It can be an anxious time for many parents—those often turbulent teen years. How can the church help and assist parents during these years? Well, one way is to continue to provide youth with deep and engaging Bible teaching. In her seminar, “Teaching Youth and Engaging Their Hearts,” Sally Michael emphasized the following:
The junior high years are where we start to see great divides—those who truly love the Lord and are maturing in faith; and those who are clearly rejecting what they have been taught, and even those who simply portray apathy (which is a form of rebellion). Some of the students you will be teaching are not saved—so you need to teach reflecting that there are Christians and non-Christians in the class.
What will reach not just their heads, but their hearts and wills?
There are those who say that we must win them over with interesting stories, silly stunts, and relevant speech. Others say you win teens over by entertaining them, by making church “fun” so they want to come to church.
Greg Harris has stated—“What you win them with is what you will win them to.”
What we want to win them to is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We want to win them to putting their confidence in Jesus alone for the forgiveness of their sins. We want them to respond to the Gospel in faith.
Is it fun that converts the soul? Is it entertaining stories and relating to teens with the latest teen language?
This is what the Bible tells us generates faith:
Romans 10:17—So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.
It is our job to impart the words of life—to teach the truth about who God is, who we are, and what Jesus did to solve our sin problem. We must continue to teach whether they show interest or not—I’m not advocating for droning on—we must make our teaching interesting and put energy into it. But I am saying that they must hear the Word—if they do not respond now, they may respond later to the reservoir of truth we have poured into them. The Holy Spirit does not work in a vacuum –He works through the Word.
(Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.)