How do you go about helping your students replace their typical teen angst with the joyful, abundant life Jesus’ has called His followers to?
One practical, pivotal way to help your students is by encouraging them to establish a personal devotional time. Regular time set aside to focus on their relationship with their Abba Father can be salve to their wounds, refuge from their rat race and food for their soul.
Keeping It Fresh
Devotional time only takes a few moments, but it can quite literally reorient them in the midst of the trauma and drama of the middle/high school years by helping them release it all to God. Remember, you’re the coach, so help your students learn how to engage with God in a regular give-and-take time of reflection and attitude adjustment through prayer, reading, Bible study, and reflecting on what it looks like to be a Jesus follower each day, right where they’re at, in the midst of whatever…
Granted, many teens view devotional time as drudgery; yet it should be anything but. In fact, if it feels like drudgery, it’s time to shake things up a bit. Because truly encountering God should never leave us in the same place we started.
Taking a Cue from David
David reflects this beautifully in the Psalms. He was no lily-livered, cowering wimp going through some boring routine. He embraced life with gusto and determination and never held back from being honest with God about the stuff he was dealing with. Sometimes he was overflowing with joy, but sometimes not. Yet no matter how much he needed to “vent” his distress to his heavenly Father in the midst of life’s ups and downs, his “ranting” Psalms generally end up in a place that reflects a remarkable attitude adjustment.
So coach your kids to mix it up some. Here are a few ideas:
- Journaling can be a modern-day version of David’s psalm writing.
- Worshiping along with a contemporary Christian band’s music can be a modern-day version of Psalms 150: 3-5:
Praise him with a blast of the ram’s horn;
praise him with the lyre and harp!
Praise him with the tambourine and dancing;
praise him with strings and flutes!
Praise him with a clash of cymbals;
praise him with loud clanging cymbals.
- Devo readings targeted toward teens bring a fresh perspective. While they’re no substitute for serious Bible study time, they can be an entry-level resource for your students that will teach bite-size truth from God’s Word and help them develop the habit of setting aside time to connect with God regularly.
Free Dare 2 Share Devos
This brings me to this week’s featured free resource from Dare 2 Share: our online devotional readings. Encourage your teens to tap into these short, teen-targeted readings available at www.dare2share.org/devotions. The devotions section of our website features a few specific devo readings each week. But if you scroll down the page, you’ll find a rich archive of 250+ devos that fall into the following topical categories:
- Prayer and Study
- The Bible
- Growth and Maturity
- Evangelism and Witnessing
- Comfort and Encouragement
- Commitment and Integrity
- Forgiveness and Love
- Purity and Relationships
- And more…
You can post a link to one of these devos on your Facebook page, text it, Tweet it out, or link to it on your youth group’s website.
God desires relationship with each of us. He created us to be with Him! And redeemed us so that we might “glorify Him and enjoy Him forever” (Westminster Catechism). Time spent with God should draw your students deeper into their enjoyment of Him and refocus their souls on Jesus’ message and mission, so that their hearts begin to burn and break for the same things that drove Jesus – including their lost friends.
So point your students toward a consistent devotional time. Coach them on how to do it. What better way to help them deal with teen angst?