There are many truths we want teenagers to embrace and apply when they become Christians. If I could boil them all down to four they would all start with "Go". These are four areas we need to make sure every one of our Christian teenagers have down cold, not just intellectually, but in their hearts and lives.
With this in mind here are The Four Go's...
Theologically this area is called "Theology Proper." It is the study of the person of God, the attributes of God and the Trinity. How do we equip Christians to apply this truth? We challenge them to be godly. This is the application of what has been nicknamed the "communicable attributes" of God such as his love, mercy, justice, holiness, etc. These are attributes that we can apply and teach our teenagers to incarnate through the power of the Holy Spirit in their own lives.
"Christology" is the theological heading for this area. It covers the incarnation of Jesus (Him being 100% God and 100% human), his death on the cross for our sins and literal, physical resurrection from the dead. We teach teens to put this into practice by helping them to know they have a God who relates because "he was tempted in every way we are, yet without sin." This emboldens them to pray with confidence that Jesus is empathetic to our prayers for help. Additionally, his resurrection gives us confidence that we will be resurrected from the dead someday too!
The term for this is "Bibliology." It is the truth that the Bible was written by 40 men over the period of 1,500 years yet is without errors on every matter it touches because it was inspired (aka "breathed out") by God. Every book of the Bible retains the style of the human author but every word is straight from the heart of God to us. This enables our teenagers to have a rock solid foundation of unshakeable truth in a world of confusion and doubt. It gives them a love letter from their Heavenly Father to his children. It gives them a weapon that will tear down strongholds and advance his kingdom on earth. We must equip them to read it, meditate on it and apply it to their lives.
"Soteriology" is the nerd term for this area revolving around the study of salvation. This encompasses the whole story of human history (Creation, Fall, Redemption, Consummation) and is summed up in the GOSPEL acrostic Dare 2 Share uses to train teenagers to share their faith. The application? Simple! Inwardly the gospel gives teenagers confidence in their standing with God through the finished work of Christ on the cross. I mean, after all, "If Christ is for us, who can be against us?" It also helps them to understand the victory over sin that we can experience through depending on the resurrected Jesus to live through us on a moment by moment basis. Externally, it gives teenagers a cause, the very cause of Christ himself, to seek and save the lost by spreading the gospel message to those around them. By the way, if you need help with that part, Dare 2 Share can help. We literally have an app for that and do student conferences from coast to coast equipping teens to share their faith.
Hopefully these four "Go's" give you a simple grid to begin to train your teenagers with on a deeper level. For a more comprehensive list of theological truths our teens should know, live and apply, click here.