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Growing in Godliness: A Teen Girl's Guide to Maturing in Christ (Carlson)

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Your teen years matter.

Of all the ways you're learning and changing during the busy teenage years, your growth in Christ is the most important. God intends to use your teen years as a launching pad into a lifelong pursuit of looking more like Jesus.

This book will help you prioritize your Christian growth—pointing you to the resources God has given you in his Word, in prayer, and in the church; offering help for managing your emotions, watching your words, and bearing spiritual fruit; and challenging you with ways to center your life around this important task. 

Even as a teenager, you have all it takes to grow in godliness.

Read Chapter 1



Part One: Partner with God 

  1. Live to Grow
  2. Get to Work
  3. Relax and Trust Him

Part 2: Depend on His Ways

  1. Learn from Your Limits
  2. Search for Wisdom
  3. Love His Church
  4. Pray Continually

Part 3: Monitor Your Growth

  1. Use Your Words
  2. Steward Your Feelings
  3. Examine Your Fruit

Scripture Index



Lindsey Carlson is the mother of five children and has served alongside her husband in pastoral ministry for fourteen years, currently at Imprint Community Church in Baltimore, Maryland. She enjoys teaching and discipling women through writing and public speaking, but most often through the context of the local church.



“In a world where teens are too often viewed as incapable of earnest discipleship practices, Lindsey Carlson’s book communicates a refreshing and much-needed message: maturity starts now. Growing in Godliness offers basic concepts, accessible tools, and practical steps for teens to understand themselves as devoted followers of Christ. And it offers parents a rare gift as well: the golden opportunity of faith-infused dialogue with their young-adult child.”

- Jen Wilkin, Director of Classes and Curriculum, The Village Church; author, Women of the WordNone Like Him; and In His Image

“So much of the person we turn out to be hinges on decisions made in our teenage years. Those years can be filled with wonder, but also with fears and dangers. In this book, Lindsey Carlson gives a practical guide for how young women can use their teenage years to grow in Christ. This advice could be life-changing for you, or for someone you love.”

- Russell D. Moore, President, The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention

Growing in Godliness is hands down my favorite book for teen girls. Its fresh writing, theological grit, accessible advice, grace-driven counsel, and practical application of the means of grace make me want to put it in the hands of all of the girls I know. No Pollyanna fluff or theological bricks here. I started to read this in the hospital, watching my own teenage girl recover from major surgery, and the sections that I read filled me with hope in the dark hours of my daughter’s pain.”

- Rosaria Butterfield, Former Professor of English, Syracuse University; author, The Gospel Comes with a House Key

“As children grow into teenagers, there is also a growing sense of urgency in their parents. There’s so much to say, so much to teach, and still so much to learn. It’s hard to know where to start. Parents can trust that Growing in Godliness will give their teen girls a great place to start in their discipleship. This practical resource is grounded in the gospel and candidly conversational to reach teen girls where they are.”

- Gloria Furman, author, Missional Motherhood and Treasuring Christ When Your Hands Are Full

“It’s not easy to be a teen girl. The world tells you to follow your heart, your peers encourage you to conform to their image, and even your own emotions threaten to overwhelm you. Which of us didn’t long for a trustworthy friend to guide us through those messy middle-school years? Thankfully Lindsey Carlson is that friend—warm, wise, funny, and direct—pointing teens to the only source of certainty and hope in a confusing world. Again and again, she brings girls back to God and his word, encouraging teens to shake off the worldliness that stunts their spiritual growth and to reach instead for Christ alone. As a pastor’s wife and mother, I couldn’t be more pleased to have this book on my shelf. Give it to the teens in your church or, better yet, gather a group and read it together. Growing in Godliness is an invaluable resource for young teen girls and the adults who care about their souls.”

- Megan Hill, author, Praying Together and Contentment; Editor, The Gospel Coalition

“While I have no experience in being a teenage girl, I’ve got a fair bit of experience in raising them. And from the perspective of a father, I can say this book represents exactly the kind of knowledge and wisdom that will serve them well for the few years they are teenagers and for the lifetime beyond.”

- Tim Challies, blogger,

Growing in Godliness is one of the best resources I’ve read on the topic of discipleship in the teen years. Lindsey Carlson is relatable, engaging, understanding, wise, and laugh-out-loud funny as she helps teen girls grasp their need for God and learn how to grow in faith. I plan to read this book with my daughter and will be recommending it for all her friends!”

- Melissa B. Kruger, Director of Women’s Content, The Gospel Coalition; author, In All Things: A Nine-Week Devotional Bible Study on Unshakeable Joy

“As a fellow victim of the glamour shots trend of the 1990s, I can relate to Lindsey Carlson’s described desire for quick fixes and microwaved maturity. But she has given teenage girls a gift in these pages—not only a description of what it means to be spiritually mature but also a relatable guide for pursuing that growth. I’m thankful my own daughter will have these words to encourage her as she grows in grace.”

- Catherine Parks, author, Real and Empowered: How God Shaped 11 Women’s Lives (and Can Shape Yours Too)