Ever have a conversation with your teen that went something like this:
You: “How was your day/trip/game/winter retreat?”
Your Teen: “Fine”
This is very common! You know there is more under the surface, notable stories and experiences that are in their head, but how do you pull them out?! Well, specific questions can help for one and I would encourage you to be prayerfully persistent. Don’t give up! Ask follow-up questions and show interest in what they are excited to talk about. Along these lines, after our Winter Retreat here are five questions I would encourage you to ask your students:
1. What was the most memorable moment of Winter Retreat? Why did it stick out to you?
Don’t settle for “I don’t know.” Be persistent! Ask about what was funny. Ask who they hung around with for the weekend. What will they remember in 5 years?
2. What was something you learned? What was a verse/truth that was taught that you thought was important?
You might have to press here a little bit. Think outside the box! We have mandatory devotions every morning on our retreats, ask them how that time went? Ask them if they learned anything from the readings. Ask if they will show you their Retreat Booklet so you can see some of what they learned/read over the weekend.
3. What was something you learned about God that you thought was encouraging?
Everything is about God! Hopefully, our teens are constantly having their understanding of God clarified and deepened.
4. How did the discussion with your small group go? Did anyone share something in small group time that stuck out to you?
Every student broke up into small group discussion time at least three times throughout the weekend, sometimes for as long as an hour! Ask how that discussion went? Ask them how their leaders did in leading the discussion.
5. What is something in your life that you think God wants you to change? How can I help?
Parenting shouldn’t be an “us versus them” deal. It should be an “us versus sin” deal or an “us pursuing God” kind of thing. Seek to partner with your teens to help them better follow Jesus!
Thank you for taking the time to read this! SURGE Student Ministries exists to ignite students on fire for Jesus and equip them to be missional disciples. We can only do this in partnership with parents.