The average teen today is not very interested in going to church. Parents often neglect the teen’s spiritual side since other problems seem more pressing. When you have an out-of-control teen that is displaying challenging behaviors, you really don’t think about taking them to church, but we should.
Getting teens to realize they have a spiritual side is tough enough. Getting them to feel the need to nurture that part of themselves is a real challenge.
Bringing a teen back to church is not easy since no desire or motivation exists in their mind. A parent may see the need for it when their teenager becomes a burden to live with as he stops obeying rules, laws, and shows no signs of caring about anything.
Most parenting answers we need are right in the Bible, but if a family does not take the time to study it, those answers are lost to them. The church can be a tremendous help if they can lure teens through their doors. Teens need religion in their lives. My advice to churches is to adjust and meet the need in a new way.
Adding music, skits, readings, stories to the weekly church service, all teen geared, will help. Sponsoring clubs, groups, activities, dances, trips, and events will be a key to having them eventually attend church services.
Parents can be a shining example in their church attendance and living a Christian life. If teens experience the family being charitable, helpful to others, it will go far to increase the likelihood they will adopt the same attitude.
Try to get teens to talk about their beliefs concerning God, religion, an afterlife etc. Be non-confrontive or argumentative, but express your viewpoints to your children.
Prayer is vitally important. Having a prayer presence in everyday activities will encourage a teen to ask God for help and comfort. When they see parents using that as an option for solving problems you provide them with another avenue when they feel overwhelmed. Many teens feel alone in the world. They believe their problems and issues are unique or do not know how to talk about them. They need a spiritual guidance that begins at home, but continues with fellowship at church.
We need to attract young people to the church, but we must remember some things. Teens hate plastic people. If you say one thing and do something else a teenager will not respect you. They value honesty even when they don’t always engage in it themselves. A person who pretends to love Jesus, but fails to live that way will not be effective in bringing youth into the church. If you expect to be part of a youth ministry you must be the type of person who can relate well to young people and be totally honest and not easily shocked.
Parents show kids every day that you depend on prayer and spirituality to get you through. Pray before meals and trips or whenever the need arises out loud in front of your teens. This makes them feel less intimidated when you want them to pray.
Live the way Christians should and show by example the charity towards others, the tolerance, and the understanding. To start showing this attitude, begin by having compassion for your teen.
Ask your teen every week if they want to go to church. Younger children should not be given the option. Teens, brought kicking and screaming to church, will not develop the desired traits, only a hatred for the place. Changes won’t happen overnight, but eventually your teen will want to go to church with you. Don’t forget to pray for them daily and ask that the Holy Spirit is able to act in their lives to turn them toward the Lord.