I am so excited to lead teen ministry at my church because when I think about my experience and walk with God when I was a teen, it went from “on-fire” to a “slow sizzle.” Somewhere along the way I lost my nerve. The things that were shown to me seemed too far out of reach and the pressures of teen life seemed far more important and acceptable than “Jesus talk.”
Those years were so critical to my shaping. That time from adolescent to preteen, to teen to adult is filled with so much change – so many endings, beginnings, discoveries, experiences, etc. Just thinking about it, I can totally understand why a parent is stressed out during that time. Not to mention all the new smells and attitudes that come with that changing teen…it must really be a handful (shout out to the parents who have to raise a child on their own – that has to be the biggest job on the planet – Much respect, love and prayers to you all)!
A child learns and finds their way during those integral years and there’s definitely a need for love, reinforcement, positive influences, constructive criticism, support, resources, etc. So how can you help?
I once listened to a sermon on YouTube where the speaker issued a call to “Do life with people” and honestly, I haven’t quite been the same since. I didn’t realize that I was attempting to live in my little Christian bubble, unbothered by the world and all its craziness. But one of Jesus’ last charges was to “…go out and make other believers” (Matthew 28:18-20) and that doesn’t happen in a “safe” bubble, where one cuts themselves off from the world.
We’ve been created on purpose with purpose. We all have our niches and it’s important that we recognize the important role we play in the spaces we occupy.
Yours may or may not include leading a youth group, but either way, we all have a role to play. I personally feel the need to pour back into others’ lives, especially teens. At their tender age, they’re often so impressionable and I feel it is important that they have positive reinforcement.
I want to do life with them! I remember how easy it was for me to drift away from my once strong faith and fall into the monotonous teenage world filled with the popular crowd and the have-nots. I remember the pressure of fitting in and the disappointment when I wasn’t “good enough.” Those years were tough and I recall the anxiety I felt to hurry up and get to college. To my surprise, college wasn’t too different from high school – my viewpoint of the world just expanded with more opportunities to get into things, but that’s another story for a different day…
Today, I wanted to encourage you to think about the spaces you currently occupy. Are you pouring into the lives around you? Are you making other believers? You’ve been created with purpose on purpose, so are you living purposely? Are you doing life with others?