In Baptism God brings us into His family full of supportive adults of many generations. While parents may be the most critical person in a youth’s faith life, other supportive adults can play a significant role in walking alongside youth in good and in bad. Congregations should seek to engage each youth with five long-term supportive adults. The role of a supportive adult includes investing time to build relationships, being in regular and encouraging faithful worship, Bible study, and prayer. Some adults are around for just a season, and they can have meaningful impact on teens. There is great benefit when congregations systematically connect adults with the right capacity to help maintain quality relationships over time. Through the Holy Spirit, these adults provide stability and a safe place for speaking Law and Gospel at appropriate times.

For You

  • How have you seen the impact of longevity or the lack of it in your ministries?
  • List what children and youth you are actively supporting in your congregation.

For Youth Ministry Leadership

  • List some of the transitions youth and young adults are going through. How are supportive adults investing in teens during these transitions?
  • How is your youth ministry encouraging long-term relationships, rather than short term ones?
  • How are you keeping supportive adults engaged as students come in and out of youth ministry?

For Congregational Leadership

  • How are you systematically surrounding young people with other faithful Christians who can build real and authentic relationships with them?
  • How is your congregation investing (training, resourcing, etc.) in adults who work with young people?
  • How can your congregation help create intergenerational connections that engage more supportive adults?