuff goes, there was another discussion question posted a while back: “Why is talking about Jesus too deep for teens?” and there were some really good suggestions in the comments on that one. ๐Ÿ™‚

        To go deeper in conversations you have to be having conversations in the first place. So, what do you have in common with this person? Maybe you both love sports, or something like that. Or if they go to your church our youth group, you could ask them what they thought of the message. You’ve got to “get their ear”, in a sense. Make it a point to talk to them. If you haven’t built their trust, they’re not going to open up and have a deeper conversation. If you have a reputation of repeating what has been said to you, no one is going to trust you with who they really are.

        Learn to listen and ask good questions. I am a very introverted person and talking to people I don’t know too well is really rough for me…but if I sense that someone is genuinely interested in what I have to say and they are willing to just listen and ask good questions once in a while, you can get me nonstop talking for an hour. So that’s what I try to do with other people–let them talk and ask questions that get them talking. Again, it goes back to trust. If you have built that trust, you can seize on something that they might even have said in passing and ask about it. Who knows where that could go? And be genuine–real–when they turn it back around and ask you a similar question.

        Someone told me once that you know a person is selfless/humble not because he thinks so little of himself but because he doesn’t think about himself at all. I can have a tendency to focus conversations on me (definitely something I need to work on!), and when you’re focusing on yourself and what’s happened to you and what your problems are, people know it. Focus on the other person when you’re talking to them.

        Sorry this is so long and I hope it has been helpful. If anyone else has any answers to the two questions here–particularly guys–then please put them out here! (I’m assuming you {liv737johnoxide} are a guy.) I’m really curious to see what you would say too. Being a girl myself and knowing that in general we tend to be more talkative between ourselves than guys are with other guys, I think it would be helpful if the guys gave their perspective. Josh A your answers were really good.

        • It’s hard, but take it slow. If you start trying to explain to the kid in front of you on the first day of school what salvation means, well . . . it might scare him off. Sometimes it is best to gradually let them know that it’s okay to ask you questions. They might show some interest. Of course live out your faith, because actions really do say more than words!

  • Wow! I am so excited about all the comments! Thank you everyone for your advice and for sharing! I also want to know about how to go deeper in friendships and talk about real struggles and be able to encourage my friends, so I’m with you guys on that one.

  • Just an idea for something on a bigger scope:) I heard about a project called Chai 3:16, a cafe in India started by a Christian musician called Benny Prasad I think. Basically from the little pamphlet I read, it was a cafe purpsoefully situated in a district where suicide and depression rates were very high among college students in the big city. Free tea is provided and the the waiters are all Christian volunteers, with or without counselling training, who are available to sit down, listen, and talk with the students who come if they have a need, and hopefully to help and guide them with the comfort of Christ. I thought it was a lovely idea..your post brought that into mind again after so many years. Have no idea whether it’s anything along the lines of what you were hoping/thinking of, but thought I would just share it:) God bless!

    • That’s awesome Ci!! I’ve always loved the idea of owning a cafe and using it to tell others about Jesus somehow. That’s a dream for someday! Thanks!

  • Hi. My name is Sarah. I was one of those broken teenagers that you want to help until one month ago when I asked Jesus Christ to come into my heart. I went through many struggles including depression, many girls are just hurt and lost. They don’t know what to do or where to go. If you see a girl who looks like they are down give them a heping hand or talk with them for a few minutes and give them(if you feel comfortable) you phone number or email address or something so when not if but when they need someone they Can reach out to you. I know I was going down the wrong path until I found someone who I could trust. Just be there for them and they’ll come around. I know bwcause I did.

    • Hey Sarah! Thanks for sharing. It’s cool coming from someone who actually experienced this. I’m sooo glad that you found Christ!!! I think that just being there for someone is really important like you said. Even if sometimes it’s uncomfortable reaching out to people, it’s worth it in the end

      • Thank you so much, Eva. I am just blessed that God touched my heart and that I accepted Him into my heart in time. If you have any advice for me to do Hard Things let me know. I am struggling with this.

        • Hey Sarah:) I have a feeling that there are a lot of teens out there who struggle with doing hard things in general, me included. But recently I have been experiencing the awesome power of God in my life, and I know that He can show it to you too. When I am completely focused on God, He gives me this overwhelming sense of His strength and it is so amazing to feel it. I have struggled so much in the past with giving up when things get tough, because I felt like there was no real reason to try. I would try and fail and try and fail and it just got so exhausting. But God has been doing some amazing things in my life! He can give us strength to do hard things, even when we feel like there is no possible way we can. When I realized this, my whole life was changed. I think what helped me the most is when I actually started reading the Bible regularly and praying constantly. I started discarding the lies that Satan was always bombarding me with. When I recognized those lies God told me, “Eva, with Me, anything is possible. Stop believing those lies, because it may be hard, but it is not impossible when you ask for My help.” So I will stop there because this was getting kind of long:), but I hope that this can help in some small way, because I know God can do the things that He’s done in my life in yours too.

