All posts tagged teen life

Great Books for Christian Parents

Frequently someone asks what books I would recommend on youth ministry or parenting. They are generally the same books. While there are some good books on youth ministry, the most helpful to youth ministry are those on the family. Whether you are a parent, a youth pastor, or a pastor, I would urge you to…

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10 Things Your Teen Won’t Tell You (Part 3)

This is the third and final part in this series of articles. Click here to read part one or part two. 7. I’m as confused as you are about my problems. The truth—when you, in frustration, ask—“What wrong with you!?” They honestly don’t know the answer. If you feel like you are confused about what’s…

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10 Things Your Teen Won’t Tell You (Part 2)

This is part two of a three part series. Click here to read the first part of this article. 4. My deepest need is a sincere relationship with you. (I need time with parents.) Not only will they not say this—they won’t even admit to it or understand it. This one resides so deep in our…

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Before You Discipline Your Child…

Discipline is a sacred thing. Too often we parents take discipline too lightly or treat it too flippantly. In the big picture, all discipline is about bringing our children into a right relationship with their Heavenly Father, that He might bless their lives. It’s not about controlling behavior, modifying behavior, or minimizing embarrassment. Pure and…

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Problems with Fun-Focused Youth Ministry

Is your youth ministry Bible-focused or fun-focused? It’s easy to focus more on making the youth group fun than on making it biblical. I’m all for having a good time with students in the right context, but we have a much higher calling. How easy it is to fall into the trap of spending more…

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10 Things Teens Won’t Tell You (Part 1)

Have you noticed that teens are tight lipped? For a myriad of reasons—usually intimidation being the biggest—they really find it difficult to talk to adults at times. This is especially true with parents. In every home, there is a spiritual battle against authentic communication. Let’s face it—the devil doesn’t want parents and teens to truly…

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Survey for Reality-Parenting

Several weeks ago I shared a post called “Reality Parenting—Making the Grade.” This post is a follow-up. A primary goal of every parent should be to model a right relationship with the Heavenly Father, and ultimately to see our children embrace that same relationship. Seeing a father or mother live in love with the Lord—happily…

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7 Big Parenting Mistakes

Here’s a short list of mistakes that all parents can make when it comes to seeing, understanding, and biblically responding to the spiritual growing pains of life. (This is as much to myself as to others.) Stop and think about it—and pray for godly wisdom in responding to the issues of your children’s hearts with…

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Struggling Teenagers? Don’t Give Up Early!

Have you had a student come through your youth group, graduate, and not mature spiritually the way you hoped? It seems no matter how we pray, labor, plan, or serve—there are some that graduate and drift spiritually. What about trying to help a struggling student, only to feel like you’re spinning your wheels? Gauging by…

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Pitfalls of Passive Parents (Part 2)

This is part two of Pitfalls of Passive Parenting. Click here to read part one. Passive Parents Focus on Behavior Modification Rather Than Heart Transformation—They are more concerned with minimizing embarrassment than with truly molding the heart. Eli wasn’t alarmed by the wickedness of his sons’ hearts. He was just embarrassed by their behavior and…

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The Pitfalls of Passive Parenting (Part 1)

Uncovering the assumptions and behaviors of disengaged parenting “It’s just a phase—he will grow out of it.” “That’s just what teenagers do—she’ll mature.” “All kids are this way—there’s not really anything we can do to change that.” “They have to be able to make decisions for themselves.” These and others are the statements we make…

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Defeating the Media Monster—Part 1

Media will eat your family alive, unless you tell it not to! I have a deep inner aversion to living things that crawl, creep, fly, or slither around and find their way into places they don’t belong. They bother me. They creep me out. I just want them dead as quickly as I can make…

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Suggested Family Cell Phone Guidelines

Seems like kids are getting cell phones younger and younger these days! This post is one I’m only doing because of requests. Several years ago, as our boys became teens, we decided to get cell phones for them—primarily so we could get a hold of them in relation to school and youth group outings. It…

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New Research on Social Networking

Both TIME magazine and the San Francisco Chronicle recently reported on some dangers surfacing behind the many hours that teens are spending in social networking. Here are a few quotes from the San Francisco Chronicle article that relayed the results of a poll of 1,000 teens and 1,000 parents: “From behind their bedroom doors, more…

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Top 15 Questions Christian Teens Ask

Recently, I posted about our Q&A times with students at teen camps and retreats. Over the past five years, hundreds of questions consistently revolve around the same themes. If you are a parent or youth worker, this list might help you get into their heads. It is a general consolidations of hundreds of questions. Here are…

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Getting Teens to Air Their Questions

How an Honest Q&A Time Can Help Your Students This week we’ve been at teen camp with 275 of our teens from LBC. It’s been a great week! One of my favorite aspects of camp is something we instituted a few years ago called “Answers to Tough Questions.” It’s a one hour Q&A time before…

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Beating Post HS Challenges (2)

(This is the second in a series articles about the first big tests that high school graduates face. We’ve been studying them in our senior Sunday school class and I hope these ideas will be helpful to you or those you influence.) In the first article of this series we visited the challenge of a…

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Beating Post HS Challenges

(This is the first in a series articles about the first big tests that high school graduates face. We’ve been studying them in our senior Sunday school class and I hope these ideas will be helpful to you or those you influence.) Have you ever seen a train wreck? There’s not a much more vivid…

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A Glimpse Back at Spring Banquet

A Special Memory for the Senior Class of 2009 Last Monday we had the privilege of hosting our Senior High teens and many of their parents at Spring Banquet 2009. It was an amazing evening, featuring a delightfully decorated “Grand Ballroom” at the Disneyland Hotel. The students arrived at church at about noon, dressed their…

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Helping Graduates Prepare for the Future

A Tool to Help High School Grads Understand Their Own Hearts and Direction I’ve not been able to write a blog post for a while due to year-end events with our graduating seniors—which leads me to thinking this might be a helpful subject. I want to encourage pastors, youth pastors, principals, and those who work…

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