Are you a church leader who has struggled to spark conversation with a group of teens? Or maybe you are the teenager who has been part of a failed attempt at discussion. Either way, being in a room filled with awkward silences and blank stares is not fun for anyone.
Teenagers sometimes have a reputation for being quiet, disconnected, or uninterested. But is this true?
Not necessarily. In fact, more than ever, teens may actually be craving an opportunity to talk about balancing school, relationships, their faith, and other challenges. A quote from a recent article on the TIME magazine website states, “American youth, especially teens, are not in good emotional shape. During the school year, their stress has edged beyond that of adults.” The article brings up serious concerns and also provides a big opportunity for churches and youth leaders to get involved.
If you are a leader, what has been your experience connecting with teens on a deeper level? Do you find it works best to connect one-on-one or in a group setting? How do you build relationships where openness and trust can grow?
If you are a teen or young adult, what do you wish your church understood? What kind of environment or questions are helpful? What is not a helpful approach?
I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments below!