= Introduction - Chasm
=1 Golden Seniors - Best generation, experience, hand-me-downs

=2 Hurting Teenagers - no one cares or knows what to do

=3 Joy - Far different than happiness – enduring joy of Jesus
(How Do We Get There)
= Seniors - Leading From Behind - Listening, Learning, Loving, Leading
= Teens - Pits Process - Necessary part of God's plan. (Pruning or Polishing)

=4 Battle Orders - Great Commission with provisions

=5 How-To Manual - Jesus as teenager, balanced life
= Decently/In Order
=6 Victory Assured - Includes weeping, Ps 126:6

=7 Full Joy - Consistent sacrificial giving pays big

=8 Equip to Manage - Exceeding abundantly
= COOL IT! - Study/Quiet
=9 Molded to Rule - More than win – rule with Him

THE TEEN BRIDGE is a primitive workshop used to prepare adults in reaching out to teens in powerful God-honoring, Bible-led directions. The workshop is structured as a linked trio of three other trios. The workshop presents depth into such topics as Jesus as a teen, Full Joy, 'exceeding-abundantly' provisions, Leading From Behind, More Than Conquerors, Study to Be Quiet, Decently/In Order, and the Prune/Polish Process.

This workshop fits nicely into our segmented story Scrap 'n Screwdriver Missions, freely downloaded from our resource library: CyberSpaceCamp.com. Also available from our site is an in-depth study of Jesus as a Teenager resource by the same name, fits into this workshop very well.

=1 Parable of Introduction

The edge of the deep angry gorge is less than a foot in front of my two feet. My gray hair, hand tremors and aches that remind me daily that my time is running out. My mind quickly flashes much of my life in searching for moments I could claim as moments I had made big advances for humanity and my Savior Jesus Christ. None seem to stand out. The aching within me grabs me at this moment with more force than I can remember.

As though I was standing before the very throne of God, my heart pleads my case to be given a God-honoring task that I could apply my 71 years of experience. Almost as a heavenly answer, I hear a shout from the other side of the gorge that produces an echoing cry, I will never be able to forget. The cry from across the ever widening gorge is distinct. “HELP ME! NO ONE CARES ABOUT ME! HELP ME! NO ONE CARES ABOUT ME!”

In a way almost scary, I realize that my own heart has been afraid to shout the very same words about myself. Somehow I sense that God is at work. As I retrieve my binoculars from their carrying case, my mind's eye imagines a bridge being built across the gorge. Adjusting the focus on my binoculars, I see the person crying for help across the deep chasm. Burned into my eyes and memory, I see a teenager waving his arms at me as though he was waving for attention from a deserted island, at a rescue plane flying over him. Though both my hands were tightly gripping my field glasses, they felt more like they were straining at the controls of a rescue plane flying overhead. I sense that God is up to something; something that involves me.

=2 Golden Seniors

We'll learn: Why our maturing season of life is called Golden and how to keep it that way.

For the tasks ahead of us, this workshop addresses – we silver-top seniors are the best equipped and likely the only ones to step-up-to-the-plate of service for our Savior. Many of Satan's lies force us to unhappily sit on the bench and assume we're too old or out of style to pick up a bat or glove.
The emptiness of our daily routine is filled with extra naps that robs us of quality night time rest.
Gold is precious and never gets old, it never rusts, and oddly enough, is vital in keeping computer stuff working, whether handheld phones or satellites deep in space.

We see a few glimpses of Godly principles and promises and how they become far more precious than yellow gold metal.

Name your most valued or funniest hand-me-down you've RECEIVED. Give reasons.

Check out two powerful 'hand-me-down' verses: 2Timothy 2:2 and Psalm 71:18.
Discuss why they are different, but both needed. How do they apply to you?

Learning or Living

Never in the existence of Planet Earth, have we had more data, on-line libraries of sounds, sights, search tools, and studies. The access to all of it is 24/7 and almost free and too often distracting, wasteful, and increasingly just plain evil. It's all packaged with so much flair and fashion, we easily become addicted to it, even before our little ones begin kindergarten. It's no wonder most of our silver-top generation are fearful of it. Take a moment to discuss the fruitless efforts of technology to police itself. On a scale of 10, do you think technology will ever provide our young families with responsible God-honoring on-line resources?

This makes our silver-top senior generation the only reliable compassionate source for handing down life principles – both physical and spiritual. At home can you think of some Bible characters that did a good job, or bad job of passing on those life principles?

The Big Lie

Satan keeps whispering in our ear that we have no business trying to mentor (teach, often one-to-one) teens unless we have become a walking Bible encyclopedia of all Bible questions a person would ever think of asking us. If you are a Born-Again Bible Believing Christian, you already have knowledge of most all the basics needed to begin mentoring most every teenager. But far more valuable, is your EXPERIENCE in LIVING out those truths in your own life. That can't be gleaned from computers.

