This podcast was recorded at the Disciple-Making Conference breakout session training and focuses on the role of parents and discipleship. Parents have approximately 936 weeks between a child’s birth and the time he or she graduates from high school. In today’s self-focused, stressful culture, adolescence is a key time when they must leverage distinct opportunities to spiritually influence a teenager’s future. Merrie Johnson examines the various stages of development in a teen’s life and how those stages open doors for discipleship
Here is an excerpt from this podcast:
We know that when they hit teenage years, things change. In elementary school, they’ll just talk and share with you. But what happens at seventh grade? Shut down. It’s just one sentence things from most of them. Yet there’s still a hunger inside of them to know. And we know with the adolescent brain development, it’s doing so much in this time, just like it was at birth and in the first couple years of life. All of a sudden, the brain is just kicking in, and all kinds of things are happening. They’re really open to spiritual things. But we’ve got to be prepared for that. Make a list of what culture says defines a successful teenager. It’s all about them. And it’s all about more. The more I can do, the more things I’m involved in, the better the grades. What does that usually bring on? Stress. This is the most stressed out generation ever. And it’s because they’re being pulled everywhere. They’re on social media. Did you know they spend over eight hours a day interacting with some type of social media or media? We know that it is their biggest addiction. We know for this generation, if they don’t feel like they measure up to what they see on the Internet, they feel like they’re a failure. The suicide rate is higher than it’s been in years, and it’s happening left and right because they feel like they’re never going to get there. So as a church, we’ve got to figure out how we counterbalance that. How do we make sure they know that in God’s image, He created them and they have potential that has nothing to do with what society says is important? They have the potential to love and bring others to know who Jesus is.
by Merrie Johnson / Youth Evangelism and Discipleship / Baptist State Convention of North Carolina
Get the latest news and event information by signing up for the N.C. Baptist newsletter.