Being a teenager is a tough period of transition. Teens are trying to figure out their identity and aligning themselves with groups of people they want to be seen with and projecting an outward appearance that displays that identity. Teens tend to be very self-conscious and doubtful about their identity as they start to take ownership over it. This leads to all kinds of behaviors that separate them from their parents and sometimes lead them to make poor decisions.

At the same time, teenage years can be hopeful and exciting. Many people still look back on their time in high school as their “glory days.” As high school comes to an end, teens set sights on the lives ahead of them. Their search for identity turns into a search for a vocation. They prepare to enter the adult world.

Evangelizing ministry during the teenage years is crucial, as we have the opportunity to inspire teens to be leaders and take ownership of their faith just as they are making important life choices. As mentors and guides we can take this time to lead teens to more intimate relationships with God.

Top Takeaways from Chapter 10

What Teens Really Need

Help teens form an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ.

What Teens Like To Do

Offer opportunities for interesting activities, fun events, and socialization to show them they are welcome in the Church.

Where Teens Are

Get out of the church and go where the teens are in order to grow your ministry (i.e. school events, hangouts, and especially social media).

Proclaim before you teach.

When you talk in front of adolescents, always relate your message back to the grand vision of the Gospel.

 

Authenticity and Compassion

Respond to doubt and criticism of the Church and Church teachings with compassion and authenticity rather than defensiveness and attempts to be politically correct.

Teens Need Mentors

Do not focus solely on large group experiences with teens. Make sure you connect them with adult mentors during these crucial years of faith development.

Further Reading

“Teens Need Healing”
Jared Dees