Soft speaking from a heart full of compassionate basic truths, for the one hearing you can break down most of the largest of mountains. And maybe even point a broken teenage heart to the Savior.

The efforts are easily more precious than fine gold... Try it. Little steps first... right?

=3 Hurting Teenagers

We'll Learn: Begin learning about teen growing years from our own past.

We've been there...done that; growing through teen growing years.

How are your own long-ago (family life) teen growing years different from today? We're not playing 'the Blame Game' here, but to see that just in family life alone, there is much for us mentoring seniors to take into consideration.
As a boy, I fondly remember the quiet times I spent fishing with dad. He certainly didn't have all the answers to life, but I give him an A for listening to me. Make a list of four people or groups that should be listening to today's teens. Grade each one of them.

As best as you can, describe an on-line social network. Describe what it is that causes youth to spend 6 and 7 hours A DAY in it (including half the night).

To help cut through some of our own traditional cobwebs, describe what you might imagine a heaven-managed social network would be like. How would it serve today's teenagers?

Using serious thought, why do you think that teens are leaving 'the church' (and taking their future leadership with them)?

Do you think teens see the selected use of technology in presentation and administration tasks in churches but never in Bible based messages and missions evangelistic calls?

Social networking programs make connection with half a BILLION others. How would you challenge teens to share God-honoring messages instead of discussing trivial fashion and peer activity?

What would those messages be like? Give examples.

How do you think the present employment situation affects teens? (their own job prospects and that of their parents?)

What thoughts do you have, when you see a teen with orange hair, or a girl with excessive facial jewelry and spooky use of black face cosmetics? If one of these teens told you they had much greater fear of their future, than you could ever have of them, what would you then think?

Be very honest with yourself. Do you believe God has any less power or less control now than when He split the Red Sea for Moses and the nation of fearful backsliders He sacrificed the very best that Heaven had to offer?

Is there just one boy and one girl teen you can diligently pray for each and every day, with more than just a few words?

How would you feel if that teen had been, and still is, watching you, for hope in their troubled soul?

Next, we'll begin the SENT Trio, to learn our marching authority, and associated elements.

=4 Our Marching Orders

We'll learn: This SENT Trio helps us to understand our marching authority, and associated elements.

It was badly broken and must be fixed immediately. The unity of the hand-picked team of disciples was not in any shape to get their plan and launch out in loving leadership spreading the Gospel of salvation and service to the world. In writing to the Jews about Jesus, Matthew caps off his book with the simple marching orders, God has inspired him to put in writing for you and I.

If you built a bolts 'n beams steel bridge across a deep dark chasm, it's easily seen the whole bridge must be a well-built unit with all the parts in their proper place, and of the highest quality. That bridge will be no stronger than its weakest part. What are some other examples where one weak link destroys the unity and power of the whole? Could this principle also be applied to all the principles and activities within our own character and manner of living?

Matthew 28:17 tells us 'that some doubted'. Christ's team of disciples had some bad parts and needed to be fixed immediately with simple powerful authoritatively direct marching orders. Just like a great football coach would hope to do, the 'players', the disciples got it straight and simple enough to be able to write the exact words on their hearts and in their minds.

'All power'. - we easily see this all refers to energy; force to move people or processes in the desired direction. But it also refers to authority. Jesus reminded his team, and us, that He ALONE has the responsibility and approval, from His heavenly Father to command the team of disciples, that includes us too. It's crucial here, to realize that Satan and his demons have only the power that Jesus allows them to have. When Christ says He's in control, that means EVERYTHING!

'Go ye'. - Jesus says, “Don't let some preacher or church committee do the work. YOU GO!” How would you have liked sitting in that team group and look into the eyes of the One with power that mankind can't begin to describe? His eyes reach into your soul saying to “get on your hard hat and tool belt and launch out.”

'Teaching all Nations' – I think it's just wonderful that God gave us the word 'ALL'. It's so clean and simple. There is no room for debate or discussion about where and how much. All is all. Any 8 year old will tell you all is 'nothing left out'. Our outreach to teens and others, extends beyond our own family, church, neighborhood, and nation. In Acts 1:8, the church (that's us) is given its marching orders in an interesting way. The church's outreach was to include 'in Samaria'. You can think of the Samaritans (from the Jewish point of view) as being half-breeds, outcasts, worthless appearing. I can imagine Jews today looking at our teens with orange hair, excessive black makeup, chains hanging all over themselves, and saying, “Boy. Those teens are about like Samaritans – no good, worthless, the rotten apples in our barrel of good church folks.” Name some other groups of souls that may never truly lovingly hear the gospel because of prejudice and unfounded bias.

