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
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
YOU'VE GOT TO CHECK THIS OUT!
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.read more
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!read more
*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.read more
One of the best parts of working with a non-profit is the people who support your cause. Obviously, we love working with teenagers – serving them is why we got into this! But there is a whole other side of our organization that makes our jobs all that more enjoyable – our supporters. One time a year, we all get together for an evening to celebrate what has happened with Teen Life over the past year and to fund what is to come. This last Tuesday we had our fourth annual Teen Life Dinner & Auction in Southlake, TX. Almost 200 of our advocates and new supporters gathered in a room to celebrate 10 years of Teen Life and dream about what is to come. And, what a night it was – we raised almost $68,000!read more
Emotionally speaking, our kids today have one of the most challenging paths to adulthood of any generation in history. My wife, Beth, finished the Cowtown Marathon in 2010. It took every ounce of willpower and determination she had to eek out a glorious 5-hour finish time in a puddle of sweat and tears. Today, as we were cleaning out drawers, our 5-year-old found her participant’s medal. “Mommy–did you get first place?!” After a snarky laugh, the response came– “Sometimes, buddy, you get a medal just for not quitting.” Some people say our kids today are entitled. That they’re too soft. That they need a trophy for everything. Maybe they do.read more
A couple of weeks ago, we had a huge problem. My son, Sawyer, was refusing to go to sleep at night. Overnight, he went from going to bed in minutes to standing up in his crib, screaming unless he was being held. Until this time, we have been spoiled by his sleeping habits, so when they suddenly changed, I was desperate. After a couple of nights of rocking him every 15 minutes and then eventually crawling in his crib until he fell asleep, I asked for help. I asked good friends, my mom, and even put it out on Instagram to get the advice and wisdom from my fellow mom friends. This is not something I often do, but after all the great wisdom I got, I wondered, “Why don’t I usually ask for advice or help?” Other than your spouse or very best friend, how often do you share trials, struggles and doubts with the people in your circle?read more