Being a teenager is hard. They need our help!

Do you remember those teenage years? We do too! It is easy to feel overwhelmed and alone, but Teen Life exists to equip, encourage and empower teenagers to live life better. Get involved in one of the following ways:

Why Support Groups?

We believe that Support Groups offer teenagers a safe place to ask questions, receive the emotional support they need, and develop healthy peer and mentor relationships.

If these support groups do not exist, teenagers are going to continue to fall between the cracks. Instead of complaining about the current state of our culture, let’s encourage, equip and empower this next generation to make better choices.

# of students helped during 2017-2018 school year

# of trained Teen Life facilitators

We were so thankful to have Teen Life available to meet with our students. With more demands on the school counselor’s time, it is great to have a reliable option for help with our students. We are already thinking about how we want to use TL next year.

Dawson MS Counselor

Carroll ISD

It has been a great blessing to walk beside these kids on their turf, to equip them with some tools to help break the generational cycles of self-esteem, relationship, and spiritual poverty, and to assist them in casting a vision on where they want to be and how they might get there.

Jacob

Decatur ISD, Support Groups Facilitator

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Repost: Promoting Thankfulness

November is one of the only times of year that is set aside for everyone to be thankful. We are thankful for food, family, and football. But especially right now, many people seem to be struggling with thankfulness. Maybe they aren’t thankful for our President Elect, their job situation, the fact that Texas doesn’t have a real Fall…the list could go on and on. But teenagers and our kids are watching us! If we aren’t thankful, why should they be?

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A Powerful Relationship “Hack” with Teenagers

A while back, I received a text from one of our volunteers asking to meet in person. This particular person was an influential volunteer for Teen Life and had been really active with us in the past. But I felt like something was up. This person was always someone who communicated more over text and email and rarely, if ever, asked to meet in person. It turns out I was right. My friend had ended up losing their job suddenly and was asking for prayers and any guidance on finding new work related to their field. I really felt bad for my friend. Part of what we talk about in Teen Life volunteer trainings is the idea of using our intuition as a listening device.

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The Importance of Asking…Twice.

*This post was written by one of our facilitators, Sarah Brooks. Sarah is a blogger, mom of 3 boys and social media expert! She has spoken across the country at various groups, churches, and schools about social media (the good, the bad, and the confusing), most of which stemmed from a post she wrote called Parents: A Word About Instagram. Sarah currently facilitates a High School Support Group in Fort Worth ISD.*

I had a mild panic attack the morning I was set to lead my first Teen Life group. When I started looking over lesson one, I was shocked by how personal the discussion questions were. There was no building rapport, no easing in to sensitive topics with these people. No – right out of the gate, they expect me to walk into a group of teenagers I’ve never seen before, teenagers who are presumably hurting and/or experiencing significant life crisis, and ask questions like, “On a scale from 1-10, how do you feel about yourself?” and “How much do you feel others care about you?” For real??

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Markers

I was recently in Oklahoma City to train a group of youth ministers.  With some extra time, I made a stop at the Murrah Federal Building Bombing Memorial and Museum. What caught my eye more than anything else were the two gates erected at either end of the memorial. The first reads 9:01, the minute before the bomb exploded. The second reads 9:03. The explanation marker says it was designed to represent all of the time before the explosion and then the moment healing begins. Pause for a minute and let it sink in – a gate dedicated to the moment healing began. Scripture tells about the Israelites erecting stones to remember the crossing of the Jordan. Therapists create memory boxes with clients experiencing grief. People have sentimental key rings or stuffed animals or pieces of jewelry, such as wedding rings, to commemorate major life events. We call these markers.

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Bad Reputation

A couple of weeks ago, I went to the final concert of Taylor Swift’s Reputation Tour. Now this is not a post about Taylor Swift herself, but her newest album tackles an interesting topic that teenagers and young adults are identifying with everywhere – reputation. Whether for good or for bad, your reputation impacts how others look at you, treat you, speak to you, or think about you. In the world we live in today, reputation follows teens everywhere. It is on social media, and it keeps them up at night through texts and pictures. Can you imagine? Used to, in order to control your reputation, you just had to get to people with your version of the story before anyone else. Now, anyone can write the narrative for you – through social media posts or a text, or an unfortunate picture or video. It is enough to give you nightmares!

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Tribes and Words

*This post was written by one of our facilitators, Josh Hardcastle. Before moving back to Abilene in 2016, Josh facilitated groups in Keller ISD. Now, Josh is the High School Youth Minister at Southern Hills Church in Abilene, TX where he lives with his wife, Whitney, and their two sons. Teen Life is so thankful for the way Josh pours into the lives of students!*

I’ve been in ministry for a little over 5 years. I’ve seen successful and connected students come through my ministries, and I’ve seen disconnected and lonely students as well. I saw students coming in to our class time on Sunday mornings 5 minutes after I would start teaching and bolt as soon as I finished with the final, “Amen” of class. It broke my heart when I realized something: they didn’t have a consistent person investing and pouring into them.

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Teen Life

2501 W. Southlake Blvd | Southlake | TX | 76092

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