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February 10, 2021

Tips for Helping Your Teen Get Closer to God

Jesus entered the world for us, and willingly gave up His perfect life to absolve our sins when we accept Him. There is so much beauty in the sacrifice He made for us so we can be together with Him forever. And it doesn’t matter how much we’ve messed up or that we don’t deserve such a loving God. He still loves us and invites us to Him. This is why we worship. We show our deepest gratitude and love to God for all that He has done for us. But God doesn’t need our praise; He isn’t incomplete or less worthy without it. So, why is worship important?

“I need to worship because without it I can forget that I have a big God beside me and live in fear. I need to worship because without it I can forget His calling and begin to live in a spirit of self-preoccupation. I need to worship because without it I lose a sense of wonder and gratitude and plod through life with blinders on. I need worship because my natural tendency is toward self-reliance and stubborn independence.” —John Ortberg

On top of the many gifts we receive from God, He adds the ability to worship Him to the list. We worship to give God the glory in all that He has done. It helps us acknowledge God’s goodness, proclaim it, and affirm it within ourselves and others. Worship is also an opportunity to practice having a thankful, selfless spirit, which shapes our character to better reflect the God we love. In this post, we want to help you find new, dynamic ways for you and your teen to integrate worship into your daily and weekly routines.

Different ways to help your teen get closer to God through Worship

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” —Romans 12:1-2

Many put worship in a box, thinking it only applies to emotion-filled singing sessions of Christian songs. While this can be a very fulfilling way to worship God, it’s not the only way. As Romans 12:1-2 reveals, we can worship by doing God’s will and dying to our own ways and ideals. God is the goodness and hope of all things; to acknowledge, rejoice, and act on this truth is worship. Here are some ways we can live out these truths in a way that praises God.

  • Everyday choices. Even when it comes to our most mundane choices, we can ask ourselves these questions: Does my life reflect the character of God? When was the last time I was motivated by my faith, and not my own desires to do something? Am I choosing to follow God’s will or my own? We have the ability to show our gratitude to God in all areas of life. This, however, doesn’t mean seeming happy and perfect every moment of every day. Yes, we have the power to control our perspective and actions, but we shouldn’t ignore our struggles just to appear like a perfect Christian. Sometimes we’re not okay, and choosing to worship God means we admit to Him our most terrible secrets and confide in Him during our lowest moments.
  • Prayer. During prayer, in addition to making requests to God, we can also focus on thanking Him for everything he’s done for us and the ones we love. Brainstorm the different ways He’s shown up in you and your teen’s life and acknowledge His hand in everything. This can be done with a group, by yourself (maybe while you’re journaling), or any time you’re talking with God.
  • Seek and listen to God’s will. Surrender your own plans for His. There’s no secret method to knowing exactly what God wants from us, so we must pray for receptiveness, read His Word, and practice doing what He says on a regular basis. There will be times when we feel aimless and lost, but be trusting and faithful to the God who moves mountains. He is worth the full investment of our lives.
  • Observe the Sabbath day. Use this time not only as a rest day, but as a way to intentionally nourish your relationship with God. Yes, sleep in and take some naps, but don’t stop there. Meditate, pray, read God’s Word, listen to praise music, or anything that feels restorative in mind, body, and spirit.
  • Serve others. Putting others before ourselves is one of the core things we are called to do as a community of believers. We know that God loves and cherishes everyone, even if it’s someone we don’t take the best liking to. Serve those who are in need in all places and proclaim God’s glory as you do it.
  • Be with your church community. Worship doesn’t have to be a solitary activity. In fact, the Bible describes Heaven as a place where we worship together as one church body. Although we are in a broken world now, we can still unite and glorify God together. This can be through music, Bible study, community service, or even just being supportive of one another.
  • Take personal time. It’s important as believers to take personal time with God on a regular basis. We want a life that’s lovingly intimate with the God who created us. Show God your love and gratitude for Him by yourself, without any outside pressures or distractions.
  • Make sacrifices. As stated earlier in Romans 12:1-2, when we practice selflessness through personal sacrifices, we glorify God. We can’t go through life focused solely on ourselves. If we do, we short circuit God’s calling for us as believers. But don’t be discouraged when you find this calling to be difficult and scary. Sometimes a sacrifice is merely giving up your seat for someone who’s standing. Other times it’s running into a burning building to save someone who’s trapped. But no matter how big or small your sacrifice is, God is there to strengthen you and guide you through it all.

“God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” —John 4:24

In whatever way you choose to worship, we are called to do so in spirit and truth; we shouldn’t be consumed by how we look to others. Let’s relish the truth of where we are in our faith and how we see God in that moment. Worship is for Him and can’t be measured by outside standards. So, let you and your teen find the best worshiping methods for you and give it all to God.

Discussion questions

  1. What is your favorite way to worship?
  2. Is there a way you worship that wasn’t listed? If so, what is it?
  3. When was the last time you worshiped God?
  4. How can you integrate worship into your routine?
  5. What makes worship meaningful to you?
  6. How can we praise God for things unknown to us?
  7. What are some attributes of God that we can always be thankful for?
  8. How has God blessed you and others?

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