Wild Frontier is a mindset.  It is a mindset that there is something more out there than what is normal.  It is a mindset of following God's leading to more of what God has for you in ministry, particularly youth ministry.

This is the compilation from 30-years of youth ministry experience.  These are the best practices we have found to shape the faith of teenagers so they can live a faith that moves them to something more than normal.

WF YM: Youth Strive For Challenge, So Challenge

The increased popularity of extreme sports is one proof of this true desire for a challenge. Extreme sports is all about the challenge. Another proof is the increase enrollment in AP and IB education programs. Some youth want more challenging curriculum so they feel challenged in their education. Their education means more than seat warming for something that is easy for them. They will take a C in an AP or IB class over an easy A in a regular class.

Be sure in your youth ministry to set the challenge of what a life of faith is which is a challenge. You will be growing true disciples and teaching new converts the true way of faith. The challenge will be respected no matter what their personal decisions are. And remember, youth ministry is part of a lifelong journey. The challenge you set will go with them throughout their lives even if they don’t decide to follow those few short years you have with them.

WF YM: Initiate Involvement with the School

As Steven McFarland, former executive director of the Christian Legal Society’s Center for Law and Religious Freedom said, “I’ve had a lot of calls about how to get by the schoolhouse gate in order to share their faith, or get kids to come to a Friday night concert, or have an assembly where we sneak the gospel in at the end. But in nine years I have never had a single call from a pastor, a youth minister or a parachurch ministry asking me what the First Amendment will allow them to do to help their local public school.” (Joseph Loonte, “Bullet Proofing Our Schools…With Faith,” Citizen, April 2000). Ponder that one in your prayer time for a while.

Two ideas you can borrow: Your church is a public facility with walls, roof, bathroom and seating capacity. Just like you can use your building for community events, the community can use your building. One specific use that many schools, particularly middle schools, could benefit from your church building is your “auditorium” and sound system.

WF YM: Plan Ritualized Time Together

This sounds like an awful idea. Ritual is a word many youth workers over the last 60 years have run from. Yet it is one of those special comforting things we can offer youth.

In a non-youth ministry book was this letter from a then 20 year old: “In the last six years I have come to feel strongly that parents need to spend one to one time with their teenagers. Ritualized time together, however long or short, allows trust to build in a healthy, deliberate manner. The ritual time I shared with my father (every night at bedtime until age 13, then ice cream out once a week) helped me connect with him as a respectful adult and parent, who, through it all, was there for me regardless of whether I felt like sharing my problems.” (Putting Family First, p. 79)