It is a new school year, which means students are gearing up for their new classes, new teachers, and all of the new educational opportunities that the school year is going to offer. However, is your student ready for all of the new spiritual opportunities that will present themselves this year?
The River Youth wants to Ignite a passion in students to love Christ and love others and Fuel it by serving the world. Not only that, but we want to equip parents to better engage their student’s relationship with Christ. Today, I want to offer three ways that you can engage your student spiritually this upcoming school year.
- Ask them.
Sometimes the best thing you can do to find out what your student is learning is to simply ask them. Whether you are driving them home from Sunday morning service, youth group, or are engaging them midweek, ask them! What did the speaker talk about? What did they talk about in small groups? Or what are they reading in their Bible during their personal devotions? (Side Note: We provide questions weekly through our River Youth Parent Newsletter. Make sure you subscribe!)
Not only ask them but encourage them to ask you. This will create deeper conversation, so you and your student are growing together through faith discussions.
- Challenge them.
Don’t settle for the surface level of engagement this year. Challenge your student to go deeper with their faith. This can happen in a variety of ways. Encourage them to serve locally with the youth group through opportunities such as Hope House Mission. Encourage them to serve in their local church through Kid’s Ministry, First Impressions, or with the Worship Team. Ask them to pray before meals at home. Take them through a Bible study together. Encourage them out of their comfort zone to talk with their friends about Christ or to invite a friend who doesn’t go to church to join them at church.
A new year provides endless possibilities for students to grow closer to Christ but every once in awhile, they might just need to be nudged in the right direction. As parents, you can guide them to do things with their faith that they never thought possible.
- Bring them.
A great athlete doesn’t become great if they don’t practice. A student doesn’t become smarter if they don’t go to school. In the same way, a student doesn’t grow in their faith if they don’t go to church. Infrequent church attendance often leads to a more apathetic faith in the life of a student. If your student doesn’t seem interested in going to church, have a solid dialogue with them about why. Hear them out, and strive to plug them into the church community. Get your student coming regularly and frequently, encourage them to be a part of the community, and over time, you’ll see them grow exponentially.
Don’t let your student just fall by the wayside spiritually. Engage in what they are learning, encourage them to go deeper in their faith, and make sure they are meeting regularly in God’s amazing community called the church. Be intentional with each of these suggestion areas and you are bound to see some amazing spiritual growth in your student this upcoming school year!