By Dan Blankenship
So what does it mean to be an extreme teen? Well it means different things to different people. To a teenager who believes his snowboard or skateboard can provide happiness and fulfillment as long as gravity and limits can constantly be tested, the definition of extreme teen is obvious. To a mother or father who watches as this child makes a mockery of safety, extreme teen may not seem such a noble definition.
And of course there is another definition, one that has really taken hold in the Christian church. Extreme teen can now include the definition of a teenager who has dedicated his life to living for God’s word. There is currently an entire subculture of the church acting out the extreme teen role. They wear clothes that lift up their God. They carry their Bibles places teens normally wouldn’t be seen carrying a schoolbook. They challenge themselves to live life to the fullest while never forgetting to give thanks to the One who makes that possible. And these extreme teens are not the least bit afraid to share their “not of this world” beliefs with other teens or adults. Now that’s what I call extreme!
I have been to some huge Christian gatherings where I have had the chance to talk with hundreds of teens who are part of the extreme teen movement. It is a magnificent experience just to be around teenagers so committed to Christ that they have transformed every aspect of their lives to His teachings.
At CreationFest East Coast, a music and gospel message festival that draws more than 60,000 Christians to a four-day campout, teenagers play a huge role in making the event a much-written about success. Extreme teens, the kind responsible for Christian businesses like Manna Skateboards becoming success stories, help set up the main stage, the many giant tents, showers, and direct festival attendees to their parking areas. The same holds true of CreationFest West Coast and all such festivals and revivals across the country. Dedicated teenagers are playing a vital role in spreading the gospel to the world.
As a parent of two teenagers, I am thrilled to see more and more teens actively share their faith with others instead of ignoring the urgency of God’s message to the world. And while I enjoy watching a good snowboarder perform a 720 Spin or an Alleyoop during an intense competition, I’d much rather see him after his event, telling others about how God has changed his life. Now that’s what I call an extreme teen!
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