What can you do to encourage your teen’s church attendance?
That’s a question that parents of teens have asked for decades. Whether because of boredom, disinterest, or simple teenage rebellion, it can be hard to get kids to stay in the church.
Fortunately, a little parenting advice can go a long way. This article will suggest ways to approach your teen that may help them decide to return to church. To learn how teenagers and church can go well together, keep reading.
Consider Letting Them Choose
Some parents choose to force their kids to attend church with them as long as they’re living at home. While this is within your right, you should consider letting your teen make that decision.
Keep in mind that Christianity is about free will. God gave Adam and Eve the option to eat the forbidden fruit—He didn’t force them to do what was right.
Also, many young people believe that religion is just a trick used to control people. You can avoid feeding into this negative stereotype by showing your teen that participation in religion is their choice.
Think From Their Perspective
It’s painful when someone you love disagrees with you, especially on something as important as faith. But resist the temptation to lash out. Your teen may be dealing with complex feelings, and your anger will only make them more closed off.
Before you approach your teen, try to imagine what they may be going through. Ask yourself what reasons you might have to resist going to church if you were in their place.
Would it be boredom? Distrust of religion? Or anger at other Christians’ hypocrisy?
These are very real issues and common feelings that teenagers deal with. Don’t vilify these issues or the people who raise them—try to understand where they’re coming from.
Ask About Their Beliefs
You don’t have to agree with your teen to listen to them. Once you’ve decided to think from their perspective, you can ask them about their feelings and beliefs. This should help you have a positive, productive conversation about church.
Don’t be afraid to ask your teen for a few minutes to talk to them. They will probably be surprised by the attention, especially if you don’t talk often. But they will be flattered when you start asking them what they think and believe.
You may be surprised by what you learn. Chances are, you and your teen agree on more things than you think.
Avoid asking your teen to come to church with you during this conversation. At first, you only want to get your foot in the door. Your questions will have prompted them to start thinking, and that will encourage them to be open.
If your teen feels like church services just don’t apply to them, you might consider finding a church program designed specifically for students. Parkway Students is one example of a program that appeals to teens and their challenges.
Share and Invite
After you’ve had two or three conversations like this, you can begin to share with your teen why you’d like them to come to church. Approach it from their perspective, with their values and feelings in mind.
Then invite them to join you, letting them know that it’s their choice.
You can share your feelings with your teen at this stage. For example, you might say you want to attend church as a family because it simply makes you happy. But place more emphasis on what you believe your teen will gain from it.
Also read: Wpc 2027
Encourage Your Teen’s Church Attendance
While teens and religion may seem at odds with each other, it doesn’t have to be that way. Now you understand how you can encourage your teen’s church attendance by approaching them thoughtfully and respectfully.
For more great advice, keep reading our blog here on What’s Mind.