by Lori Richey, former youth director
As children reach high school and begin to think seriously about next steps in their lives, parents are in a unique position to provide support and encouragement. One of the most powerful things parents can do in this time, or even later on, is to be willing to share about their own journey – of faith, of calling, and of career.
Young people are interested in know what others have experienced, even if they don’t always act like it. [Read more about why you should share your personal experiences with your son or daughter.]
These questions can help you reflect on your experiences and share them with your teen or young adult. Remember, these are questions aimed at you as the parent, to help you reflect on your own life.
Your Own Experiences of Faith
- What are your own childhood memories of attending church or Sunday School, if any?
- Who are the people that stand out as having made an impact on your relationship with God?
- Think about a moment in life when you were anxious or afraid. Did God feel near or distant in those moments? Can you name what was helpful in navigating that challenging time?
- Can you identify stories or passages in the Bible that have been important in your faith journey? What about that story or verse draws you in, brings you comfort, or excites you?
- Have there been moments where you questioned your faith, or felt distance from your faith community? How did you work through those periods? What helped?
- Are there specific ways that a pastor has helped you grow or been part of your faith life?
- What advice would you share with your children about the importance of tending to and growing their relationship with God throughout their life?
Your Own Experiences of Calling
- What motivates or inspires you?
- Are there things that you do that seem easy or natural?
- What are one or two things you do that you always get positive feedback on?
- Thinking about the above answers, in what ways do you act in the world that allows you to use or share these qualities?
- Reflect on the things you do in life that bring you the most joy. How might those things be a reflection of who God is calling you to be, or how God is calling you to live?
- Has the work you have done in life allowed you to feel in tune with God’s call? Why or why not?
Your Own Experiences of Career
- When you were a child, what career did you think might be for you? How does what you do now mesh with that vision?
- How did you land your first adult job? What did you like and what did you not like about what you were doing?
- As you think about the variety of work you have done in your life, think about how one might have progressed to the next. Were those transitions easy or challenging?
- When you felt “stuck” at work, who or what helped you move through that obstacle?
- Did you have a dynamic career change in life? What inspired the shift in work, and how did you feel about the change afterward?
- What would you name as a highlight of your work to this point in life? Why does that moment stand out for you?
- Have you had a job that you felt most allowed you to fulfill the role that God has called you to in the world?
- What advice would you share with your children as they explore how they will use their specific gifts and talents in the workforce?