AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE FOR EVERY TEEN AND PARENT WITH TEENSIDE
I think it’s important, from time to time, for us to make sure we recenter ourselves on our
purpose for youth ministry. Here’s what we view as our purpose for youth ministry (It’s the same
as our Collegeside’s Be1, Make1, Send1 statement…with a little Teenside tag at the end):
We desire to follow Jesus, to know His love and the power of His resurrection, to be guided by
His Spirit, to share Him with others, and to send disciples to the world. We desire to be the
means for God to put this vision directly into the hearts of every teen we come into contact with.
It’s my responsibility (and I hope yours as parents who partner with us in this ministry) to make
sure we are the means for God to put this vision in to the hearts of our teens. So, when
situations arise that may pull us away from our primary goal, it needs to be addressed.
I have talked with some parents individually, but I feel it’s important to make sure this is
addressed with every teen and parent that participates in our ministry.
Navigating the waters of relationships is incredibly difficult. I’m speaking for teens as well as
adults. We constantly find ourselves directed by the influences around us toward what we
should think and how we should act when it comes to relationships. Teens think about dating
way too soon! Teens feel pressured to “date” way before they are ready to navigate those
waters! You can’t walk the halls of school without seeing “PDA (Public Displays of Affection)” all
over the place! The world’s view of relationships and sexuality are on constant display in our
schools, on our televisions, in our music, and on our phones (or computers…however you
choose to go online). God’s view of relationships and sexuality is clear, but rarely shared, in our
world today. Our Relationship with the Lord should stand in front of any other relationship. Our
relationships with each other should be relationships that push us to stronger and deeper
relationships with the Lord.
We desire to follow Jesus, to know His love and the power of His resurrection, to be guided by
His Spirit, to share Him with others, and to send disciples to the world. We desire to be the
means for God to put this vision directly into the hearts of every teen we come into contact with.
Our primary objective at Teenside is to be the means for our teens for become disciples of
Christ. When the pursuit of relationships clouds that objective, we have to address it.
We are planning to do that in several ways. (Please read these and share them with your teen)
– Please make sure you are talking about this in your home. Know your teen. Ask them
questions. Monitor their internet usage, text messages, friendships, and social media. This isn’t
an invasion of their privacy. They are your children. My prayer is that God’s view of relationships
and sexuality is first taught in your home.
– We need to have a healthy understanding of what our time at Teenside is for. We are there to
grow in our faith, to learn about and love the Lord, and to build Christ-centered relationships
with each other. This takes work on all of our parts. One way we are going to make sure we stay
on mission is by enforcing strict boundaries. That means we are asking for there to be no PDA
(Public Displays of Affection) of any kind at Teenside, in classes, or at any location where a
Teenside event is taking place. (This is a broad sweeping statement. It involves hand holding,

arms around each other, kissing, hanging on each other, playing with each other’s hair, sitting
on laps, and any other action that would be seen as PDA). Please understand that any action
that takes place in the classroom (or anywhere else we are together) only distracts from our
objective of growing closer to the Lord and building Christ-Like relationships with each other. If
this becomes a problem, we will talk with the teens and their parents.
Teens, if you have any questions, please feel free to call me or email me. I am always available
to talk. If you see something that I need to be aware of, please let me know. If you need to talk
to someone about the struggles you are having, we would love to be there for you! If, for any
reasons, you feel like there is more we could do to make your experience at Teenside stronger,
please bring your suggestions to the table. But remember, when you share a frustration or
suggestion, my hope is that you will also come ready to be a leader and example as we push to
end those frustrations or bring those suggestions to light. If you are reading this, I NEED YOU
IN THIS MINISTRY! You bring a uniqueness and spirit to Teenside that no-one else can bring.
God put you here for a reason!
Parents, if you have any questions, please feel free to call me or email me. I am always
available to talk. We are a group of imperfect people trying to work together to bring Christ to
the forefront. We will never get everything exactly right, but we will be much stronger if we work
together and support each other. I will be open in my communication with you. If you have a
concern, please bring it to me, but my hope is that, with your concerns, you also bring a
willingness to partner with us in strengthening the experience and environment for the growth of
our children. If you are reading this, I NEED YOUR HELP! Please pray about how you can
partner with us in this ministry.
I couldn’t imagine growing up in the world our teens are growing up in. It scares me. I fear for
their hearts and their souls. That’s why I spend so much time searching for ways to point our
teens toward lives that are constantly directed toward Christ. I pray that Teenside will be a
ministry full of leaders who will change the world they live in.
“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living
sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” -Romans 12:1
“And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and
honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent
and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—
everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.” –
Philippians 4:8-9
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your
ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” -Proverbs 3:5-6
I’m thankful everyday that I have the opportunity to work with you all. Thank you for partnering
with us! I love you all! -Matt