This past Friday, I participated in a luncheon, hosted by the Minnehaha County Republican Party. The guest speakers were led by Anita Carrette who is the State coordinator for the program Teenpact - a program that educates, and teaches our youth civics 101, the political system, and which allows our future generation to participate in the entire political process of learning how laws are made, to learning the difference between the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial Branches. 
Teen Pact is a Four Day Class and is a dynamic, hands-on leadership experience where students ages 13-19, learn about state government from a Christian worldview. Students gather to run for office, participate in a mock legislature, and learn about how they can be effective leaders in their community back home. 
Each day, the Students will start their day by participating in a Period of Worship, devoting themselves to protecting the Christian Religion, as well as touring the State Capitol Building in what is called a prayer walk, praying for our leaders, thus starting their day focused on the most important aspect of our lives - Faith, Religion, safeguarding our morals and values. 

Typically, their Scheduled Four Day Week Involves the Following Educational, and Informational Experiences: 

⦁    Learn How a Legislative Bill Becomes a Law by Creating their Own Mock Bills; 
⦁    Students Hold Committee Meetings broken down into their own Committee Types to discuss each bill;
⦁    Participate in Class Elections, Campaigning for Class Officials, Officers, and Other Leadership Roles; 
⦁    Learning the Electoral Process of how Our Public Elections work, and are Conducted Every Two Years;
⦁    They learn the Roles of Lobbyists and Citizens in the Legislative Process of Creating and Passing Laws; 
Most importantly, Students who have previously attended the Four Day Class - have a greater understanding of how our governmental system works, and begin to involve themselves in current events, allowing them to develop their own opinions of how the government should respond to the people, as well how 'we' as Christians should respond within the system itself. 
During this period, they will learn how to draft, write, and produce a bill, not only by highlighting, and reviewing some of the current legislative bills, from the agenda but by also making up their own mock bills of special interest to themselves. They get to make what they call a "Fun Bill" which can be something funny, or cute, to then create a "Serious Bill" something that is meaningful to them, and of which they hope to seriously change a current law adopted by the people yesterday. 
During our meeting, we had the chance to meet two of those students, Evelyn and Ella who each explained what Teen Pact is, what it has meant to them personally, and how it has changed their viewpoints on how government works today. 
"Teen Pact has allowed me to learn that even though young adults cannot vote, it does not mean we do not play a role in our governmental process, we have learned that even as young adults, we have ways to directly influence others in how we conduct ourselves in all our daily roles in the government process, to writing bills, to lobbying for our interests and beliefs, to meeting with our legislative leaders to communicating with other adults today."  - Evelyn, 17 years old 
Ella, who is also a 17-year-old student, elaborated further, "Before teen pact, I really had no interests in the political, or governmental process, as a teenager, I was only concerned with what other teenagers do."She further says, "Thanks to the teen pact, I have a greater understanding and greater sense of how I can affect our public policy and participate with others."
Both these two girls, expressed their joy, they both are turning age 18 in the months ahead, which will enable them to vote in their first elections during the 2024 season,; Evelyn stated she will turn 18 in December, and Ella will turn 18 in June. 
God Made You to Be a Leader- According to Romans 12:8, "If it is to encourage, then give encouragement, if it is giving, then give generously, if it is to lead, do it diligently, and if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully." 
The word for ‘lead’ is literally ‘the one who stands in front of.’ The same word is translated in reference to the church leaders in Thessalonica as those ‘over you.’
In Timothy 3:14 (5-12), Paul is most certainly addressing those who have been given the gift of office to lead. The office could be in the church or it could be at home or at work. Paul calls upon those with this opportunity to lead with zeal, which can be translated as haste, diligence, and earnestness.
The goal of Teen Pact is attempting to fill the leadership void in America today, attempting to instill in our young people, ways in which they can lead. You do not need to be old enough to vote in order to impact your government, your community, or your world. 
The mission of Teen Impact is to inspire our youth in their relationship with Christ, to train them, to get them to understand the political process, to value their liberty, to defend the Christian faith, and to engage the culture, of that time in their lives when, typically, they do not care about such things. 
Teen Pact is about teaching our young children, as early as age 8 all the way up to age 19, how a 'Real Citizen' can go about their daily lives, focused on becoming a great leader, and in the book titled Real Citizenship, , written by Tim Echols, it challenges our young adults to think big, dream big, and seek to serve God & their fellow citizens by building a truly good and compassionate society.
The Four Day State Class is held each year in Pierre, South Dakota, and goes from February 26th, through March 1st, while you can register your own child, beginning on September 1, 2023 allowing them to participate in the 2024 Legislative Session. 
By motivating our Young Children today, to get more involved in our State, and Local Political Systems, and by introducing to them the Christian Faith, and the words of our Holy Scriptures, our young children will grow up to become great leaders. 
For More Information on Teen Pact, you may Reach Out to Anita Carrette @ (605) 261-5996 or southdakota@teenpact.com.
You may also visit their website at  www.teenpact.com 


Through dynamic experiences, TeenPact seeks to inspire youth in their relationship with Christ and train them to understand the political process, value their liberty, defend the Christian faith, and engage the culture around them. “Changing lives to change the world” is more than a vision statement to us. It’s what we do every day.