Advice columns and articles about
keeping youth in the church pass
through my newsfeed regularly. Confused parents and pastors keep trying
to figure teenagers out. Well, here’s my
inside scoop on what the church should
do to keep teenagers like myself in the
Stop trying so hard. You are not the
reason I’m at church. I am here because
of God, and the work that He has done
in my life. The differences that people at
church share are blessings, not things
that need to be bridged.
Teens don’t need a cool, hip preacher
in order for us to hear from God. In fact,
seeing a 50-year old in skinny jeans trying to relate to us about the Kardashians
makes me really uncomfortable.
We don’t want you to pretend to have
WE LIKE HYMNS
the same interests as us, because you
don’t. We are at different places in life,
and that’s okay. I don’t have grandkids,
and you’re (probably) not taking Driv-
er’s Ed. That’s what’s so great about
the Christian community; it’s a mix of
people who wouldn’t normally be with
each other coming together to do the
work of God. If I wanted to hang out
with people who were just like me, then
I wouldn’t be at church at 10 a.m. on a
Sunday morning. I’d be hanging out with
my friends – or just in my bed at home.
ADV CE TO THE CHURCH
1. We’re not afraid of hymns. There’s
something beautiful about hearing a
song that’s been sung by generations
of Christians. We don’t need the hottest
hits from 99.9 FM to be engaged in
WE’RE NOT ALL GREAT
2. As cute as your kids may be, we
don’t always want to be stuck babysit-ting. Just like you guys, all teenagers
have different gifts and aren’t the same.
We’d love to get involved in ministry.
Give us a chance to really be a part of
the body of Christ.
WE ARE INTELLIGENT
3. Don’t dumb down the sermons.
Don’t feel the need to protect us from
being confused. Faith isn’t simple,
being a Christian in high school has
already taught us that. We want to be
able to talk about the big stuff, whether
you know the answers or not.
COMMUNITY IS IMPORTANT
4. We may do things differently. Help
us make it possible, even if we’re doing
it differently than you would. Yeah, we’ll
probably pick pizza over egg salad
sandwiches, and we may even get a
little rowdy for your liking, but that’s
One of the greatest parts of being in
the church community is the wisdom
and relationships that you can build with
people who are in different places in life.
Intergenerational relationships are so
important, and we do like it when older
people in the church want to invest in
us. We want to get to know you – we’re
just a little more awkward and moody
about it. We know you like us, and we
like you too.
TOP 4 tips for churches from my teenage perspective:
a teenage perspective
By: Holly Stiller