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Local church launches "Teen Talks" to protect young people from violence

Posted at 7:23 AM, Jan 05, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-05 07:23:22-05

INDIANAPOLIS — A local church is looking for ways to protect young people from violence.

The associate pastor at Emmanuel Missionary Baptist Church, Ryan Miller, said this is a vital time to start this project.

When they started planning this weekly "Teen Talks" event, they had no idea that it would launch at a time when the community needs it most.

Starting next Monday, January 9, Emmanuel Missionary Baptist Church will kick off "Teen Talks".

The church's LIT Youth Ministry is creating a safe space for real conversations about their generation's struggles and difficulties. This initiative started a few years ago, with leaders going into schools, mentoring kids, and just simply being present for those who need them.

Miller tells WRTV’s Amber Grigley, the battles our youth are facing are unlike anything he has experienced when he was that age. He said they need someone to stand beside them and guide them.

"They have the world at their fingertips. You know, with their iPads, with their cell phones, with their computers. They are bombarded with so many different things on a daily basis," Miller said. "The statistics are showing right now that because they are exposed to all of this. Their mental health is affected greatly. A lot of kids that we deal with and mentor are dealing with suicidal thoughts and emotional issues. Some things that are going on at home carry over into the schools, and so, our kids need an outlet. They need a place to be able to have real talk."

Miller said it’s all about developing relationships, allowing them to open up so they can step in and help. He said this process means a lot to him because he remembers someone stepping in and offering guidance when he was young and in need of help.

"Each one needs to reach one. We all have a responsibility here in the community. We all know children who are troubled in dealing with issues. Number one, we can't be afraid. We have to go to them and establish these relationships with them," Miller said.

"Teen Talks" is a permanent session happening every Monday at 6:30 p.m.. At Emmanuel Missionary Baptist Church located at 4958 Ribble Road.

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A local church is looking for ways to protect young people from violence.

Miller said as of Wednesday evening, they have nearly 60 teens registered to be a part of this initiative.

Visit Emmanuel Missionary Baptist Church for more information.