Forget the Peeps: 4 Things to Buy Your Teen for Easter

As a student ministry staff, we talk to our parents a lot about “gathering the firewood.” What we mean by this is that we are super intentional about making sure we are partnering with parents in echoing the same spiritual truths and principles to their children as they are. This also means that we are encouraging our parents to not just simply force Christianity down their kids’ throats, but to be very intentional about surrounding their children with things that will stir their affections for Christ. We know that the Holy Spirit opens the eyes of a person to see the beauty of Christ and that salvation in Him sets off this flame, but that doesn’t mean we don’t everything we can to gather the firewood.

Hopefully, parents are doing this already by modeling an exciting and growing relationship with Jesus Christ, and are members of a healthy, Christ-centered church and youth ministry filled with leaders who are modeling the same. In addition to these things, we as parents and leaders want to know if there is anything else we can do besides praying, modeling, and being a part of a healthy church.

When I was a student, I can remember my mom and dad taking every opportunity to stir my affections for Christ. On Christmas and Easter, they always asked me if they could buy me anything in addition to the normal stuff. Even if I was hesitant to answer, they tried everything they could to fill the Easter basket with things that helped me open my eyes and heart a little wider to the glorious King.

Here are 4 things I recommend buying your teenager this Easter:

1) A new Bible! Way too many of our teenagers still have their Bible from the 4th grade with cartoon Bible characters on the cover. There are many great Bibles out there – and especially ones for teenagers that have helpful commentary explaining what the passages actually mean. What’s worse than students carrying around Bibles that they are too old for? Well, Bibles that they don’t read at all. Buy them a Bible they are excited to have; invest in the best!

My recommendation: The ESV Student Study Bible

2) Worship Music. No matter what kind of music your teenager likes to listen to, there are plenty of incredible Christian musicians out there. If there was a day when Christian music was cheesy, it is certainly not today. From Christ rap (Lecrae), to live worship music (Passion), spend the money on some music that will fill your child’s mind and heart with the things of God, and help them to “set their minds on the things of the spirit not the things of the flesh” (Rom. 8:5).

My recommendation: Passion: Even So Come

3) A Devotional Book. It may not be that our children are at the point where they are ready to sit down and devour every chapter of Romans in the Greek, but the right devotional book filled with Scripture can point them back to the Bible and increase their hunger for it. Even if it’s just 15 minutes before going to bed, you are helping them get in the habit and discipline of having time alone with God, and this can lead into them owning their own desire for it.

My recommendation: Rooted Resources has a variety of suggestions for books your teenager will actually read (and learn from). For devotionals, memoirs, and more, check it!

4) $$$$. Yep, that’s right: give them money. Give money that is specifically allocated for a summer camp through the youth ministry, a mission trip overseas, or even a Christian conference or concert. This continues to make the strong point that you are serious about their joy in Christ, and are forever committed to it. Camps, conferences, and concerts have never been the ultimate answer, but when the right ones come along, they are worth every penny if they help stir a deeper relationship between your children and our Savior.

My recommendation: Go ahead and pay for the upcoming summer camp in your student ministry. Or, if you can plan a family mission trip for the summer, you could let the family know the plans this Easter.

John is the Pastor at Jackson Way Baptist Church in Huntsville, Alabama. John is a candidate for a Masters in Divinity at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. John has been serving in ministry for the last 13 years as a Student Pastor. John's heart is to preach and communicate the Gospel to the world by serving the church and making disciples. John's writings have been published on The Gospel Coalition website, and The Vision Room website.

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