Heart-to-Heart2 min read

The hearts of young people hurt. Reports abound about stress and anxiety levels for youth. The fallout from COVID, news of gun violence, and the pathological impact of “life online” mounts.

Parents, grandparents, pastors, and congregational leaders, please find time this summer to have a heart-to-heart conversation with a young person you love. Go for ice cream. Take a hike. Attend a ballgame. Sit by the lake.

And talk.


Talk about Jesus’ love. Share how He comes to us in our weakness and failures. We do not need to prove ourselves to Him or justify our existence before Him like we feel pressured to do before others. Explain about the power and protection He showers upon us. Even though it can all sound so bad “out there,” remind them that He is right here.

Confirm your commitment. Young people can feel very alone and isolated. Listen to them. Have a conversation about what you can do to provide support. What gaps can you fill? Are there regularly scheduled times you need to be together? Is there space and trust you need to provide? Promise regular prayer support.

Expand hope. Dream together. What gifts and abilities does the young person have? Where can he or she blossom and flourish? Discuss opportunities for a life of service for Jesus, His Kingdom, and a world that badly needs it. Read a book together. Visit a museum. Take a trip to Concordia University.

Celebrate joyfulness. Laugh. Look at the clouds. Tell funny stories. Look at family pictures. Read Psalms like Psalm 145:3–4:

“Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable. One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts.”

The young people in our communities, our congregations, and our homes need the joyfulness, hope, and commitment of the adults in their lives. They need the love of Jesus. If you ache for more young people in the Church, connect with them this summer. Find time. Make time. Spend time.

And talk.


Photo © Motortion/iStock

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About the Author

Rev. David A. Davis serves as President of the Michigan District, LCMS.

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Craig Britton - June 1, 2023

Thanks President Davis. Indeed, invest the time. At place the grand return in the lap of the Savior.