Updated: Feb 4, 2020
Someone asked me to present at the book launch my 10 top tips for relating to young people, not just for youth leaders but for anyone. They're the best 10 I could think of, but let me know what you would have said.
1. Take time to listen. Life is busy, and not many people have time to talk. If you're not sure where to start, why not ask, 'What's it like being a teenager?' If you keep asking, eventually they may tell you.
2. Realise it is hard for them. Many young people are feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. It's tough to be a young person, and it can be especially tough to be a Christian young person.
3. Validate their feelings. If you looked at number 2 and thought, 'They don't have to pay a mortgage or get up in the night to look after a crying baby,' you probably need to work on this one! Remember they are seeing a lot of things for the first time and have fewer previous experiences to compare with.
4. Tell your story. You may think they won't listen because you're old, but you have more in common than you think. You will have had times of doubt and disappointment. Tell them that. They may think they're the only one who has ever experienced this.
5. Speak the truth. Young people still want a framework for life. They need to know Jesus loves them, he has a plan for them and that he calls them to live for him.