Teaching Teens Life Skills
I appeal to you, therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Of all the life skills you teach to your teens the ability to renew their mind needs to top the list. Please note, however, that this is their process to learn and not one you can do for them. The world has many messages for young people today which makes it our job pretty difficult. This is where a week of camp can make a big difference.
Let’s get started:
Part of being a teen is setting unrealistic goals for your life. That is done because they lack the life experience to know what is reasonable and what is not. The Bible doesn’t say that if you follow all of God’s commandments you will not have any struggles in life. On the contrary, God promises that He will, never leave us or forsake us, even in the struggles. Loving parents and youth leaders will do well to help their teens get into God’s Word. It will help them redirect their thoughts by applying it to the circumstances of their lives. In a sense, helping them to realize that reading your Bible is like having a conversation with God. It clarifies the process of life and the steps we should take as we move forward.
The world that students grow up in today is much different than the world in which their parents lived. It is important to walk in the shoes of your teens. Listen to the messages they hear in the classroom or in the media every day. Messages that challenge their worldview.
Questions you may want to ask your teens:
- What messages did you hear at school this week that would not be appropriate in church?
- The media is selling a lot of things by using messages that sound good but are not true. What messages have you heard that you don’t think are true or helpful as you try and walk with God?
- What messages have you heard through movies or video games that may contradict the Biblical worldview that you have developed?
Discerning the will of God in life, according to Roman’s 12:1-2 is a process of renewing our minds in Scripture. Then testing those thoughts in real life circumstances. As an adult we are the best help for our students when we walk through life with our them. It is important to remember what is was like as a teen. We must recognize their world is even more hostile to the claims of Christ. Take this journey with them!
The biggest steps of growth in our lives usually center around experiences that disrupt the normalcy of life. Sometimes that growth comes in the form of a death, a tragedy or the loss of something important to us. Happily, a week of camp also disrupts life “as we know it” and it becomes an opportunity for students to take a hard look at their life for what it is and what it is not. Add to this the role of a godly counselor, who has already placed Christ on the throne of their lives, and you have a winning combination.
At Lake Ann Camp each camper does a “one on one” with their counselor where the counselors ask pertinent questions about how life is going. They talk about the decision to ask Christ to be both Savior and how to make Him the Lord of one’s life. When campers want to go deeper the opportunity is there for even deeper decisions. Constructive disruptions are vital to growth and they are woven into the whole process of leaving home, meeting new friends and the variety of positive experiences offered at camp. Leaving camp, never to be the same, is part of what makes Christian Camping a vital part of helping parents raise better children.