'Teaching them to observe ALL' – What are we to teach all these nations and teens with orange hair? The answer is simple... what Jesus has taught us. This is the supreme act of spreading the word. If you are a person with enlarged 'bragging bones'... here is your chance. Speaking about Christ and His blessings to us – you just can't possibly exaggerate. Isn't that great... I mean – GREAT!
'I am with you, always' – Is there any part of the word 'always' you don't understand? You need to teach the meaning of this truth to others today... time is running out... GO YE!

=5 Our Perfect 'How-To' Manual

This SENT Trio is helping us to understand our marching authority, our mission plans, and outcome of our efforts in mentoring teenagers in our neighborhood.

We've just seen our authority for reaching out to teens, in the previous segment. But the next part, at first seems like a toughy. It has to do with the word “CHRISTIAN” and the word “CREATED”.

Most of us know the word, CHRISTIAN means to be Christ-like. The name was used as a title of the disciples in Antioch, in southern Turkey. And we know we were created in God's image.

But most people only think of Jesus as a baby in the manger, or a great teacher in robe and sandals that taught people by telling stories about heavenly truths. He also did lots of miracles. But what do we know about Jesus in between? Did Jesus have trouble getting his homework done? Did he have to take out the garbage or fix a wagon wheel? How do we know what Jesus was like as a teenager, so we can use him as a role model; a hero, to mentor today's teenagers. Does God give us any clues? Absolutely YES! A great deal, in fact. But let's start with an important promise about God's guiding hand.

2Timothy 3:16, 17, promise us God's written word, our Bible is missing nothing that we'll need to mentor (disciple, teach, usually one-to-one) teenagers and EVERY generation we minister to, around us, or over the horizon. Check out both verses, with special emphasis on 'all good works'.

While there are powerful guiding principles for mentoring teens, all throughout scripture, I especially like the chapter that teaches us VOLUMES about Jesus as a teenager and how we can help teenagers to reshape their lives to be 'like Christ'. The second chapter of the the book of Luke has a great deal to teach us about those teenage years. It will take careful quiet study to see all the diamonds of truth there.

We've put together a resource that brings much of this to light for our leading.

This free resource is called JESUS AS TEENAGER and can be accessed at jesusasteen.blogspot.com.

=6 Victory Assured

I love to win! Who doesn't? And to know ahead of time you'll win is almost a dream. As we live and learn of Jesus Christ, His life and love for each of us, we hear the words hope, faith, trust, and others that don't quite have a rock-hard definition to them. It's hard to create a picture of them in your mind.

When God's word gives us a promise with a guarantee with it, it's easier to visualize. The phrase, “...shall doubtless come again,” is something that I can visualize and really rejoice in. This is the kind of Christian walk we need to enjoy as we reach out to teens with God's written promises and assurances. Let's see our example in greater detail, in Psalms 126, starting in verse 5. “They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.”

Do you see the guarantee there? It's in the word 'shall'; not maybe, could be or anything else. SHALL means it's going to happen, if the proper steps are taken as specified. The promise as stated, is a little vague, because we have to know what we need to sow.

Somewhere I heard an old preacher say that if you need to have some part of scripture explained to you, the Bible is the best thing to do it. Most often we just need to take a closer look at it. That is often done by getting on our knees for a closer study.

In this case, the next verse gives us needed detail. “He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.”

Our guarantee word is reinforced with 'shall doubtless'. The verse tells us that 'precious seed' (God's Word) is to be sown. We also see the added phrase describing the reason for rejoicing. “Bringing his sheaves with him.” That's a farmer's metaphor for bringing a soulwinner's harvest with him.

When we win at something, we rejoice. I find the 'joy' in verse 5 becomes 'rejoicing' in verse 6. In my thinking, joy (that we'll talk about later) becomes a more outward and contagious 'rejoicing'.

What grabs my attention most, is the 'tears' in verse 5 and the 'weeping' in verse 6.
We shed tears at the passing of a loved one, or hearing of a mistreated child. We easily shed tears watching a movie or book. What are some other things in your life, that prompts tears?

But it's almost like we have no more tears for the lost condition of a soul, young or old. This is especially true with our thoughts of teens and their desperate search for someone to care for them, that they physically cut themselves. They attempt to hide their inner pain with outer pain and odd appearances.

So, the bottom line is that on one side of the teen bridge, we have the marching orders, the Bible directives and assurance of victory. On the other side of the bridge are teens that react with all levels of self destruction and help cries. The simple-to-understand catalyst to bring hope and full joy to the teen, and fulfillment to you and I, is tears. Tears that come from our heart and won't settle for anything less than action; action directed by God and His word.