Using the Challenge Phenomenon to Mentor Students

The 21 Day Limitless Challenge

by Melissa Alfaro/ January 5, 2017

We all have heard of the bucket challenge, the mannequin challenge, the selfie challenge. They bombard our social media feeds. But have you ever thought of using the challenge phenomenon to encourage students to live out their faith?

The 21-Day Limitless Challenge began as a question that seemed to haunt our Girls Ministries team [of the Texas Louisiana Hispanic district] each year during planning. “How can we help girls apply what they have learned at camp in their school and at home?” Through much prayer and dialogue, we realized that in order to influence students’ lives we had to be willing to step into their space. For the girls whom we wanted to target, that meant stretching our sphere of influence to social media avenues such as YouTube. Many young girls are avid YouTube followers, subscribers, and even have their own YouTube channel. They use YouTube as a source of information and entertainment. We saw it as the perfect opportunity to virtually mentor girls. We limited the challenge to 21 days (keeping in mind that it takes 21 days to create a new habit), hoping that at the culmination of the 21 days, girls would adopt a daily practice of Bible reading, prayer, and personal reflection that would better equip them to live out their faith for God. Thus the 21-Day Limitless Challenge was born!

First, we began by providing each girl with a booklet entitled Fire Bible for Kids: 21 Devotions for Girls (an outstanding kid-appropriate resource from My Healthy Church) on the last day of camp. Building on the momentum of the camp and our Limitless theme, we invited the girls and leaders to be a part of the 21-Day Limitless Challenge and tune in to daily YouTube videos that would guide them through their devotionals and provide extensions and practical steps for applying godly principles within their context.

Secondly, we recruited godly women from various backgrounds across our district— Girls Ministries leaders and teachers, pastors’ wives, children’s pastors, worship leaders, our camp speaker, female Bible school students, and youth pastors’ wives—to be the mentors for the 21-Day Limitless Challenge. We assigned them with a date and a topic from the Fire Bible resource and allowed them to use their own imagination and creativity in how they chose to present the material and record of the video. For each of the 21 days, a new video was uploaded to the District Girls Ministries YouTube channel, and girls were able to watch it, read through their devotional, and complete the follow-up activity.

The 21-Day Challenge facilitated opportunities for girls to live out their faith and instilled in them a desire to pray and read God’s Word on a daily basis. It allowed for leaders to mentor from a distance through the platform of social media and even provided opportunities for parents to have meaningful conversations with their daughters as they shared God’s Word and prayed together.

Breaking limits and creating new habits—this challenge proved to be limitless, equipping our students to live out their faith for a LIMITLESS God!