Summary: To relate to teens you need to understand what questions they are asking themselves. The three primary questions are: 1. Who am I? 2. What beliefs will I adhere too? 3. What’s my destiny?

How to Relate to Teens?

Thesis: To relate to teens you need to understand what questions they are asking themselves. The three primary questions are: 1. Who am I? 2. What beliefs will I adhere too? 3. What’s my destiny?


Ephesians 6:1-4: 1Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2“Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise—3“that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” 4Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

Colossians 3:20,21: 20Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.

21Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.

Video Drama: Hungry Children, Sunday Morning Live Volume 7, Willow Creek Resources.

Summary: Story takes place at the dinner table and insensitive father is smashing away through the dinner table. This father fails to be sensitive to his family and his teens. He is unwilling to be empathetic to where others are. Result is his teens are hungry and hurting and at risk. This is how not to relate to your teenager.

Introduction: To relate to teenagers requires a lot of work and patience.

To better understand were our teens are at today listen to some of these statistics from surveys done with teens. Taken from Barna Research on line:

Family life:

· 57% of teens live in the same home with both of their natural parents. (1999)

· 43% talk to family or friends about religious matters in a typical day. (1998)

· 70% of teens have daily conversations with their mothers about an important issue in their life, compared to 53% of teens who have similar type of conversation with their fathers. (1998)

Adults and Teens:

· Teens describe themselves as “happy” (92%); “responsible” (91%); “self reliant” (86%); “optimistic about my future” (82%); “trusting of other people” (80%); “very intelligent’ (79%); and “physically attractive” (74%). (1998)

· Teens believe adults would describe young people as “lazy” (84%); “rude” (91%); “sloppy” (70%); “dishonest” (65%); and violent (57%).

· Teens also said these positive comments about what would adults think of teens “friendly’ (63%); “Intelligent” (58%). (1998)

· 47% say their parents have the greatest influence on their spiritual development. 16% listed their church, 8% named their peers, 4% said relatives (1998).

· 82% say their parents have been good role models of how to be a person of strong meaningful faith. (2000)

The future (1998)

· Having a college degree (88%)

· Having a comfortable lifestyle (83%)

· Having one marriage partner for life (82%)

· Having close personal relationships (84%)

· Having good physical health (87%)

· Having a clear purpose for living (77%)

· Living with a high degree of integrity (71%)

· Having a close relationship with God (66%)

· Influencing people’s lives (56%)

· Making a difference in the world (56%)

· Having a satisfying sex life with their marriage partner (55%)

· Working in a high paying job (55%)

· Having children (54%)

· Being deeply committed to the Christian faith (50%)

· Living close to family and relatives (49%)

· Being personally active in the church (43%)

· Owning a large home (28%)

· Owning the latest household technology and electronic equipment (27%)

· Achieving fame or public recognition (18%)


· Teens who said they were Christian (82%). (1999)

· Teens who said they were “committed Christians (60%). (1999)

· Teens who claimed to be “Born Again” (33%). (1999)

· (65%) of teens say that the devil, or Satan, is not a living being but is a symbol of evil (2000).

· (61%) agree that “if a person is generally good, or does enough good things for others during their life, they will earn a place in Heaven. (2000)

· (53%) say that Jesus committed sins. (2000)

· (30%) of teens say that all religions are really praying to the same God, they are just using different names for God. (1999)

· (83%) of teens maintain that moral truth depends on the circumstances, and only 6% believe that moral truth is absolute. (2001)

This data helps us get a perspective on teens today but you must understand the questions they are asking themselves and realize they are in search of answers to those questions. The three primary questions are 1. Who am I? 2. What beliefs will I adhere too? 3. What’s my destiny? One thought prior to diving in we need to understand that these questions are no exact but a generalization of the same types of questions. Teens would not come right out and say these are exactly the top three questions they are seeking answers too..

Lets explore these three questions to better relate to teens:

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