The following is an interview between one of our Life Teen Staff members and the mom of a teen who shares her unique perspective on the impact that Life Teen has had on her daughter and on their family.
Thanks again for being willing to share some of your experiences of Life Teen with us! Can you please answer the following questions in a couple of sentences or a short paragraph?
1. How did you first come to know what Life Teen is and participate in what we do?
My daughter, Michelle, was involved with the Edge program at St. Mary Magdalene which is Life Teen’s middle school youth ministry program. She has attended Camp Hidden Lake and four different Life Teen retreats. She became a warrior for Jesus. I knew that she was growing in her faith and truly enjoying herself but didn’t know really what Life Teen was all about until I was asked to chaperone Camp Hidden Lake in Georgia. Through this journey, I was put on Life Teen e-mails, etc. As I read them, I learned more about everything they do and more about my own faith.
2. How have you seen Life Teen affect Michele’s faith journey?
Even though we have always brought our children to Mass, made sure they made all their sacraments and attended religious education, it was when Michelle became involved in Edge that we saw a significant difference in her. She started to have a relationship with Jesus and was not just going through the motions. She begs to go to Adoration. She convinced her dad and I to take her to her first Christian concert, the Newsboys. She told me, “Mom, how can you sing praises without your hands in the air? If you raise your hands, you feel Jesus coming down through your arms.” As she shared her experiences, it encouraged us to delve further into our faith and realize we didn’t have the relationship with Jesus that we should either.
3. How has your participation in Life Teen as a parent, chaperone, and Core Member affected your own faith journey?
It has really made me put a lot of thought into my relationship with Jesus and if I am living the life He intends me to. When I chaperoned camp, I was amazed at the spiritual dedication to God the teens had. It warmed my heart to see young teens with that kind of commitment to their faith. It was inspiring,
4. Why do you serve on your parish’s Core Team? Why does that type of ministry matter to you?
I serve on the core team because I feel this is part of the new journey God is calling me to and I want to help teens and children in any way I can. Kids these days are living in a society where they are made to feel insecure. Suicide rates are increasing and there is no reason for it. If these children could just see their worth and how much they are loved by Jesus and those around them, we could save them.
5. How do you see Life Teen as a means of building the Kingdom of God?
I’ve seen the radical changes this program makes in these kids first hand. The majority of teens are leaving the Church by the time they graduate school. With this program, we can change that. It keeps these teens engaged and gives them the information they need to defend their faith against those that tear it down instead of just leaving. The more we keep in the Church following Jesus, the bigger God’s Kingdom gets.
6. Why do you believe in what Life Teen is doing to reach teens and lead them to Christ?
As I have said before, I have seen it first hand. Not just in my own child, but in the teens at camp from all the different parishes. I was in complete awe at the amount of faith and devotion these teens showed that are following the Life Teen model.
If you, like Lynette, have seen the impact that Life Teen has had on your own child or on teens in your parish please consider joining us in our efforts to continue to lead teens closer to Christ!