1. Pray for your teens
If your teens don’t come from a Christian family, you’re probably the only person praying for them. Ask God to prepare their path, and to save their family.
2. Remember their names
After the first 5 introductions calling your teens bro, sister, man & dude just don’t cut it. They feel like you care about them when you remember their names.
3. Call your teens at least once a week
This will freak most teens out because most of their friends just message, but when you call it lets them hear your tone of voice. Your tone of voice can communicate a lot! It can make a teenager feel like you actually believe in them and want to hear about how their week is going. When you call don’t just ask if they are going to your youth that week. Spend some time asking them questions about their week.
4. Text your teens every few days
Send your teens funny memes while they’re at school. It will make them feel “in”.
5. Get to know your teenager’s parents
Knowing your teenager’s parents can go a long way especially if a teen decides they don’t want to go to your youth ministry anymore. When you know the parents you can call them up and then they’ll fight the battles for you. You’d be surprised how much even some of the roughest parents appreciate the work that their teenager’s leader does (even if they don’t tell you).
6. Remember what is going on in your teens world
If a teen tells you about something that they’re struggling with or even something good that has happened, do your best to remember it so that you can bring it up the next week and ask how they are going in relation to that specific situation.
7. Take your teenagers on fun adventures with you (Create memories)
This could be anything from a hike to doing your weekly groceries. Effective leadership is simply time spent. If you want to lead & disciple your teens more effectively create opportunities to spend time with you teens.
8. Girls – Write letters to your teens & do sleepovers
Girls love to get cute handmade letters in the mail, they’ll keep it in their room for years! It’s such a great way to speak words of life over them and it cuts through some much more than a post on their Social Media pages.
9. Boys – Take a group of your teens camping together
Our teens are from a fatherless generation, with a huge number of them coming from broken families. A lot of young boys have never had a guy take them camping & teach them how to do manly things. If you want influence in their life this is one of the quickest ways to get it. Note: take a group of 4 or more so that you are protected from potential allegations.
10. Ask them questions
When you ask the right loaded question it can open up great discussions with your teens.
“What’s God been speaking to you about?”
“Has anything in your Bible spoken to you when you read it this week?”
“Is there anything happening in your world at the moment that I can be praying for?”
11. Eat a lot of food with your teens
If you have nothing in common with your teens, just eat food. We can all connect over food.
12. Have fun
Don’t be the boring old guy/girl. When you’re with your teens, be prepared to get a little silly & have fun. not everything needs to be serious & not everything needs to be spiritual. By doing life with your teens and having fun with them they’ll start doing what you do. They’ll follow your example as you follow Christ’s.