FAQ | How can I help?

Parenting teens is hard work. When I was 22 years old, fresh out of Bible College, I lived in this dream world. I remembered my not long abandoned teen years like some dream sequence in a movie. In this dream, I was a perfect child. My parents never had to discipline me and I never caused them any strife. The teen years were easy!

In those early years of student ministry I would watch the parents of our students and think – “What is wrong with those parents? They just don’t get it!” Fast forward 16 years later and both of my kids are in our #stumin. AHHHH! Parents in 2000 – I’m so sorry! I feel ya now.

Parenting teens is SO hard. There’s no book in the New Testament called, “The Teen Years.” Man, what I would give…
We’re all different. Every parent. Every teen. Everyone. Different.

Here is what I know – we need one another. Our teens need committed adults who love them and reenforce that they are made in the image of God…and are not their parents. Our #stumin needs parents who are committed to reinforce the truths that we are speaking into your teens. Our #stumin works best when we (student ministry adults and parents) partner together to disciple our teens.

How does this work?
1. Commit to getting your student to our events. It is next to impossible for your teen’s small group leader (SGL) to build a relationship with them if they don’t show up. Your teen’s SGL is showing up for them – make sure your teen shows up for them.

2. Pour into someone else’s teen. Pay it forward. We need SGL’s who love teens to walk alongside them and do for them what someone does for yours.

3. Pray. Nothing we do as parents or #stumin leaders should begin before we pray. Pray for your teen, your teen’s friends, your friends’ teens – all teens everywhere. Pray for your teen’s SGL. Pray for their family and their impact on students.

None of us have it all. We need each other.


Where do we go from here?

70% of students will leave the church for at least one year after leaving our student ministries, regardless of how involved they have been (http://feeds.feedburner.com/cnlpodcast – episode 69).

Let that sink in – 70%…

Two things come to my mind, knowing that:

  1. Why do I even try? Seriously, if you are invested in NextGen and student ministry, the question is real.
  2. Can we do ANYTHING to combat this?

The good news is, we can cut that number IN HALF if their small group leader “goes with them to college.” What does that mean?

The one half statistic holds up, if that high school small group leader sends their freshman in college/out on their own students one text per month in that first year. They stay engaged with just one text per month. That’s why we try.

As student ministry and nextgen leaders, we cannot disengage just because our local school system tells us our students are done. The discipleship of our students and the future of the Church depends on it.