Parent & Teen

Student / Senior Symposium

This idea is a great communication tool for parent/student or senior/student discussions. Our youth and seniors still talk about it.

All you require is two larger cubes which serve as dice [two 4″ pieces of 4×4 will do, but foam blocks are preferable], sticky notes, and pens.

Once everybody was seated in a circle, we asked each senior to write one question on a sticky note which they would like to ask a young person and the youth one question they would like to ask a senior. The seniors then placed six of their sticky notes on their cube/ die [one on each side] and the youth did the same. Then they switched cubes.

Each person, young and old, then took a turn “rolling the die” — the youth rolling the senior die and the senior rolling the youth die. Whichever question came out on top of the roll, the person responded to. You can leave it at the person’s response and move on to the next person, or you can take a moment to open that question to the group for deeper discussion.

The questions ranged from the topic of sex and sexuality to dealing with peer pressure; for both adults and youth. The response to this event was both surprising and rewarding. It fostered a geniune appreciation between these two age groups and the seniors have become our youths’ greatest supporters.

Teen / Parent Forum

Since parents and teens have trouble understanding each other, we thought of this: We’re going to have a parent/teen forum. We’ll take 4 kids and 4 parents (all unrelated). Then we’ll pose them Q’s for them to answer and discuss. Q’s like: “Why don’t teens and parents talk to each other?” They’ll discuss it, and both parents and teens will begin to understand each other better. We plan on holding a forum with different sets of people every Sunday night for a month. Then we might have them meet together in small groups to discuss things some more.
Ed. Note: Depending on the questions and their seriousness, maybe try doing something like a TV talkshow atmosphere to keep everyone listening and involved… but please… no Jerry. 🙂

Teen Study Bible

Version: NIV
Publisher: Zondervan

Full of study aids like the following: The Bible Says study guide that addresses controversial issues, scientific facts, and intellectual questions. Direct Line offers application for specific verses. Dear Sam is an advice column that answers questions most often asked by teens. Quizzers ask and answer interesting Bible trivia. Jericho Joe is a cartoon character offering a lighthearted touch in unexpected places. Great for the teen Christian interested in really learning on a deeper level.

The Message Remix

Version: The Message (Eugene Peterson)
Publisher: Navpress

God’s Word was meant to be read.

But more than that, it was meant to be understood. It was first written in the language of the people—of fishermen, shopkeepers, and carpenters. The Message gets back to that: You can read it and understand it.

In The Message Remix, there are new verse-numbered paragraphs that will help you study and find favorite passages. Or, you can just read it like a book and let the narrative impact you. After all, it is God’s story, with its heroes and villains, conflicts and resolutions. Either way, it’s God’s Word—the Truth—in a user-friendly form.

The Message REMIX Pause: The Daily Bib

The Message REMIX Pause: The Daily Bible for Students
By: Eugene H. Peterson
ISBN: 1576838439

Description: Life moves pretty fast. This one-year edition of The essage helps students pause and reflect—so they don’t miss the best part! Flexible plans help young people read through all of Scripture in one, two, or four years

* Thoughtful questions for each passage
* Size: 6″ x 8″
* 1856 pages, softcover from NavPress

The Word On The Street Bible

A translation of the Bible into the language of the city. Rob Lacey reworks the metaphors, situations, and speech patterns of the Bible for the modern, urban reader.

Taking the key texts of the Old and New Testament, Lacey employs the “MTV” dialect of today’s urban city to create a new look at what may be over-familiar stories. Through its modern style, this book acts as an introduction to the Bible for the uninitiated reader while giving a fresh perspective to the church community. A translation that will bring the timeless message of the Bible into the 21st century.

The Youth Bible

Version: NCV
Publisher: Group/Word

Includes a topical devotion guide, book introductions, maps, a plethora of well-written topical devotions from Genesis to Revelation, and a very brief dictionary/concordance. Great for a new Christian or someone looking for lots of application.

True Love Waits

Version: NIV
Publisher: Broadman & Holman

Based on the popular sexual abstinence campaign True Love Waits. Includes the Fingertip Counselor — an aphlabetical index of topics, Salt & Pepper Pages — colorful pages offering assistance in relationships, Virtual Reality — unforgettable stories, Straight Talk from Dr. Jay — answers to serious questions, Info Surfer — an icon-based computer-type search index, five simple reading plans, Cloud of Witnesses Page — a page to record the signatures of other Christians that stand with you in your walk with Jesus, and a True Love Waits Commitment Card — allowing the student to record his/her decision to remain sexual pure until a biblical marriage.

Turkey Bowl

In November, invite parents to play flag football against the youth group. After the game is over, parents provide chili, crackers, cheese and drinks for a time to warm up and fellowship. This is a great outreach to invite all your unsaved parents and teens to.

We have done this for the last six years straight and it is always a great time. Dress warm!

Valentine’s Day Dine Out

Have youth plan a Valentine’s Day Dine Out for their parents. Incorporate some of these ideas into the event: 1.) Decorate with red and white streamers and balloons. For placemat, cut 3 inch red construction paper hearts and glue them to the corners of white construction paper. 2.) Have kids cook and serve the meal. Pick an easy menu, such as spaghetti. It’s not only easy to prepare, it’s RED! 3.) Have group members prepare skits, songs, poems, or raps that affirm parents. 4.) Have kids each offer a goofy door prize for their parents, such as a hammer to dad who fixes things well, or Tinkertoys to a mom who likes to play. 5.) Ask group members to each write a “Top 10” things they appreciate about their parents. Have them give their parents the list.

Who Knows You Best?

Play a game similar to the “Newlywed Game” Only have the parents and the teenagers play. Do a round with both parents against the teen or the dad or mom individually against the teen. (Hint: it is harder with the dads). Have a show host, make a small set with some kind of theme music, and have brief intros about the other person (perhaps have youth profile written by parents and vice-versa).

Youth Dictionary

Think of the slang or faddish words your group members use. How many of those words do you know the meaning of? Open the lines of communication by compiling a Youth Dictionary with your group members. Have group members write their slang words. Then form the list to look like a dictionary by putting the words in alphabetical order and showing how to pronounce each one. Tell what part of speech each word is such as a noun, or an adjective, and have young people give their definition. The group will fill several pages in no time. Have volunteers type the Youth Dictionary, photocopy it and arrange it in booklet form. Distribute copies to parents and other church members. Adults may not change their vocabulary, but they’ll understand kids’ language better. Update the dictionary as needed. Use it as a discussion starter on understanding others.

Youth Walk Devotional Bible

Version: NIV
Publisher: Zondervan

Includes a reading plan, subject index, 260 daily devotions, short weekend devotions, book introductions, Hot Topic pages, and Wide World of the Bible, which gives Biblical information in a lighthearted manner. Great for any young Christian.