Faith development in a teenager varies with each student. Thankfully God can move whether things go right in the home and life or not.
Parents are going to fail – that’s a given. There’s no way around it. On top of that, there has never been a totally smooth transition from youth to adulthood – so we have to pray for our students.
However, there are some common things that help students grasp faith and keep it as they transition to adulthood. Things like their:
- parent’s involvement in church,
- seeing a commitment to pray and read the Bible,
- being connected to other Christian adults
- and many others
But here’s one practical ingredient every Christian parent can do to help play a huge part in the faith development of their teen: Christian camps and/or special ministry events.
Time away at a camp or discipleship event can be a catalyst to new, personal faith. The student is apart from the regular routine, hears the message, responds and grows. There is a connection year after year with others. The student learns as they witness many older students witness to their commitment to Jesus and as they are helping to model and usher the way in for younger students to grow.
Summer camps, weekend discipleship conferences and retreats help grow a young man or woman into a deeper faith in Christ. It’s not a replacement for being a regular part of a church, but it plays a vital role in catalyst moments.
I’ve heard countless testimonies from Christian adults and many of them include details of beginning a journey with Jesus during a camp or special event away from their home church during their teen years.
It’s simple, but not easy to align schedules for your student to attend these kinds of events. Do all you can to help your child get to a Christian camp, weekend conference or retreat this year. There’s nothing like it.
One book I’ve been reading has really honed in on this concept… It’s Not Too Late: The Essential Part You Play In Shaping Your Teen’s Faith.
If you’re in the Midwest, here are a few of the conferences coming up: