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By Pastor Don Nagy

So often we feel like we don't have enough time to really invest in young people. But with a little thought, and some creative intentionality, you may find that there are many easy ways to connect with teens even when you have little or no time!

Here is a list that a good friend (Dr. Rev. Jeff Crosby) of mine created (and I added to) to help youth leaders better connect with their youth. Feel free to add your own ideas!


If you have "no extra time to invest in teens":

  • Sit with youth at church or youth group
  • Take youth on errands with you
  • Give them something, a book, a CD, a video
  • Greet them by name and with an appropriate high five or hug
  • Ask them to help you with a project
  • Ship them a gift through the internet
  • Have them over for a meal
  • Compliment them in front of someone
  • Ask them to pray for you
  • Ask them if you can pray for them on the spot
  • Sponsor them for a trip or camp


If you have 15 minutes a week to invest:

  • Write a note of encouragement
  • Send an email, text, or Facebook message
  • Call them on the phone or via Facetime
  • Send them a bible verse via text
  • Drive a teen home from an event
  • Initiate a conversation right after a meeting
  • Brag to their parents about them
  • Set up a 15 minute Zoom call


If you have 30 minutes a week to invest:

  • Go to the first 30 minutes of their game
  • Meet for accountability and prayer
  • Visit them at work
  • Do a bible study with them via Zoom or in person
  • Meet them for a meal


If you have 1-2 hours a week to invest:

  • Play a game with them
  • Go to one of their events
  • Take their family out to dinner
  • Help them with homework
  • Meet at the mall
  • Play video games
  • Go on a visitation together
  • Take a gift to someone in need
  • Do an activity together (sport, hobby, game)
  • Talk about a video that you each can watch from home first
  • Discuss a book you both read


If you have 4 hours a week to invest:

  • Go on a hike
  • Attend a movie or ballgame
  • Make a video together
  • Volunteer together
  • Attend a concert
  • Teach them a new skill
  • Clean or organize something
  • Paint or build something (for yourself/them/church/neighbor)


It doesn't take as much time to connect with another student as you might think. What it truly takes is intentionality and prayer. Try some of these ideas out this week! You and your students will be blessed!



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2206 N. Main St.  #276

Wheaton, IL 60187