I am a bus teen. I spent a few years in a youth group, I spent a few years in Bible College, and I’ve been working in the ministry for only a short while. Through those short years, I’ve seen every kind of teenager imaginable! I’ve seen bus teens, church teens, teens that walk in, teens that walk out, teens that get it, teens that don’t get it, careful teens, rowdy teens, teens bigger than me, teens smaller than average, and on I could go. What’s the point? I’ve seen every single type of teen be broken, and so have you. My job as a YP is to build up teenagers as much as they’ll let me. I have a few hours of their time, and I have a small part of their overall lives. This means that I need to have a pointed goal for each young man and woman in the youth group. Whether it’s bus teen or core kid, my prayer is that these young Christians will be like Christ. Ecclesiastes 4:8-12 tells us about a threefold cord that is not quickly broken. Here are three things you need as a parent, youth pastor, or youth worker to build unbreakable teenagers:
1. Unbreakable Teens come from Present Bodies
You can’t have unbreakable teens without teenagers. Look around you at what God has put in front of you in the ministry. It doesn’t matter if you don’t like them, and it doesn’t matter that they’re not doing what you want them to do. What God has given you is what you have. I wonder how many teenagers got overlooked, because their youth pastor was looking for someone else on the horizon? If you want to build unbreakable teenagers and you don’t have any plain old teenagers, go out and pick up some teens for church. Teenagers are the same as kids or adults. If you offer to pick them up, provide a promotion every now and then, then you will have teenagers at your church.
2. Unbreakable Teens have Parental Bonds
I, and many others, have been convinced in our lifetime that every teen has a bad relationship with their parents. This isn’t true! Not every teen will have a perfect relationship with mom or dad, but many times teens can have a good relationship with their parents. Don’t forget the first commandment with promise: Exodus 20:12 “Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.” Teenagers need a right and proper relationship with mom and dad in order to be right with God.
I don’t want to be dad. Not for a single teen in my youth department. I want as best I can to point teens to how they can honor their mother and father even when they don’t have them. Every teenager that I consider unbreakable has some support from home. I’m not saying it doesn’t happen, but most of the time they need that relationship of a parental figure to help make them unbreakable.
3. Unbreakable Teens are Practical Believers
Teens that have their own relationship with God can become unbreakable. The threefold cord until the day they marry is made up of them, their parent’s, and Jesus Christ. Daily Bible reading and prayer, telling others about Jesus, giving offering, and being faithful to church are the most important thing a teen can do to keep themselves from being fragile.
Lighthouse Baptist Church, Flint, Mi