Known as a time of self-questioning and rapid physical development, the teenage years are anything but ordinary. With many churches losing young people along all denominational lines--and a culture that prizes entertainment over content--leading teens back there is no easy task. It can be done. Here's a wonderful path to make Jesus appealing to teens.

GET THE BASICS RIGHT

Determine your potential audience. Figure out if they believe in God at all. In terms of what direction to take and how to reach them, that can make all the difference.

Get to know your audience on a non-religious level, as well as a religious one. Show you care about young peoples' hopes, fears and dreams. Context is everything, especially when it's time to present the teachings of Jesus.

Present your testimony of how Jesus Christ transformed your life, and how it relates to his biography as it's chronicled in the New Testament. Prepare a clear, coherent lesson plan to tie all these items together, so you can answer questions appropriately--teens place a premium on personal experience.

LAY OUT YOUR MESSAGE

Explain in clear, simple terms how Jesus's life and message are relevant to your audience's concerns. Ask direct questions to inspire discussions about the moral concepts you want to cover.

Compare Christianity's view of Jesus with other religions, so teens see how it squares with the Bible's description. Review all facets of Jesus's personality as shown in the BIble, such as his anger to drive the moneychangers out of the temple.

Plan activities that encourage teenagers to see Jesus as a real, ongoing presence in their lives--such as knocking on shut-in residents' doors, or talking with homeless people--as part of a local outreach effort.