Leading Students with WMU in Mind

As you lead your student group, I’ll bet the last thing on your mind is the list of WMU objectives. Before you flip past it in your next WMU Catalog or Year Book, take some time to think through each one. You might be surprised how integral these points are to our shared faith.

Pray for Missions

When was the last time you led your group to pray for a missionary? What about praying for someone you knew needed to feel the love of Christ? Praying for missions is no small thing. When you bring these prayers and petitions before God, it solidifies them in your own heart and often motivates you to action.

Engage in Mission Action and Witnessing

As followers of Christ, our faith must move us to action. It’s never enough to simply “feel” for someone who needs Christ. Share that love with them, my friend! And help your students see that they too are a valuable part of the mission of God.

Thanksgiving Grace

It was the first year Mackenzie was going to sit at the “grown-ups” table at Thanksgiving. She had aged out of the children’s table following the last round of babies born in the family and more space was needed at that table. As the oldest grandchild, she got to move to the dining table first. She was excited to sit with the adults—even though their conversation would probably be pretty dull. Anything would be better than trying to play peacemaker amongst her cousins all through the meal.

Mackenzie couldn’t wait until it was time for everyone to sit down together. This year there would be no need for fixing her plate early so she could sit with the other kids. Mackenzie could imagine it all. This year, she’d be passing the piping hot bowls of mashed potatoes, green beans, and corn, along with the enormous platter of turkey and dressing. The table would be filled with the family’s Thanksgiving favorites, along with a beautiful centerpiece, lit candles, and a beautifully set table—all on Nana’s treasured tablecloth that had belonged to her mother and grandmother before her.

Challengers Leader Training

Throughout its history, the effectiveness of Challengers has depended on leadership. It is safe to say that one person with a passion for missions can impact an entire group of teenagers. The beginning point is a desire for students to be involved in missions.

Whether you are a new leader just starting Challengers or a leader with an expanded program, take a moment to answer these questions:

National WMU welcomes new ministry consultant for boys

(BIRMINGHAM, Ala.) – Zachariah Seanor joined the staff of national WMU on July 18 as ministry consultant with responsibilities for the growth and development of missions education for boys through Royal Ambassadors (RA), WMU’s missions program for boys in grades 1–6, and Challengers, for boys in grades 7–12.

“We are delighted to welcome Zachariah to our staff,” said Carol Causey, director for WMU’s Missions Resource Center. “His personal knowledge from being raised in RAs, along with his training in education and missions, make him uniquely equipped for this position. We look forward with great anticipation to his contributions.”

For the past year, Seanor served as chaplain and interim dean of student life at Live Oak Classical School for grades 7–12 in Waco, Texas. From 2013–2015, he served as associate director of student recruitment for Truett Seminary at Baylor University in Waco; and minister of students at Taylor’s Valley Baptist Church in Temple, Texas, from 2012–2013.

Additional Challengers Bible Studies

Bible Studies

These Bible studies examine the lives of missional men and women of God. They are an excellent resource for group or individual study.

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.

Challengers Extras

Challengers Rite of Passage Leader Guide

There are several ways you can mark milestones for young men and establish points of remembrance along the way. Two ways to do this with Challengers are the Challengers Prayer Vigil and the Challengers Rite of Passage.

The first thing you can do as a Challengers leader is to make the first encounter for your new Challengers with your group the Challengers Prayer Vigil. The prayer vigil should be an important and solemn occasion. For some of your new Challengers, the prayer vigil may be the most serious look they have taken at their faith and their relationship with Christ. You can help your new Challengers understand that they are taking their first steps in their journey into manhood by gauging their walk with Christ by what God’s Word has to say about it.


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