High School Teen Ministry

High School Teen Ministry Update

July Teen Night

On Tuesday, July 24, from 7pm until 10pm we are having a teen night at the Wangelin’s house (7006 Captiva Drive, Lansing).  We’ll have yard games, devotions, food, and great fellowship. There is no cost for this event.  Teens, bring a friend! Contact Dave Wright if you are planning to come.

BackYard Mission 2018

Pure: By God For God

All high school students are welcome to be a part of this ministry in which the primary focus is keeping teens connected to Christ.  We do this through learning and sharing God’s word together and living out our faith through the bonds of friendship, prayer, group activities, and serving others.  The focus on Christ permeates everything we do.  He died for us so that we can live in and for him, and we recognize the need to show teens that faith in Christ is a free gift, is relevant, and is desperately needed by everyone.
We will meet once a month for a group activity.  Check here for dates, locations, times, and other details about our monthly events.

Join us on Sunday mornings (9:30-10:30am – September – May) for Bible study.  There is a 6th-8th class and a 9th-12th class.

Contact Information
To RSVP or volunteer for any OSL High School Teen Ministry event, please contact Dave Wright, Minister of Family Life.  Feel free to also ask questions or offer suggestions at any time.


July Parent Resource

My wife and I struggle from time to time with trying to balance how much we give our kids vs determining when to “cut off” payment for certain items such as cars, car  repairs, car insurance, cell phones, and other expensive items.  I know families who believe it is the teen’s responsibility to work for and purchase every luxury item on their own. I also know families who want their kids to be safe and have reliable communication and transportation, therefore, the parents spend most of the money when it comes to their teen’s transportation and phones.

Of course there are many expenses that parents and teens negotiate about – not just cars and phones.  The following short article from helpyourteens.com is a good reminder to be cautious with the amount of things we give to our teens.

Teens and Entitlement

Does your teen expect more from you than they have earned or deserve?

Many parents only want the best for their children (usually more than they had growing up), but has this actually backfired on families?

In today’s society, many teens have major entitlement issues. Parents feel that giving their teens material items will somehow earn them respect. Quite frankly, the opposite occurs in most families. The more we give, the more our children expect and the less they respect us. We lose ourselves in buying our children’s love. At the end of the day, no one wins and life is a constant battle of anger, hopelessness, and debt.

While interviewing a young teen who was recently given a brand new car, the young woman felt she deserved it since her parents gave her two used ones previously. She was only 17 years old and already controlling her household. She truly believed that she was entitled to this car, showing no appreciation of respect for her parents. Simply, she deserved it. Can you imagine owning three cars by the age of 17, yet never buying one? This is an extreme example, but a lot of parents can probably relate.

Entitlement issues can lead to serious problems. Teaching your child respect and responsibility should be priority. Although the issues may have started to escalate, as a parent, it is never too late to take control of the situation and say no when your teen feels they are entitled to a frivolous item or anything that is considered a privilege.

Life is about responsibility, and as parents we need to teach this to our children. Helping them comes natural to us; however, when it becomes excessive and the child doesn’t appreciate it, it is time to step back and evaluate your situation.

June Parent Resource
The following article by Dr. Eric Scalise from James Dobson’s Family Talk is an outstanding reminder for all of us on the importance of being an encouraging parent and spouse.  He uses the example of Barnabas in the New Testament and details 6 ways that we can be encouraging toward our family; among them are simply being available, patient, and practical.

I believe that when we encourage our teens and build them up, they are more open when talking to us.  They also develop more self esteem and confidence.  I urge you to take a few minutes and read this article.

6 Qualities of an Encouraging Parent

Freshman Mentoring Ministry
OSL teen ministry is planning a mentoring opportunity for all of the 2018-19 freshmen students. Freshmen need strong adults in their lives who they can look up to, talk with, and learn from. In addition to the encouragement from parents, it is good to have role models who can help these teens remain strong in the faith – remembering their confirmation vows throughout high school and beyond.  I am excited to offer this opportunity as well as additional details later this summer!  If you have questions or would like to be a part of this mentoring planning process, please let me know.

May Parent Resource
This month, I want to provide you with a little different resource for you to use with your teens.  The Summer Missional Living Family Challenge is for all OSL members.  The idea behind this challenge is to have families organize and host a gathering or service project for your neighborhood this summer.  We are called to join Jesus in His mission to redeem and resore people to a right relationship with God.  Part of that involves getting to know people right in your own neighborhood.  In the church lobby are several Missional Living Family Challenge brochures containing a variety of social gathering and service project ideas.  It also includes tips for success in planning an event. 

Grab a brochure the next time you are at church and take a look at the ideas. Then take some time with your kids and plan a neighborhood event together.  It teaches your teen hospitality, organization, planning, social skills, and listening skills.  It also keeps them aware of the need to be friendly (neighborly) with those God has placed around them.  Getting to know people – listening to their stories, being aware of their needs – allows friendships to develop and flourish.

This fall we will offer an opportunity to gather together on a Sunday morning during the 9:30am Bible class hour and listen to the results of people who tried it this summer.  Perhaps your family can share the way God used you to bless your neighborhood this summer.

April Parent Resource
Checkout this excellent website: cpyu.org (Center for Parent/Youth Understanding) A summary from this website reads as follows: “The Center for Parent/Youth Understanding is a nonprofit organization committed to building strong families by serving to bridge the cultural-generational gap between parents and teenagers. 

At a time when an already confusing youth culture is changing quickly, CPYU helps parents, youth workers, educators, and others understand teenagers and their culture so that they will be better equipped to help children and teens navigate the challenging world of adolescence.

Founded in 1989 by Walt Mueller, CPYU has developed an international reputation as a voice providing cutting-edge information, resources and analysis on today’s youth culture.

The mission of CPYU is to work with churches, schools, and community organizations to build stronger relationships between young people and those charged with helping them grow into healthy adulthood.

This mission is accomplished by:

  • Helping parents understand and respond to the complex world of their children and teens from a distinctively Christian point of view.
  • Equipping teenagers to deal with the challenges of adolescence.
  • Raising the youth culture awareness of youth workers, parents and educators, thereby helping them increase their effectiveness with parents, children and teens.”

This is a terrific place to connect with today’s youth by finding out what is popular right now with teens.  There are podcasts and articles on nearly 300 topics that have relevance for today’s teens.  You can find topics ranging from acceptance and anxiety to smart phones, peer pressure, identity, sexuality, and virtually any other topic that can affect our kids today.  There are also trend alerts to keep you aware of the latest potentially harmful fads taking place in youth culture.

I highly recommend perusing through this site. It is extremely informative, and most of the information is completely free.
Contact Information
To RSVP or volunteer for any OSL High School Teen Ministry event, please contact Dave Wright, Minister of Family Life.  Feel free to also ask questions or offer suggestions at any time.