Motivation Monday: The Whole Person

Motivation Monday: The Whole Person

We are only 3 weeks away from the 7th annual #TL5K! 

If you would like to donate or help by becoming a fundraiser, visit our #TL5K site!

In our Teen Lifeline Support Groups, we believe that in order for a student to excel in school, at home and at life in general, we must take care of the whole person. We must nurture their emotional health, discuss their physical health and even offer an opportunity to discuss their spiritual well-being. Even in the public school system, everyone we work with agrees that having a place for spiritual discussions is necessary – it is too important to ignore!

When we have these conversations, we center it around the relationships in their lives, including a relationship with God or a higher power. The great thing is, teenagers feel that they can be honest without receiving judgement from the facilitator or the rest of the group! In some of my high school groups, I have had teenagers share that their “higher power” is music, or love, or Jesus, or Buddha. Not everyone in the group has to be on the same page or at the same stage spiritually, but as you will see from Jason Brown’s story, these discussions open a door for healing and hope.


 

One of my favorite group sessions to facilitate is week number four: The Whole Person. This is a great opportunity to talk about faith because we discuss relationships with people in our lives; the discussion inevitably leads to a discussion about God (or a higher power). It’s about being spiritually connected. I have found that most of the group members during this session share about a relationship with God. Some feel like He is at the center of their life, others like they are not very close. Every so often, someone describes themselves as atheist and not believing in God.

On one occasion during a group session, we were discussing The Whole Person topic and a young man in our group said he didn’t believe in God. As I typically do, I acknowledged his opinion and we continued with the discussion. The discussion progressed and the group had the opportunity to write questions about spirituality on cards and then spend time discussing and answering each other’s questions. Several of the young men asked questions about Jesus and how to know if He existed. Someone asked about God and how He could be so forgiving. There were several other questions about faith. During this discussion, it was evident that the young man who claimed to be atheist was a little uncomfortable with the discussion. He began to ask his peers a few questions and even spoke about demons. It was as if a door suddenly opened; if he believed in demons, then he could no longer deny that there wasn’t another side to the story. His peers actually called him out on this. I was able to have a great follow up discussion as the group came to a close. This young man was wrestling with faith, and he was trying to decide if God was real or if he had no hope. Through our Teen Lifeline group, a seed was planted that day and hope was shared.

 

Jason Brown is the Community Minister at Legacy Church of Christ. He has been leading groups with Teen Lifeline for 3 years in Birdville ISD and at TYRC.
Motivation Monday: Get Out of the Boat

Motivation Monday: Get Out of the Boat

We are only 5 weeks away from the 7th annual #TL5K, and our Kick Off Event is tomorrow, March 1st!

Please join us for dinner to hear about the great plans we have for this year’s 5K! RSVP here today.

Teen Lifeline’s vision statement is to “encourage, equip and empower teenagers to live life better.” This is done through Support Groups that take place during school hours, but sometimes in order to fully equip, encourage and empower the students we work with, our facilitators decide to go above and beyond their expected duties.

We love it when our facilitators become invested in the lives of the students they serve, and no one does it better than Jason Herman. Jason is the Lead Student Minister at The Hills Church’s North Richland Hills Campus. He has lead groups with Teen Lifeline since 2013 and has a particular passion for working with teenaged dads. He is able to form meaningful relationships with these teen dads because of the conversations had and resources that are exchanged. We are so glad that he has chosen to “get out of the boat!”


 

When I was a kid, I loved bumper boats (you know, bumper cars on water). I got a kick out of smashing into other unsuspecting bumper boat enthusiasts. The thing about bumper boats, however, is that you rarely react with the people in the other boats. You simply float from one person to the next and are never truly in control of what happens on the water. Sometimes, I think we approach life the same way. We wake up, get ready, coast through the day bumping into others only to get home, go to sleep, and repeat. It’s a chain reaction of events that simply lead to the next day, and we completely miss opportunities to fully engage people. So the question becomes, how do we break routine?

Perhaps the obvious first move is to get out of the boat. This looks different for everyone but for me, and many of us who work in the church, it means getting out of the office and engaging the community. That is why I love Teen Lifeline. Over the past three years I have worked with teen dads and been able to develop relationships with school administrators, staff, teachers, counselors, and students. As those relationships have developed, opportunities to engage people became a reality. Which leads me to the next crucial piece in breaking routine.

We have to keep our eyes open for opportunities to take the relationship deeper. I have found that such opportunities present themselves when a need is stated during group, which leads to a chance to engage outside of group. For example, during one session, my dads discussed several resources that were unavailable to them. Their needs ranged from being able to provide a turkey for Thanksgiving, buying Christmas presents for their children, to needing an attorney for various legal problems. In this situation, needs became opportunity to break routine. Coordinating with The Hills Church, each dad was given access to resources they desperately needed. Coincidently, none of this took place in our typical group meeting. It all happened outside group. We have to look beyond the group if we really want to engage lives.

When we engage people, understand their needs, and do more than simply bump into them, the routine of everyday life is shattered. Trust is earned and life moves from individuals bumping into one another to an adventure that is lived together. I love working with teen dads, and there is nothing like when one of them invites you into their life. Sometimes this even looks like a baby shower, a birthday party, or a wedding ceremony. This is life lived better, and there’s no telling what adventure tomorrow may bring.

 

Jason Herman is the Lead Student Minister at The Hills Church, North Richland Hills. He facilitates a Teen Lifeline Support Group for teenaged dads in Birdville ISD.