The key to understanding is listening.
Our kids and teenagers are hurting and more isolated than we think they are.
- Gen Z is the loneliest demographic in the country, lonelier than the elderly
- 1 in 10 teenagers say they have zero friends in real life
- 32% of Gen Z said they feel lonely most or all of the time
Two Major Responses
1. My kids would never _____.
2. How do we keep them safe?
How do we introduce this up and coming generation to the real Jesus?
- Keeping them safe won’t save them
- More education won’t save them
- More church attendance won’t save them
- More behavior modification won’t save them
- More religion won’t save them
- More rules won’t save them
Only Jesus saves!
Begin with the end in mind.
What type of person are we as parents and the church trying to produce?
- People who have met the real Jesus personally and are living a surrendered life, planted and rooted in the local church where they can walk out their faith in a community, discover their purpose, and use their gifts to make a difference in their world.
- "The parents will figure it out."
- "The Church is responsible for the spiritual formation of our kids."
A Person Who Cares
“The best way for churches to welcome teens into the larger church community, treating them as vital parts of the body of Christ is for adults to show an interest in teens — which usually requires an intentional effort to connect people across generations.”
"Teens who had five or more adults from the church invest in them during the ages of 15-18 were less likely to leave the church after high school."
- LifeWay Research
33 And they came to Capernaum. And when He was in the house He asked them, “What were you discussing on the way?” 34 But they kept silent, for on the way they had argued with one another about who was the greatest. 35 And He sat down and called the twelve. And He said to them, “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.”
36 And He took a child and put him in the midst of them, and taking him in His arms, He said to them, 37 “Whoever receives one such child in My name receives Me, and whoever receives Me, receives not Me but Him who sent Me.”
The best chance for this generation to meet the real Jesus personally is to have strategic relationships with caring adults who have already met Him.
A Safe Place to Belong
1. Hand-me-down Stress
- Mom and Dad are fighting
- Financial stress at home
- News cycle
- School shootings
2. Developmental Stress
The brain in a teenager has become capable of very strong emotions, but the prefrontal cortex has not developed enough to control these emotions.
They create their own personal fable.
They have an imaginary audience.
3. Performance Stress
4. Social Stress
"We become good at hiding, we learn to excel at it, and society rewards us for the walls we’ve constructed with 'likes' and 'shares' and retweets … By putting up these facades, by convincing our 'audiences' not only that all is well but that all is always well, we sacrifice ourselves … Our devices and our compulsive posting and checking are helping us to flee ourselves ... in our attempts to appear happy, to distract ourselves from our deeper, sometimes darker thoughts, we experience the opposite effect. In trying to always appear happy, we rob ourselves of joy.”
-Donna Freitas, The Happiness Effect
"Feed yourself on my life's work, how many likes is my life worth?"
- The Chainsmokers, Sick Boy
The best chance for this generation to learn how to live a surrendered life is to provide them with a safe place where it's okay to not be okay.
A Partnership with the Family
There are 8,760 hours in a year.
- 34% of those hours are spent sleeping
- 17% of those hours are spent in school
- 14% of those hours are spent on other activities
- 27% of those hours are spent on a screen
- .3%-.45% of those hours are spent in church
- 34% of those hours are spent with YOU
- We have influence
- You have influence
Your kids need our influence, but our influence isn't enough.
Your kids need your influence, but your influence isn't enough.
Two combined influences pulling in the same direction is more effective than two separate influences.
2. What if we the church supported and equipped you better?
If you’re a parent and you’d like to know more about how we can partner with you and resource you and your family, text “start” to 918-856-5151.
The best chance for this generation to be planted in the local church is for the church and the home to partner together.
A Path to Guide our Kids Through
The best chance for this generation to walk out their faith is for caring adults to help them identify their next step and challenge them to take it.