Last Sunday night we kicked off our January series titled, Help! I’m A Teenager. I want to address four areas that teens often struggle with, while giving them practical tools to help overcome what usually tears them down. Over the four weeks we are discussing the following topics…
– Who Am I? Discovering God as Master Creator
– Living With Parents. Obedience, Respect, & Honor Because They’re The Parents
– The Relationship Factor. Boys vs. Girls; Dating, Relationships, & Sex
– Forgiveness. Understanding that God offers total forgiveness
Here’s a snapshot of this past Sunday night.
Help! I’m A Teenager. Who Am I?
Teens too often have to deal with the labels that teachers, administrators, other teens, adults, and society put on them. They see images of perfect people, watch over paid athletes, and deal with the social status of high school on a daily basis. It’s easy for them to be overwhelmed with what everyone says they should be. But what they need to know is that they are a wonderful creation.
Jeremiah, is a great example. Jeremiah was called to be a prophet to the people of Israel. But Jeremiah doesn’t think he’s ready for such a call. He says, “I cannot do this, I am just a child.” But God knows otherwise.
God says, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart…”
What an intimate picture of how God carefully and thoughtfully designed and created Jeremiah. Before Jeremiah ever walked the earth or breathed in the fresh air; before he was a twinkle in his parents eyes, God knew Jeremiah.
Teens struggle with the security of being who they are. They worry too much about what others think, what they wear, how they look, what group they hang out with, what sport they play, what music they listen to, what movies they watch, and how they surround themselves with it.
In some cases, they are labeled as the outsiders, the trouble makers, the losers, and the worthless. They get into trouble at school, in the neighborhood, and at home. Their homes are broken, their parents are absent or abusive. They’re told that they’re stupid, useless, good for nothing, and that they’ll never be anything. So they live hopeless lives, and become the person that the lies tell them they are.
As youth pastors, we should be showing them that they are wonderfully and fearfully made. I focused on these three points:
1. God created each one of us for His purpose…(Jeremiah 1:5 & Psalms 139:13-14.)
2. God has given us the gifts, talents, & abilities to accomplish His purpose…(Romans 12:4-8)
3. God is calling you to move forward and work towards His purpose…(2 Peter 1:3-11)
I spend time emphasizing that God carefully thought through who He was making each of them to be. Based on what He wanted their lives to accomplished, He created them with the gifts, talents, and abilities that they would need to succeed.
I want my students to know that who they are is exactly who God wants them to be.