          In Christ,

          • Eva, that was awesome!! I feel the same way. I struggled with lies the devil would throw at me soo much this year, and it’s so awesome to be able to counter those lies with God’s word and the truth. Thanks for sharing that,

          • Thank you, Halle:) I wasn’t really prepared to say all of that, but I felt led to share. I will be praying that God will continue to work in your life and mine and anyone else who struggles with this. It is truly awesome to counter Satan’s lies with God’s truth!

    • Powerful testimony, Sarah! ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for sharing. It’s so true that a lot of teen girls need encouragement… and everyone can hand that out on a daily basis.

      • Thank you Sarah. We need to encourage and stand by these girls. Even if you are just saying a kind word you are greatly impacting their life.

  • Wow, Sarah, welcome to the family! Your story is such inspiration to me. You’re right, I know so many are depressed because I myself was too. That’s why it is such a passion of mine now to reach out to other girls. Thank you for your words! <3

    • Thank you, Halle. I am so blessed to be part of God’s family. I only hope that I can stand out and do hard things for not my benefit but for God’s benefit. I was thinking; I am very passionate about kids, maybe I could start a toy drive for kids who are very sick and need a glimpse of hop. What do you think??

  • Hey there! That’s awesome that you have a passion for reaching out to fellow teens. I’m not sure how much advice I can offer, because I’m kind of in the same boat- I have a passion to encourage and rally around teenage guys, believers and unbelievers. It’s just hard to get something going. I have tried to get Bible studies and such going before, but with everyone’s busy schedules they kind of fizzled out. One thing the Lord has definitely been showing me that I need to start with the people I already know. I mean, my vision is to have a group of several young people to work with- to share the Good News of Christ with, or dig deep into the Word with- but until that becomes a reality, I should really do better with the one-on-one opportunities I have right now. I know it might be somewhat of a cliche, but there really is no better place to start than with what is right in front of us. So taking the words from Luke 16:10 to heart, by God’s grace I will be faithful with the people and opportunities He gives me right now, and trust Him to provide the resources and wisdom I need when the time is right. And you know, if only one life is changed through my efforts, it will be worth it. One more thing, going from the practical surface to the roots here, I guess: if we are truly devoted to the Lord, let’s be sure to make our personal relationship with Him top priority. In a devotional I read just this morning were the words “Beware of anything that competes with loyalty to Jesus Christ…are we being more devoted to service than to Jesus Christ?”. (I share that because I am frequently guilty of that selfish viewpoint, not intending to over-analyze your motives!)
    This is just what I have been learning over the last few months, maybe you will find it helpful as well. Keep trusting Him, don’t let go of your passion, and whatever you do, don’t lose heart! Galatians 6:9, Psalm 37:4-7
    God Bless!

  • I totally know that feeling of starting things and people just fizzing out ๐Ÿ™‚ I started a prayer group for girls at my church and after a few weeks I was praying alone. Which is discouraging, but your comment really encouraged me. You’re so right about it being worth it even if we only touch one life. thank you thank you thank you!!

  • Here’s a few tips:

    1) Find a friend to help you out. That makes it fun and more likely to succeed.

    2) Build relationships. Even hanging out at your favorite coffee shop or whatever you like to do with your friends is great for this. It builds relationships and trust – and could possibly lead to some conversations that could lead to salvation.

    3) Live it out. It’s hard for me to think that just living my life like Jesus did is enough to bring hope to someone, but trust me, people notice.

    4) Observe. There’s opportunities everywhere! Sometimes you’ve just got to look around you.

  • Look in to starting a Young Life Club! Young Life is an incredible international ministry with a process that speaks to millions of hearts each year. It’s purpose is to reach the farthest out kids, build relationships and earn the right to be heard, provide community, mentorship, and a great place to spread the gospel!

  • Hey guys! I’m new here. Just wanted to say that I am reading the book Do Hard Things. I think its an excellent book for teens to read!

  • I just wanted to say that earlier today I asked one of my friends if she wanted to read a book with me! I was so happy that I was able to reach out to her! This is just an example of how you could reach out to teens in your area!

  • Start small and then build up. Look around for a need in your community, and then pray and ask God if it’s His will for you to fill that need. Each of us has been given specific gifts that we are required to use for His honor and glory and maybe He is giving you a chance to use one of your gifts to reach the youth of your community! It’s an amazing thing to be used by the Lord, just make sure He is leading you!

  • I have started a small girls bible study at my school. it is my small way to reach out and inspire those around me in a Christlike way. You don’t always have to do huge big things in order to reach out, sometimes just smiling at someone is enough.

  • I started a worship night once a month at my school! It started with me, my two brothers, and my three best friends but in December we had our 4th one and there were 13 people there! Find something you’re passionate about-music, food, writing, talking, etc and start a group about it! God honors you stepping out in faith to start something.

rebelling against low expectations

The Rebelution is a teenage rebellion against low expectationsโ€”a worldwide campaign to reject apathy, embrace responsibility, and do hard things. Learn More โ†’