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Top Ten Ways Teenagers Want You to Connect with Them

Often when we share about Sticky Faith with groups, leaders catch on quickly to the vision for increasing intergenerational connections in the church. 

Sometimes we hear back from them, “I tried sharing this vision in my church, but adults have no idea how to connect with young people. How do I teach them?” This is a great question. 

I was reminded this week of the great work Search Institute has done in this area, for example through their Teen Voice research. When Search asked teenagers themselves what they need from adults, here was their top ten list:

1.     Look at us.

2.     Spend time talking with us.

3.     Listen. 

4.     Be dependable.

5.     Show appreciation for what we do. 

6.     Relax. 

7.     Show that you’re interested. 

8.     Laugh with us (and at yourself).

9.     Ask us to help you. 

10.  Challenge us.

Some of these suggestions require more time and depth of relationship, but many are simple launching points to get started. And the good news is, teenagers themselves said they want these things from adults. Here’s a quick video you can share with adults to encourage them to make first steps toward a teenager this week: 




Brad M. Griffin

Brad M. Griffin is the Associate Director of the Fuller Youth Institute, where he develops research-based training for youth workers and parents. A speaker, blogger, and volunteer youth pastor, Brad is also the coauthor of Sticky Faith ​and Deep Justice Journeys. A native Kentucky youth pastor, Brad now lives in Southern California with his wife Missy and their three children. more by Brad M. Griffin

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