Last week I posted about spending time with teens. The question was Can Teens be . . . .
Have love for all ages—are you kidding?
I wanted to address this because I had a friend on Facebook who was horrified amazed that Steve & I would willingly spend time with a group of 25 teens for a couple of hours! What do you think of when you imagine spending a couple of hours with teenagers?
Steve & I have been privileged & blessed to help guide an ever changing group of pre teens & teens in an activity called Bible Quizzing. I have said this many times but I will repeat. These kids are the best kids in the world. There are few thins I am more thankful for and I wouldn’t trade my time with them for anything.
However they are teens & it is a huge help to approach this activity & any activity with teens with a plan. If you let them they will get off track & follow whatever bunny trails they can find!
HOW to organize time with teens
1. Purpose/goal—This applies to adult activities too! If there is not a focus then the time will be fun but not necessarily productive.
Since chaos is not our idea of fun, we’ve discovered that it is absolutely necessary helpful to have a purpose. Here are some questions to ask.
What are we trying to do?
How long will this keep their attention?
What can we do to break up the time?
2. Time break down—2 parts are essential
Fellowship—build this in to your time because if you don’t then the teens will do it any way & you will be frustrated.
It seems best to give them some time at the beginning of the meeting to greet friends & chat for a bit. That way they can reconnect before we get to work. Often we will be setting up & greeting people also during this time! Let it be fun but be ready to guide them to the next part.
Goals & Projects—there needs to be a purpose for your meeting. Know what you want to do & how long it will take. Explaining the plan to the teens is a great idea because it lets them know what is expected. Rewards are good too. Time to be social again at the end if they work hard is always a good reward.
NECESSARY elements in time with teens
1. Leadership—This is SO important. It is work to organize time for teens to be together. Often by utilizing several families skills and talents the work of running an organization can be delegated. By working together the leadership can set long term & short term goals. Rules can be established & it creates a place of safety for kids to be involved.
2. Parental involvement & support—One of the reasons that Bible Quizzing is successful is that parents are directly involved. There are more parents that help than ones who drop off their kids. Everyone knows the purpose & goal. There is a lot of work that goes on at home prior to our meeting times so the parents often want to see the end results at the meetings.
3. Routine—We meet on certain days of the month. It is consistent and there is little change. Also each meeting has a routine. Fellowship time(5-10 minutes), Quiz 1, 2(1 hour), Team meetings or devotion(20 minutes), Quiz 3(15-20 minutes), Clean up time(10 minutes.
4. Communication—Reminders, updates, calendar changes are all vital for keeping everyone on track. An initial calendar and information sheet that is available on paper & then can be emailed.
After that most communication is done via email. It works to have each person reply & if a family doesn’t reply then a quick phone call can be done to verify they have the necessary in formation.
These ideas are geared toward any teen activity. However if you are interested here are 10 Reasons Bible Quizzing is WORTH it! Hope this helps you as you navigate the teen years & I encourage you to get involved in your teens lives and the activities they are enjoying.
My prayer for my children—Fear not. Stand firm and see the deliverance of the LORD. Exodus 14:13