Which Issues Do You Think Matter Most to Youth? - Be careful this blog title is intentionally deceptive! - Jim MerhautRead Now
Which one of the following issues do you think matters most to high school teenagers? Humor me and resist the temptation to read the rest of the blog until you’ve made your choice.
I’ve been working with a team of adults to provide learning sessions for a group of about 10-15 high school teens in a church setting. This church of about 1200 families is set in a blue collar suburb of a small city in Ohio. We started the year by compiling a list of issues (see above) that are typically important to teenagers in America.
We developed an anonymous process for the teens to rank these issues from most important to least important in their lives. Then we promised to address the most important issues in upcoming sessions.
Our leadership team was surprised when the issue of Family Stress was the runaway winner! It’s not entirely surprising because this result is consistent with findings from surveys and studies that are far more scientific.
Here’s the take-away: teens crave peace at home! We honored our teens by providing them with a skills-based stress management program focused on reducing stress at home. It included communication techniques, a proven strategy for conflict negotiation, and a guided meditation that put them in touch with Jesus, the Prince of Peace, within their hearts.
We also followed up by offering resources for parents to communicate more effectively with their teens.
You can hit the mark with your faith formation program by helping families reduce stress at home with relationship skills and prayer.
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