Things Youth Workers Do On Their Day Off


Supernatural Signposts for Spiritual Teens

(edited, 2014)

Spiritual Tree

I just got home from giving a presentation at a school Christian Union to about 35 mainly unchurched & non-believing 12-16 year-olds. We looked at New Year’s Resolutions and I encouraged them to take Jesus seriously in 2012.

I’m once again simply encouraged and a little amazed at just how spiritually open young people today are, and even at how much they recognize the basic need for spirituality in their lives. They may not call it that but after short thought experiments they really start to identify it.

Recently modern media and popular science has been pushing culture towards the spiritual as one of the basic needs for fulfillment in our lives along with exercise, healthy diet and a social life. Roman’s 1:19-20 tells us that humankind as a people recognize God and recognize spirituality simply from the natural world and circumstances around them.

I wonder if we work too hard sometimes trying to convince young people of the supernatural and the spiritual simply because we assume they are purely natural beings. Human beings as creatures are not purely natural; we are intentionally and intensely geared for multilateral, spiritual relationships with other personal beings. We are geared towards prayer, worship, meditation, deep purposes and hanging out with the transcendent.

Sometimes all we really need to do is point, name, and clarify whats already going on. Speak ‘God’ into a situation where He hasn’t been spoken before as Eugene Peterson would say. Perhaps rather than trying to get young people onto a spiritual journey, we simply need to put up the Biblical signposts to make sure they’re going in the right direction on the journey they are already on. God, after all, has been working long before they met us, and will be working long after we have any influence in their lives.