I started typing into Google “how many teen” and the top result was “how many teens have depression.” That’s pretty rough. According to Pew Research, “In 2017, 13% of U.S. teens ages 12 to 17 (or 3.2 million) said they had experienced at least one major depressive episode in the past year, up from 8% (or 2 million) in 2007.”1 And that’s before the pandemic! That’s a lot of kids that need help.
Teenagers today face plenty of struggles with school, peer pressure and self-confidence. With a thousand other opinions coming at them daily (thank you, internet) teens need guidance. This is such an important demographic to be reached.
So, what can you do about it? Take them on a retreat through your church. Whether they are members of your congregation or not. Host a retreat for your current youth and encourage them all to bring a friend. Retreats are the ideal place to help students because it is a fun, safe, neutral environment where they can learn and be themselves without outside factors butting in.
Those who don’t attend church regularly can often find joining in something like this intimidating. Retreat centers provide tons of fun, so teens won’t feel like they are being pressured into something. They are going to be enjoying themselves so much, they will forget the hesitation they had. Then as they relax, they will begin to open up and give themselves over to the lord.
In addition to teaching them about strength in Christ at worship, use activities to build their confidence in other areas. Many retreat centers offer team building options. These are great to help students overcome fear, learn to work together, and build confidence in themselves. Plus, it usually leads to new and deeper friendships.
Need a theme for that retreat? Check out our numerous blogs about retreat themes.
Psalm 120:1 In my distress I called to the LORD, and he answered me.
1Pew Research Center. A growing number of American teenagers – particularly girls – are facing depression. July 12, 2019. https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/07/12/a-growing-number-of-american-teenagers-particularly-girls-are-facing-depression/