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How to Help Your Teen Stay Connected to God

Family Praying Together
As a parent, you may be excited to watch as the spiritual seeds that you planted early in your child's life begin to take root and grow as they enter adolescence. Yet, the teenage years are also a time when many children face serious challenges that can interfere with their spiritual development.
Today, teenagers are often surrounded by negative influences that come through on social media, at school, and even within their close circle of friends. While it might be tempting to try to shield them from it all, the truth is that every challenge they successfully overcome helps your child grow stronger in their faith.
Over the next few years, your role as a parent will be to guide your child to a deeper level of spirituality that carries them into adulthood. To do so, you can use these tips to help your child stay connected to God even when they are questioning everything.

Find Opportunities to Serve

During the teen years, you can expect your child to spend a great deal of time trying to find their place in the world. Teenagers who serve in the community reinforce their spiritual understanding as they reach out to share God's Word with others. In fact, helping to bring others to Christ renews your child's spiritual commitment.

You can help your child find opportunities to serve in their community as well as at church. For instance, your child's youth group may go on mission trips where they have an opportunity to help others. These trips are excellent ways to foster your child's spiritual development and nurture their independence.

Pray Together as a Family

Family prayer time is more than just a way to spend a few minutes before dinner. Praying together is an opportunity to model what a close relationship with God looks like in your family. When you involve your child in a family prayer, you also invite them to open up about the challenges that they face.

Make sure to create an open atmosphere during prayer time where each member of the family can share their concerns and offer thanks to God. The awareness that your family is praying for them gives your teen strength when they face a challenge to their spirituality.

Encourage Fellowship

Negative peer influence can be a serious challenge that teens face as they attempt to draw closer to God. Fortunately, you can counteract this influence by encouraging your child to spend time with other Christian teens.

Youth group services, camps, and fundraising are all wholesome activities that allow your teenager to make friends who support their desire to live a Christian lifestyle.

Tap Into Their Interests

Teenagers sometimes find traditional church music to be boring. Help your teen find praise music and sermons that appeal to their interests. For example, your teen may love blasting their Christian rock or hip-hop albums to relieve stress. Alternatively, they may prefer listening to a teen-friendly sermon on a podcast.

Share Your Story

Although you definitely don't need to share all of your mistakes with your teen, it does help to open up about your journey to Christ. Let your teenager know if you have ever questioned your relationship with God and share a few stories about how you found your way back.

Be Open to Tough Questions

Teenagers often question many aspects of their religion as their exposure to the world grows. Make sure that your teen knows that they can come to you with questions. By staying attuned to your child's mindset, you can continue to nurture their growing spirituality.

At Harbor Baptist Church, we believe that our youth are the leaders of tomorrow. Come visit our church or give us a call to learn more about the exciting things going on in our youth ministry.