After [only] three years…
The biggest project I have ever attempted in my almost 11 years on Young Life staff is finally complete! Most of the writing I have done for YoungLives (Young Life’s ministry for teen moms) so far has been directed at staff and volunteers. Building a YoungLives Ministry, Mentor Training, training videos, staff website articles, blog posts… it was all for training purposes. But the more training materials I worked on, the more I kept coming back to this essential question – How do we help teen moms apply their faith in the midst of things like single parenthood, poverty, trauma, low reading levels, and all of the busy-ness of balancing school, work, and motherhood?
And I wasn’t the only one asking the question. Our recent survey of YoungLives staff and volunteers showed that although 85% of the teen moms in YoungLives have made the decision to follow Jesus, many mentors struggle with knowing how to initiate meaningful conversations about faith with moms. And meanwhile, local staff were constantly trying to balance doing “discipleship” with teaching the everyday “life skills” needed to survive as a young mom and student.
Made New was born out of a desire to create a teen mom-specific Bible study that addressed both traditional discipleship and also life skills from a Gospel perspective. Learning how to handle money, relationships, conflict, sexuality, church participation, getting a job, disciplining your kids, anger, parenting, forgiveness, love, brokenness… God’s Word has wisdom on all of it! So why not include it all in our Bible studies?
As I was working on writing this book, I found so many perfect Bible stories that both validate the worth of teen moms and also speak directly to their experiences. (Think Mary the mother of Jesus, the woman at the well, the Samaritan man, Rahab…) The Bible is full of the stories of people who made both good and bad decisions, faced rejection, struggled with temptation, had the odds stacked against them, dealt with deep loss, and on and on. I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised that I found so many relevant Bible stories. The Bible is still an incredibly relevant Book, even for teenage moms in the 21st century!
And now finally, after years of researching, writing, reading, checking, writing some more, proofreading, testing, more proofreading, fixing links, and designing… the book and her journal companion are ready to meet the world!
Made New: Faith Conversations for Teen Moms: Written especially for teen moms who have little interest in just getting head knowledge but a strong need for figuring out everyday essentials in light of their new faith, this guide covers everything from relating to their parents to parenting their own children from a Gospel perspective. Over thirty lessons guide teen moms towards a new way of thinking, using object lessons, engaging Bible study questions, video illustrations, journal questions, and follow-up activities
Made New: My Journal: These journals are packed with ways for teen moms and their mentors to apply the lessons during one-on-one time or on their own – memory verses, journal prompts, follow-up activities, coloring pages, and further Bible study.
Many of you personally supported me through your prayer, financial support, and encouragement along the way. Your love and support made this huge project possible! THANK YOU!!! I am so excited to finally be able to offer this resource to YoungLives staff, volunteers, and especially to teen moms and their children.
Want to know about more about YoungLives? Check out our website for a short video about us and to see if there is a ministry near you!