About Challengers

Challengers is the missions education organization for teenage boys ages 12-17 or in grades 7-12. Challengers is just one of the missions education organizations offered by WMU. Challengers guides teenage boys to a greater understanding of God's work in the world and how they can join Him in His work.

Challengers is the perfect way to lead teenage boys on a journey of missional living for life. Missions education and involvement is not like other habits or hobbies. It's not something we do until we master it, grow tired of it, or outgrow it. Missional living is a process of lifelong learning and involvement. Challengers is designed with the specific developmental and emotional needs of teenage boys in mind. It provides opportunities for adult men to train and guide young men in learning the biblical mandate of missions, becoming a Christlike example to all, understanding the importance of every day application in their lives.


What is Challengers?

Challengers is a dynamic WMU missions organization for boys in grades 7-12. Sixth-graders may also participate in Challengers if a church's student ministry includes sixth-graders.

Through Challengers, teenage boys will: 

  • discover God in their everyday experiences. 
  • go beyond the ordinary in their relationships with God. 
  • experience God for Who He is. 
  • become witnesses to God's faithfulness. 
  • gain a greater understanding of missions and how God is at work in the world. 
  • participate in God's awesome work in the world.

As young men plan and participate in missions activities like praying, giving, Bible study, ministry, and witnessing, they become Challengers. Experiences in Challengers help teen boys become aware that while God wants every person to know of His love and decide to have a relationship with Him through Christ, there are still people in the world who don't know anything about God's love. Involvement in Challengers leads boys to progress from a focus on self to a focus on others. Challengers learn the missions concepts of praying, giving, and doing missions. Through Challengers, a foundation of missions is set for a lifetime.

Challengers helps teen boys grow spiritually because it recognizes the varying developmental stages of boys in each grade. Challengers materials are designed to help teen boys have missions experiences that will lay the groundwork for coming to faith and/or confirming their faith in Christ as Savior and make missions an important part of their daily lives.

Why have Challengers in your church?

Imagine if teenage boys in all of our churches became truly committed to missions for life. Imagine the excitement you would see in their lives as they fully committed themselves to the teaching of Christ that reminds us that whatever we do for the lease of these we do for Christ.

Through regular Challengers meetings, teenage boys spend time learning about the world, praying for the world, and gaining a deeper understanding of what the Bible says about how they are to go into all the world to teach and preach the gospel of Christ.

What else can Challengers do?

Mission projects: Missions Journey: Students will help you guide your boys to develop missions projects. Other projects may arise in response to needs in your community. Churchwide mission projects may call for help from Challengers groups. Often Challengers organizations like to work with Acteens (WMU's missions education organization for teen girls) and the youth minister to include all youth in a ministry project. Remember to include time for planning and training no matter what the project.
Mission trips: Challengers groups often participate in summer missions trips, both national and international. If your home church doesn't plan regular missions trips, check with your association or state offices, or partner with another church.
Special events: Associational and state Challengers events can provide opportunities for youth from several churches to meet together for camps, retreats, or other activities. Churches sometimes plan mission projects that youth can participate in together.


It is important to note that being a teenager today is very different from being a teenager a generation ago. While some of the typical themes of search for identity, self-esteem, dating, and other relationship issues continue to ring true, the millennials face an entirely different set of challenges related to technology and an ever-evolving world.

Nothing helps Christian teenagers grow more than sharing their faith and seeing others come to know Christ as Savior. Once they've experienced that joy, they will feel more secure in their own relationships with God, and they will want more opportunities to minister to others in the name of Jesus and to tell others about Him. This is the greatest "win-win" with missions education and discipleship for students. While students are growing as Christians, they also have opportunities to lead others to Christ.

Students who are active in missions education not only learn more about biblical truths, but they also learn how to apply them in their daily lives and they have opportunities individually and in groups to put into practice what they are learning. This includes the opportunity to share their faith in Christ in a variety of ways and in a variety of settings.

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