Let’s call it out: serving teenagers is crazy hard! It’s kinda like venturing into a deep forest without a light or a map - why would you do it?!
The gnarly world of teenagers can seem confusing, difficult, and disorienting... for both you and the student! At times, it may even be terrifying!
God calls us into the wilderness and the dark places in order that we may be witnesses to the light of Christ.
But at the same time, it’s a remarkable adventure. Author and theologian, Eugene Peterson, states,
“We want to know where we are, we want to know what to expect, we want to be in control. But if we know where we are and what to expect and are in control, then we are not truly in the wilderness.”
God calls us into the wilderness and the dark places in order that we may be witnesses - to the light of God - in a desperate world!
I think Peterson hit the nail on the head, especially in the context of adolescent development and faith formation. It’s a messy world in which they live, and they need fellow companions - parents, leaders, caring adults, such as you - who possess on the ground guidance and knowledge about the territory that lay ahead.
I am grateful everyday that God has given me the opportunity to serve adolescents and point them to the grace and salvation of Jesus. It is an honor to enter into the mystery of their world. I consider it a privilege to come alongside of them during one of the most precarious times of their life.
I am eager to gather alongside of other traveling companions, and I hope that you will discover for yourself the joy of sharing your life with a teenager. You get to be a voice of truth and love in their life. It is a challenge and an adventure. Embrace the wilderness together, and trust God every step of the way.
My prayer is that God not only uses you to transform the lives of teenagers, but through your experience, God transforms the Church and the world! I believe there is no greater privilege in the church than to dive headfirst into the deep waters of the teenage world, and God chose you to do it! Blessings on you...