Thank you for all you do every day to invest in the life of your teenager. I am sure at times you probably feel like an Uber driver (always picking them up and dropping them off somewhere), coach (helping them perfect their sport), tutor (working on homework with them), and guidance counselor (preparing them for the future) all wrapped in one.
That is why with the insane busyness in the life of a teen and of a teen parent, it is so easy to let Youth Group attendance slip. It can be all too tempting to think, “My kid is too busy for a night of hanging out with other teens, playing some goofy games, and hearing another bible lesson.”
Trust me when I say, I can totally relate and understand this temptation. My wife and I do not yet have teenagers, but as we are raising our two boys under 5 we sometimes struggle to get out of bed much less get them to Sunday school! Mom and Dad, while we are the primary spiritual influence in our children’s lives, we also believe that a strong Youth Ministry plays a vital role in the spiritual life of our teens.
This month and next we will look at what I believe are 5 powerful reasons you should encourage your teenager(s) to go to Youth Group:
1. Teenagers need mentors and role models.
“O God, You have taught me from my youth, And I still declare Your wondrous deeds. And even when I am old and gray, O God, do not forsake me, Until I declare Your strength to this generation, Your power to all who are to come.” Psalm 71:17,18
In the Jewish culture it wasn’t just parents who poured into the younger folks. Older men poured into younger men and older women poured into younger women (Titus 2:1-8).
Of course as a parent you are called to be the primary spiritual mentor of your teenager, but he/she also needs other godly adults. It’s so important for your son or daughter to see that this whole “Christianity thing” is much more than just mom’s and dad’s belief system. They need to have other models and mentors who will reinforce all of the spiritual truth they are learning from you.
2. Teenagers need community.
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:24,25
In an age of gossip, slander, bullying, and hatefulness (which can destroy a teenager’s self-identity), young people need other young people who can encourage them, challenge them (in the right ways), lift them up, and hold them accountable. Youth Group is geared towards this.
Youth Group is also a place where teenagers are able to discover their spiritual gifting and begin to use it to serve others and glorify Christ. This will help them to develop a heart to selflessly serve others for the rest of their lives!
Continued next month