Youth ministry to pregnant teenagers

The Youth Specialties blog had a fascinating post recently about what to do when one of the kids in your youth group gets pregnant. I have to admit that the post illuminated an entirely new aspect of youth ministry to me. I’d never really thought about the impact that one student’s situation could have on the entire group:

A teenage pregnancy doesn’t reflect the state of a teenager’s spirituality. Faithful, Jesus-following teenagers can still make choices that result in this decision. Kids that come to youth group every week may not have any faith commitment at all, and it’s often a revelation and reminder to parents, pastors, leaders and other students alike, that simply being part of a youth ministry isn’t always a measure of student’s behavior, beliefs or values. Throughout adolescence, it’s not uncommon for choices around faith and sexuality to be completely compartmentalized for teenagers and, depending on their cognitive awareness, they may not see any disconnect at all.

Tip: We might see a correlation between a teenager’s faith journey and their choices and behavior. Realistically, often the choices that lead to teenage pregnancy are made without much forethought. In turn, we need to be realistic in our expectations of students being able to process their decisions.

Were you ever in a youth group with a teenage mother? Were you ever a teenage mother in a youth group? How would you handle the situation if you were a youth leader?

7 Responses to “Youth ministry to pregnant teenagers”


    As a youth leader I believe that we have to love the individual (and baby) to life. Decisions are made everyday, by young and ‘old’ people, that may be life altering. However, the mistake would be to not move forward and assist BOTH people to heal and continue with life. Ultimately, GOD knows what has happened and we must not ‘throw the stones’, but get directions from him about how to condemn not.

  • Laura Harrell says:

    I would love to speak with any youth leaders who have been down this road. This is a situation that has just presented itself in our ministry and it will be a first for me. My email is Thanks!

  • Teenage Mom says:

    I feel the need to add to this conversation. I am in fact, or was, a teenage mother. I was 16 when I fell pregnant with my first child, it was my first time with my b,f and I was also on the pill. So it wasnt exactly a silly mistake of mine to a certain degree.

    I got pregnant. I decided to keep the baby as I could not bring myself to terminate life. I raised my child alone, It was extremely difficult at first and being so young, I could no longer live the life of a normal teenager anymore. That was tough.

    Being a single mother, and unable to go out with your friends somehow managed to drain my confidence. So as my baby grew, I took up my studies again from home.

    I achieved a number of various different certificates in topics that I never thought I was capable of.

    This giving me the confidence to take my studies further.

    I eventually did a degree in Law. (At a University)

    My son is 15 now and when I look back I can say that I made the right decisions. Each and everyone of us are on our own paths in life. I believe that good judgment comes from experience, and most experience comes from bad judgment.

    Maybe I was one of the lucky ones, who knows? But I know that I am very strong willed.

    Just be there for the teenage girls as a shoulder to cry on, or someone to help out now and again when it starts to get tough.

    Thankyou for reading

  • Molly says:

    I am actually trying to find a way to reach out to teen parents in our community. I am wondering since they probably cant attend all youth events, and do have a different lifestyle than the average teen, should we try having them with the youth on “normal” nights when child care is provided? And having their own “home group” where they could grow closer knit, for support and accountability? Or should they attend the same home group as their grade level? If anyone has any thoughts or has done an outreach to teen parents, please contact me with any information. Thank you for the post.

  • Sonarie says:

    I am 17 years old, turn 18 in 17 days. I got pregnant about 8 weeks ago. I was active in my church and teaching kids and teens infact. what i did was a huge mistake but i will not blame it on my child. Right now im scared and discomforted. I dont have many friends, my boyfriend, the father of the child, is very controlling and he says when i turn 18 he wants me to move in with him. Its very scary im just a kid myself. i talked with my pastor he removed all my responsibilities and he wants me to get married he said its the right thing to do in the bible. i know i sinned incredably. i just dont know what to do in my life. if any one could help me.? i know god has a plan for me and for this baby.i just cant figure it out. my email is itd be appreciated.

    • Tracy Wilson says:

      Just wanted to share with you that my brother & his girlfriend became pregnant as teens & thought the right thing to do was “get married.” It wasn’t long before the marriage fell apart & they now have 2 daughters who suffer the consequences of their divorce. The girls hurt far beyond the hurt & disappointment their parents experienced. PRAY, pray, pray, I believe the Lord will lead you in this decision.
      To encourage you, read the letter God has written to you & your baby in Psalm 139. There are NO mistakes & God has a plan & purpose for your baby’s life & for yours! I’d love to hear back from you, I will keep you in prayer. I’m a youth leader meeting with a teen this morning & I have a feeling she is going to tell me she is pregnant. I was searching for advice & came across your post. Stay strong in the Lord! God bless you & your baby!

  • Barbara says:

    Dear Sonarie,
    You are making the right choice for you and your baby. Life is always the best option. Jesus still loves you. Jesus still wants you to rest in His arms. Jesus still wants to be your Savior, Counselor, and Friend.
    Have you considered adoption? I know how difficult it might sound, but you would be giving your baby a chance at a life that you want to provide, but can’t right now. You would be giving yourself a chance to continue being a child…
    What ever your decision, you are right, God does have a plan for you. God has a plan for your amazing child. He loves you, and He forgives you. Pray, pray, pray… the truth will be revealed to you!