Keeping our teens in church consists of multiple facets. Community, relevancy, acceptance, and resolution in times of conflict are all important in keeping them involved. However, if you are like most parents, your true desire is to help deepen our kid’s faith. It is one thing to hear the Word; it is quite another to see it played out.
Find a church where teens have opportunity to serve.
As Shaunti Feldhaun’s research points out — our teens want to feel significant and respected. Being a part of something bigger and walking beside adult leaders is a great way for teens to learn leadership and servant hood skills. It makes their faith relevant. Teens want to feel as if they are needed in the body of Christ. It gives them purpose while watching adults truly model their faith.
Many churches get creative when it comes to getting teens involved. One church we attended had a full-blown Easter drama each year where teens were able to use their musical and acting talents. A youth program had a week of serving widows and single parents by doing odd jobs around their homes. Another did outreach to the inner city kids with VBS. An AWANA program used teens to listen to younger kids’ scripture memory. Whether it is a mission’s trip where teens can work alongside adults or a youth team led by a strong leader who can model mature godly character traits for the students, teens take on their faith when they are plugged into mentors who truly want growth toward maturity for them.
One mom shared a story of the great youth program her kids were involved in. The youth pastor saw the need for leadership and outward focus. For kids that wanted to be involved in leadership, once a month after Sunday service he’d bring in pizza and have the kids meet in their team of interest. One of those teems was coined ICU which really meant ‘I see you’. The purpose of that team was to find the fringe kids who didn’t appear to be connected.
One summer her freshman went on a weekend retreat with the group and started wondering around by himself because he didn’t really know anyone well. One of the students from the ICU team spotted her son and befriended him. He went from a back row, “I don’t want to go to youth group” kid, to a front row, “hurry up we have to get to church on time” kid in a few weeks.
After that, he couldn’t wait to be on the ICU team the following year. He saw value in what another student had done for him and he wanted to pour into the next kid who might be feeling the same way.
Isn’t that what Christian living is all about—multiplication of our faith in a way that builds each other up such that our teens will want to pour into others. It makes them realize the significance of their part within the body of the church: both to serve and be served.
“Let go…and let God”,
Sign up for our on-line eCourse which starts September 26, 2016. You’ll have an opportunity to go through the new book With All Due Respect:40 days to a more fulfilling relationship with your teens and tweens with me and a group of moms just like yourself. Learn and interact while gaining new communication skills. Be sure to get in on the discounted price while it lasts. I’ll be available for personal interaction in the class. Hope you’ll join me. Click here for more information.