Encouraging Teens

Last week, eleven teenagers from our youth department traveled to Lancaster, California for the annual West Coast Baptist Youth Conference. The days were filled with preaching, as well as fun activities for the young people to enjoy. I remember as a teenager enjoying these times.

After watching some of the messages, I have no doubt in my mind that many, if not all of our teenagers, made a decision for Christ. For some, it has to do with their entertainment. For some, relationships. Others maybe dealt with some secret sins. Many undoubtedly reevaluated their devotion to the Lord. I believe we can say that their trip to California was a success. But how can we keep the spiritual momentum going?

Be Encouraging

I know that in the back of your mind your saying, “We’ve gone through all this before. When will we all go back to normal?” Do you realize that teenagers are not the only ones that go through the proverbial spiritual roller coaster?

I like what D.L. Moody told someone when asked why he keeps holding revival meetings, even though people go back to their normal ways after a few weeks. He responded with a question, “Do you take a bath everyday?”

You and I both know that Satan is not happy with the decisions these young people have made and he’s doing everything he can do deter them from keeping their vows. And may I remind you that Satan is a very powerful foe? Our teenagers do not need another enemy!

Instead of being so negative and self-righteous (because you’ve never fallen before), be encouraging. Ask young people about their decisions and commit to praying for them and with them. Offer to help in any way that you can to assure that they keep their promises to God.

Be an Example

One of the first tools Satan will use in defeating a teenager are the adults that surround them. This may happen through the wrong kind of influence or a disappointing, unexpected action and attitude.

Even though Christian teens don’t come out and say it, they expect more from us. They know we’re not perfect but when we act like we are or worst yet, when we act like we don’t care- they quickly find an excuse not to continue living for Christ and we’re the ones they blame.

I understand that they have to make the choice and that no one will be tempted above that which we are able to handle. But the Bible also speaks of not being a stumbling block. You can’t have one without the other!

In over a decade of working with young people, I have heard many times how teens have tried to live for Christ by getting rid of sinful influences in their lives. In doing so, they were scolded by parents. They were even pressured to accept that which is sinful because “it was okay with mom and dad.” Talk about an uphill battle!

Be Edifying

The basis of scriptural edification is love. Love “beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, edureth all things.” Loves never fails! Tell that teenager you love them. And when you do, you will do all you can through Christ to build that teenager’s life.

Encourage teens! Why? They may be pastoring and ministering to you someday! Furthermore, it is the right thing to do.

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