See how #HOPEABOUNDS around the world. Click Here >>

×

Call Us : +1 800 876-9880 (M-F 8am-5pm CST)

For teens, life is full of struggles—and each week, devotionals from five14 tackle those struggles head-on. The Monday meditations address everything from the hardships and drama in their lives to finding spiritual strength and speaking the truth in love.

Devotion writers Jessica Bordeleau, Annie Hutchison, and Pastor Todd Liefer offered to share some insights on their writing process. Each author devotes significant time to ministry, aside from this task. To give you a glimpse of five14's devotions, we have included brief devotional excerpts after the questions and answers.

Question: How do you decide on devotion topics and the way you express your thoughts?

Liefer: "Sometimes, after serving with youth in my congregation, some teen-related issue will be weighing on my heart. So, in a devotion I'll take that real-life issue and share what God says about it. At other times, a great story or verse from the Bible comes to mind, and I think this is too great not to share. Youth have to know about this!"

Bordeleau: "When writing devotions, I pray God would give me insight into the struggles teens face and the ways I can encourage them in God's Word. It's my goal to clearly communicate the Gospel of Christ in a way that resonates with teens. I want them to know our Heavenly Father longs to help them through the difficulties of teenage life and use them right now, right where they are."

Excerpt: "Are you a snooze button hitter? I confess that I am. Recently, I had the opportunity to sleep in, but I set my alarm for my regular time, thinking I would get up and get an early start to the day. But did I get up? No. ... Our struggle with sin in this life is much like this sleepy struggle. It's a battle! We have been saved (justification) through the saving work of Jesus, and we receive the gift of faith He offers, but we are still battling with our "old nature" (sinful self) that creeps up on a daily basis" —from "Sleepy Sanctification."

Question: Considering the small amount of space you have to work with, what are the most important things you try to include?

Hutchison: "The audience we're going for doesn't want a long, complicated devotion. This is supposed to be a shorter, to-the-point version. I try to type it out like I'm talking to someone—in easy, casual language—so the message doesn't get lost. The most important thing I try to include is a message of Jesus' acceptance. It comes in many forms, but it is what people need to know—that they're accepted even with their flaws."

Liefer: "There definitely isn't room for fluff! The key is to connect quickly with teens—right from the opening sentence. Then, each devotion leads teens into a story, character, or verse from the Bible. By the end of the devotion, the most important thing to communicate is that Christ has victory over sin and death—a victory that wins us forgiveness and certain hope."

Excerpt: "When you feel like your efforts to share the love of Christ are useless, remember the soldiers at the cross. The timing seemed to be delayed; the disciples may never have even known that those at the foot of the cross finally believed, but that doesn't matter. All that matters is the soldiers eventually did believe. God doesn't promise we will see the impact of our witness; He just calls us to be faithful and give it"—from "Delayed Timing."

Question: What do the most effective devotions offer their readers?

Bordeleau: "The five14 program offers teens spiritual support and encouragement as they reach out to their peers with the love of Christ. Teens face all kinds of hardships and struggles. They feel incredible amounts of stress and pressure from their peers, teachers, coaches, employers, families, and even their own mirrors. They need Christian mentors to support them and walk alongside them on their journey of faith."

Liefer: "The most effective devotionals don't ignore the real-life, messy world our youth live in. When you bring up real issues, you can offer Christ's love as a real solution."

Hutchison: "I think a great devotion is crazy-powerful. It can give someone the drive to make changes in their life that will strengthen their relationship with God. One day at a time, people are rejuvenated to live more like Jesus would want them to."

Excerpt: "When I'm feeling Satan's presence creeping into my life, I say, "Get behind me, Satan!" I know it might sound a little weird, but it helps! ... The Gospel gives us unwavering confidence to know that any frightful, damning accusation Satan throws our way is repulsed by the verdict secured by Jesus' body and shed blood given to each of us by His authoritative Word and Sacraments. It is because of Jesus we have the ultimate victory over Satan—both now and through eternity"—from: "Get behind Me, Satan!"

Five14 at www.lhm.org/five14 is more than devotions. The website features videos of teens giving faith-witnessing pointers—"Tips for Sharing," personal stories, and music clips. There you'll read what five14 is all about (check out Matthew 5:14 for the rationale), meet the five14 team, find promo materials, watch the five-part video series that trains teens to share Christ, and browse all the cool merchandise that's available.

Change Their World. Change Yours. This changes everything.

Your browser is out-of-date!

You may need to update your browser to view LHM.org correctly.
Your current browser is no longer considered secure, and it is recommended that you upgrade. If you are running Windows XP or Vista, you may consider downloading Firefox or Opera for continued support. For questions, email us at lh_min@lhm.orgUpdate my browser now

×