1. Teach them to pray. Then put them in a position where they have to (mission trips, evangelistic excursions, spiritual challenges, etc.)
2. Instead of another Bible lesson, tackle a tough, culturally relevant question (Is homosexuality a sin? How do you feel about the Netflix show "Thirteen Reasons Why", etc), get everyone's honest thougths and then take them to the Scriptures to unpack God's raw and relevant answers. Then let the conversations begin.
3. At the end of every lesson give them three challenges: 1) To do something specific that week to apply what they learned, 2) To share that truth with another Christian and 3) To use what they learned as a Gospel conversation starter with an unreached friend. Then, the next week (and this is the important part) ask teenagers to share how they took all three challenges specifically. Do that every week and teens will begin to know that Christianity is more than just hearing the truth, it's putting it into practice (James 1:22.)
4. Equip them what it means to live in dependence on the Holy Spirit and not by trying to earn God's approval through a legalistic checklist.
5. Take them out sharing the Gospel with complete strangers once a month. There's something about engaging people in evangelism face-to-face that enables teenagers to really wrestle through and own what they believe (Philemon 1:6.) Of course if you need training tools for equipping your teenagers to share the Good News in a clear and loving way check out our free faith-sharing mobile apps.
6. Use the Dare 2 Share formula for training: "Why? What? How? Now!" Give them a motivation to put into practice what they've learned (answers the question "why?") Give them the Biblical information (aka "theology") behind what you're calling them to do (answers the question "what?") Share with them practical ways to put what you've taught them into practice (answers the question "how?") Give them a way to do it right away ("Now!")
Motivation + information + application + activation = accelerated spiritual maturation.
7. Create a storytelling time in youth group every week where teenagers share stories (good, bad and ugly) of other teenagers they are seeking to reach with the hope of Jesus Christ. This kind of accountability will stretch their faith, keep them accountable and enable them to praise God for answered prayers!
These are seven simple and surprising ways to acclerate your teenagers' spiritual growth. What are some other ways to help teenagers accelerate in their spiritual maturity?