“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10

Summertime is a crazy time. I know in our home we anticipate sleeping in and the idea of days of boredom seem like the sight of storm clouds forming over the prairie that will provide rest for a weary land! But I am nearly laughing out loud as I write this, because who are we kidding??!! Summer is at least as busy as the school year, particularly with teenagers. I was just looking at the upcoming weeks on the calendar with my kids and jokingly said, “We need to go back to school to slow down.”

Even as crazy as summer can be, something that Brian and I feel is important for our teenagers to do is work and serve. Now don’t get me wrong we want them to rest and play and have lots of time with family and friends. They attend sports camps, do summer reading, attend church camp and do chores around the house. But work is good for the soul. It is good for a young man or young lady to learn responsibility by honoring commitments and showing up on time. It is a great life lesson for them to have some of their own money so that they will learn to appreciate the effort it took to earn and gives them the opportunity to learn the value of tithing, budgeting, saving and enjoying your hard earned money.

Something that we value as well is for our kids to realize that they have callings and purposes established by God for them to accomplish now. Even though they are 15 or 17, they have something to give to someone else. The Father can use them to impact someone else with the love and knowledge of Christ. I love to see teenagers give of themselves and allow the Lord to use them for His good.

Here are some examples:

1) I met with a group of 10 high school students in a focus group to get their input on character lessons we will present to their peers. They shared openly about difficult topics to be a blessing to others.

2) Many church groups will take their youth on mission trips this year to physically serve others in the name of Jesus.

3) Our teens can use gifts and talents they have and incorporate their faith to mentor and develop children younger than them. Maybe you could teach someone younger than you to play basketball or wrestle and teach them your favorite scripture? Young ladies who enjoy children can work in their church nursery or babysit for a single mom and sing praise songs over that sweet baby.

4) Mow an elderly neighbor’s yard and leave them a note saying it was a blessing from the Father.

Our young people are called to greatness which always begins with service. It will soften things in them and mold them into adults focused on Kingdom work which often times is honest, hard work.

What are your teenagers doing this summer? We would love your ideas.

My love,

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