Last night a crowd of us went along to hear Rob Parsons talk about stopping a generation of young people being lost to the church.
He spoke about the four stages of faith for a child in a Christian home: Experienced faith (in the home), Affiliative faith (copying those around them); Searching faith (asking their own questions) and Owned faith (believing for themselves). It was a helpful process to try to map my three in this way.
I found his comments on the importance of church youth groups creating a sense of belonging (which is highly valued by teenagers) very helpful. As was his five big killers of teenage faith: Christian over-busyness, Christian cynicism, Christian hypocrisy, Christian judgementalism, Christian over-familiarity with the beauty of the gospel (apparently Christians are the big killers not Jesus' radical lifestyle demands).
But I guess the most timely was he thoughts on preparing them for disappointment; be that with others, themselves or with God. In essence, getting them ready for life in a broken world.
He summed up this helpful evening with one of his one liner's "Catch them doing something right!".