As a parent of a teenager, it can be so difficult to know how to have important conversations with your child. Perhaps you resonate with a conversation like this that happens daily or weekly:
Parent: Hey! How was school today? It is so good to see you!
Child: Oh…it was fine.
Parent: Yeah? Tell me some more! Did you learn anything exciting?
Child: Eh…not really…just a normal day.
And then, before you know it, your child is scrolling TikTok or Instagram and it seems like the moment has already passed.
I imagine that on most days, your simple desire is to connect with your kids. To know your kids and for your kids to know that you care. Then, when it comes to spiritual matters and spiritual conversations, it can be so easy to grow overwhelmed and to struggle with knowing where to start.
As you seek to have those important conversations, consider some of the questions that your teen might be asking about faith.
1 | Is this Jesus thing true?
Now, your child likely isn’t asking this exact question, but at the heart of the question is the desire to know if following Jesus makes an impact. Specifically, your child wants to know if following Jesus impacts your life. Simply, your child is watching how you live and they want to see if there is fruit in your life.
2 | Is following Jesus for me?
Especially in high school, your teenager will start asking the important question that leads to ownership: am I going to own my faith? Rather than just following Jesus because that’s what you have done, they want to make the decision for themselves. As a parent, one of the best things you can do is to pray for your child. To pray that the Lord would draw your child to Himself and that they would come to a robust and firm faith in Jesus Christ. Not only that, but it is important to be a safe person who walks with your teenager as they ask questions and seek to understand things for themselves.
3 | Is God active today? Does He actually change things in real time?
A Barna study that was released this summer highlighted an interesting reality regarding how teens across the globe view Jesus. Interestingly, their study highlighted that only 1 in 3 Christian teenagers believe that Jesus is still active today—Wow! In a world that is filled with violence, division, anger, and so much more, your teenager is searching for answers. Is there any hope for these issues? Can anything be done about these realities? Unfortunately, an entire generation struggles to believe that Jesus is still active in the world today and provides answers for these pressing questions. Friends, the Gospel is the good news that Jesus is active today. Not only that, but we are invited into His redemptive work here and now that produces real life results and Kingdom solutions to the issues in this world.
As your teenager wrestles with faith and seeks to learn what it means to follow Jesus, I believe that John 15:1-8 provides a great landing place. This is the Word of the Lord:
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
Parents, the best thing that you can do for your teenager is to personally pursue the Lord—to abide in him. Then, as you pursue Him, the fruit of a relationship with the King of kings and the Lord of lords will be evident in your lives. Pursue the Lord, be sensitive to the Spirit’s leading, and be present to your teenager when they are ready to talk.
If you are looking to take the next step for your high schooler, I would love to have a conversation with you about how your student can get plugged in. Feel free to reach out!
Credit :: Stephen Boyer
High School Pastor
🎨 Credit :: Colin McFarland
Digital Marketing Manager