Published on November 3, 2016 by John Woods  

I’m relatively new at working with teenagers. Yet, as a 32 year old minister who’s inherited a student choir with a history of over 40 years, I’m constantly discovering so much about myself, my church, and the students I serve. One of those students is Chase, a young man who stands as a proxy, in my mind at least, for many of his peers. Through my relationship with Chase, I continue to learn so much. As I reflected on teaching teens, 7 things stand out.

1. I’m learning that teens want to grow in their faith beyond simple answers, but they often lack the life experience to know other perspectives exist.

2. I’m learning that teens have a faith that can grow me, but often lack adults who are asking for their input.

3. I’m learning that teens can often see ways they can trust Christ more fully, but need the chance to articulate and act on it.

4. I’m learning that teens are eager to worship with adults who know they’re there, but need to be reminded of their value beyond token participation.

5. I’m learning that teens want their faith to be deeper than most adults expect, but are often not invited into deeper conversations.

6. I’m learning that teens can’t stomach injustice, but lack trusted people to listen.

7. I’m learning that teens want to do the right thing, but need help asking the right questions.