How can we help teens keep the faith? We’ve all read the scary statistics of teenagers who evacuate their Christian faith after they graduate from high school. I’ve read statistics as high as 85 percent and some as low as 50 percent.
Regardless of the actual number, all of us can agree that any is too many! We want as many teenagers as possible to not just survive but to thrive long after they leave high school! We want them to keep the faith for their entire lives.
So what can we do to help teens keep the faith after they graduate? Here are four practical ideas that may help you:
4 Ways to Help Kids Keep the Faith
1. Pray, pray and pray some more!
“And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.” Philippians 1:9-11
When Paul planted a church, he consistently supported it in prayer. In the same way, we must support our teenagers in relentless prayer. We must pray for them and recruit others to pray for them (connect with groups like Moms in Prayer to create your own prayer “Air Force” that destroys strongholds and helps them own their faith long-term).
If we could see behind the curtain of eternity into the very throne room of God, I’m convinced we’d all be blown away by all that prayer actually accomplishes. It’s how we provide “air support” for our teenagers in the battlefield of their lives. So pray fervently that teens will keep the faith.
2. Use an A.L.T.ernative teaching style!
“When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, ‘Who do people say the Son of Man is?’” Matthew 16:13
Jesus asked close to 300 questions during his earthly ministry. Questions and parables were among his top teaching tools. He knew that great questions acted like a pry bar that would open shut minds and mouths.
I learned this during the filming of Gospel Journey Maui, a reality series Dare 2 Share produced years ago. We had a Buddhist, Mormon, Muslim, Seventh Day Adventist, surfing evangelical and girl who thought God was a black woman who baked cookies. (She got her view of God from the “Oracle” in the Matrix movies.)
I noticed that the more questions I asked, the more the cast opened up. The more I listened, the more they listened to me. This created deep and authentic dialogue instead of a one-way monologue.
We can do the same thing with teenagers to help them keep the faith. We can use an A.L.T.ernative teaching style that:
Asks great questions.
Listens deeply to their answers.
Teaches what God’s Word says about that subject.
When you ask, listen and teach, it unleashes deep conversations and true transformation.