Teenagers Raising Expectations

God desires to see teenagers fully embracing His mission. 

Some think it’s too much to expect. They keep trying to find something more attractive and entertaining so at least their adolescent might “enjoy” gathering at a local church. After all, “they’re just teenagers.”

God doesn’t see it that way, and neither should we.

We need to allow Scriptures to inform our expectations of teenagers, not the growing perspective of culture around us. I shared a word on this at our local gathering not long ago, and you can check it out “Great Expectations” HERE. However, I’ll share a few things briefly.

Paul tells Timothy he was not to let anyone look down on him because he was young (1 Timothy 4). Rather, Timothy was to keep a close watch on his character that he might be a godly model to all generations.

If our teenagers are to be models, how can they obey Scriptures if we keep them away from the larger spiritual family?

Timothy’s character would be kept in check by the content of his message. He was to be devoted to establishing a firm faith in Christ in his own heart and in the hearts of those around him. He wasn’t to be a passive listener but an active leader.

Are we providing ways for our teenagers to practice what we preach?

Paul also knew the tendency of man to come up with his own interpretations of Scripture when living in isolation. So he also encourages Timothy to keep his content in check by his collaboration with others. Timothy was a leader, but he was also a sibling. He was called to connect with his brothers and sisters and develop a partnership in being on mission with God together. Timothy’s faith was a gift passed on by his natural family (grandmother, mother) and spiritual family (laying on of hands, Paul’s mentoring).

How are we providing opportunities for teens to be connected to their natural and spiritual family?

Paul tells Timothy to watch his life (orthopraxy) and doctrine (orthodoxy) closely. In persevering faithfulness, Timothy would see faith continue to be passed on as he followed the mission of God.

So at our local gathering, we’ve committed that our ministry to youth will be an intentional collaboration of the natural and spiritual families seeking to develop people of character by living out the content of God’s inspired Word.

Now, you and I both know we can talk the talk. It’s a much different thing to live it out.

Knowing this, I’m committing to taking one post per week to share how we are seeking to allow Scripture to inform our expectations of teenagers. We have establishing a spiritual marker we call the Commissioning. It’s based upon Jesus’ commissioning of His disciples in John 20:21.

The Commissioning is an intense immersion into the family and mission of God. It is intended to provide a spiritual marker for teens interested in committing to a year of training and activity which culminates in a corporate celebration to “commission” them for their summer mission experience and further ministry investment in the local church and community.

Over the coming weeks, our teens will be doing some hard things. Not all of those things will be big, but they will all be important. Faithfulness in these things will produce a deepening faith, a passionate heart, and a missional life.

None of this will be done apart from the Holy Spirit, and we put our hope in God that the coming 10 months will be a time when God will convict, guide, affirm, and challenge the teens and those who come alongside as we seek to be an active part of His mission to love the world to Him.

This week, we’d appreciate your prayers for the teens as we work through the following hard things:

  1. Complete the application process for the Commissioning.
  2. Begin thinking through the quality of our story and what we believe God wants for our lives.
  3. Start engaging various mission perspectives including caring for the sick, seeking justice, honoring the poor, caring for God’s creation, and loving the forsaken.

I’m already confident that we will see this handful of teenagers begin raising the expectations of us all in the months ahead. I look forward to sharing the journey with you.

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  2. […] our Commissioning group, we have determined that we will not let the poor among us to nameless. In other words, we are […]

  3. […] talked and prayed over this passage in our Commissioning group this week. We’re intentionally looking to align our daily lives with the way God calls us to […]

  4. […] that in mind, we considered Psalm 19 in our Commissioning group this week. C.S. Lewis has called this psalm “the greatest poem in the Psalter and one of the […]

  5. […] talking through this in our Commissioning group, and we are beginning to look at creation care differently. One of our teens shared a […]

  6. […] our Commissioning group, we discussed what it means to be forsaken — abandoned without hope. If we are to be faithful […]

  7. […] considered Isaiah 58 before, but we went deeper this week in our Commissioning group. In this passage, God’s people are irritated that He hasn’t answered their […]



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