I turned 40 this year, and I have been spending a lot of time lately reflecting on how much youth ministry has changed since I was in high school. I first came to know God at a youth group when I was in grade nine, and I look back so fondly on my experience with the church when I was in high school.
I have been taking extra time lately to reflect on the realities of being a teenager (and young adult) today. Things are not the same as they were 25 years ago. There is an incredible amount of pressure put on teenagers today, not just academically at school but especially socially. Social media has completely transformed the way that people communicate, and with that comes a whole set of rules and conditions that youth feel like they need to follow to fit in and stay current. I have seen and know an incredible amount of young people who are dealing with anxiety and also depression as all of these pressures continue to pile up.
Please be praying for our youth, and for those of us who feel called to work alongside them. I can see the need for Jesus more than ever in today’s world. the realities, busyness, and social pressures that teenagers are facing is a very real thing and I am so glad that God continues to call me to try and be a friend, mentor, coach, listener, and pastor as they do their best to make it through these tough years.