It seems like just yesterday your teen was a toddler playing in the back yard. Today, you look at them and realize that time is short and their launch from your home is coming soon. You want to make sure that they are not like so many teens who leave home and leave the faith. But how do you do that? What do they need to know to hang on to their faith as they begin their adult life?
Each teen is different but there are five things we can do to ensure they have the skills not only to keep their faith but have the tools and motivation to grow in their faith.
It is likely your teens have been in church for most of their lives. As a parent, we want to do a quick inventory and make sure they have the basics Bible study skills down before they leave home. This would include
Knowing the practical parts of Bible study is key to helping to launch our teens. Along with the knowledge they need to how to apply the Word to their lives.
It is easy for Bible study to become an intellectual exercise, we have all heard the phrase, “Don’t give me the Sunday School answer, stop and think first”. But how do we know if our teens are just giving us an intellectual answer or speaking from the heart? An even harder question is how to take teens from the intellectual part of Bible study and teaching them how to apply the Word to their lives. Here are a few questions that they can ask after each Bible study.
Applying what we have learned in the Bible is a life-long process that will help us to continue to grow in our faith. As your teens grow, they encounter those who believe differently and that is where apologetics comes in.
As we work through the knowledge and practice of Bible study, we also want to help our students begin to understand how Christianity differs from other major religions. Comparative religion is a class that you do want to before your teen leaves home. In our homeschool, we met one time with people of other faiths and allowed them to tell our teens their basic beliefs from their perspective. Then our teens were able to ask them directly about their beliefs. This allowed us to see where our teens needed extra help. If your teen is not ready for interviews, there are many books and videos on the market to help you teach your teen about the other major religions.
They need to be able to clearly understand
Apologetics can be fun and deepen the faith of your teens as they see the amazing faith that has been passed down to us!
As parents, we are the first mentors of our teens, but we want to have other mentors as well. When we were parents of young children we were advised by a wise older couple to pray and encourage our kids to have mentors. The kind of mentor you want for your teen is important.
Here are a few things we looked for in a mentor for our kids:
The last thing I will say about mentors is to give your children permission, verbally, to seek advice and develop relationships with others. You are never guaranteed a long life, and you want others who can come alongside your teen and young adult who will be a second parent to them when they don’t feel they can talk to you.
Finally, continue to cover your teen in prayer. There is no magic formula, no sure what to help your teen successfully launch, but they can leave your home fully equipped.
At Grapevine, we help parents do the first two things on this list. There are great resources available for apologetics and comparative religions. Finding a mentor requires deliberate prayer and interaction within the Christian community.
Having four adult children, who are now college grads and have all maintained an active Christian walk into their thirties, it can be done. Your teen does not have to be a tragic statistic within Christianity. You can help them to launch confident, equipped, and ready to do the work the Lord has assigned them in this day. The world needs godly adults, and you can raise one!
Serving Him with Stick Figures,
Author, Grapevine Studies
Christian parents want their children to know the Bible, but often they don’t know where to start or have a plan? Grapevine Studies gives parents a method and a plan to teach the next generation the Bible. John and Dianna’s children are now grown and teaching their children using the Grapevine method.