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Teaching Junior Highers About Sex

 —  November 16, 2011 — 9 Comments

Posted By Kurt Johnston

This weekend, we wrap up our series called, “The Guy/Girl Thing”. It’s a series dedicated to helping junior highers begin to navigate relationships with the opposite sex. Here is what we’ve covered so far:

Week 1: Developing Healthy Friendships With Each Other. We simply took a look at some of the differences between guys and girls, and how an understanding of some of these differences can help us be better friends with each other.

Week 2: Dating: We took a look at what begins to happen when a friendship becomes more than just a friendship. We addressed such questions as: When is it okay to start dating? Who should I date? How should I date? What role do should my parents play in all of this?

Week 3: This weekend, we will wrap the series up by talking about sex. I feel a little overwhelmed because ONE lesson on sex isn’t enough. I am afraid I will try to cram too much into the lesson, thus making it too complex, and more confusing than helpful. But, here is where we are headed:

THREE THOUGHTS ABOUT SEX:

1) Sex is GOOD….In Fact, It Was GOD’S Idea! (And God’s word is his rule book on the subject)

2) The World Has TWISTED God’s Plan. (According to the world, there really is no rule book on the subject)

3) This leaves us with a CHOICE…Do We Trust God’s Way or The World’s Way?

Obviously, the bulk of the lesson lies with what is discussed along the way, but that is the general outline of where we’re headed. The looming question for me is if, and if so to what extent, I talk about pornography, same sex attraction, how far is too far, masturbation, lust, etc. It seems borderline irresponsible to leave that stuff out, but to include it all seems like I will overwhelm them. We will see how it shakes out!

NOTE: As we wrap up the series, we will selling two little books…one for girls, and one for guys. I’ve created quite a few resources over the years, but 99 Thoughts About Guys…For Girls Eyes Only” and “99 Thoughts About Girls…For Guys Eyes Only” are two of my all time favorite! I think they are a must-read for every junior higher.

 

Kurt Johnston

Kurt Johnston

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Kurt Johnston leads the student ministries team at Saddleback Church in Southern California. His ministry of choice, however, is junior high, where he spends approximately 83.4% of his time.

9 responses to Teaching Junior Highers About Sex

  1. I think the series you’re doing is great! I really like the progression of the series. It makes a lot of sense and it applies to everyone.

    Your 3rd week is all about sex. Are you going to be teaching to 6th-8th graders? And if so, are you going to tell them what sex is and how it works? I just know that in our Jr. High ministry there are some 6th graders who have no clue what sex is and some 8th graders who are having sex. I know you see the difficulty in teaching on the subject, but just wanted to hear your opinion on it. Thanks Kurt!!

    - Young (and getting married in 10 days so maybe I should come hear the sex talk) Jr. High Pastor

  2. From my position/experience (Jr/Sr High pastor, father of 14 and 12 year olds), I like what you’re doing. Well thought out, relevant.

    I’d vote for explaining God’s plans for sex and then letting them know that anything else is a deviation from that plan (not that I’d use those exact words). In that, then, you can lump-together porn, masturbation, same-sex, even lust – that these are all not only Not in God’s plans, but are also against God’s plans/intent: choosing them means choosing not God’s desires & not God’s outcomes.

    That is, with the well-crafted plan you have, I think you have brilliantly set yourself up for being able to give the students a target to go towards (cf. Week 1) and not just “don’t do _______”.

    My 1 cent,
    David

  3. Great insights! Thanks.
    Charlie, our ministry does not include 6th grade…only 7-8. Several weeks before the series, we sent a letter home to parents letting them know the series was coming up, what the series would cover as well as some of the “answers” we were going to give regarding the more common questions students ask. We specifically told parents that it was not a sex education/nuts and bolts talk about sex, but rather a look at God’s plan for it.

  4. Natalie Farthing November 17, 2011 at 3:12 am

    Kurt,

    I work on student ministry staff at a church. I shared this post with my director and he liked your series idea and was wondering if you would be willing to share any more content from it? We always do our relationship series in February so we are starting to think ahead to it. Do y’all have a Series identity?? Any parent information you sent out? We would be grateful for anything you are willing to share!
    Thanks!
    Natalie Farthing
    Student Ministry Associate at Spring Branch Community Church
    Virginia Beach, VA

  5. Natalie,
    We would be happy to! Send me an email at Kurt@saddleback.com and copy Jasonp@saddleback.com and we will send you everything we’ve got!

    You can also purchase last years series called “Exposed” at http://www.simplyyouthministry.com The arc of that series is:
    Week 1: Sex…What was God Thinking?
    Week 2: Sex…What went wrong?
    Week 3: Sex…What’s a junior higher supposed to do?

  6. I am a fan of your approach. In my experience there is a huge disconnect between what parents of junior highers feel their level of exposure to these topics are and what their actual exposure is. My only suggestion would be to have a follow-up at home to keep the discussion going.

    I definitely think your on the right track keeping a tight focus on this series. Avoid overwhelming them. I find it is far more effective to start the conversation rather than bury them with it.

    Ben Denen
    Director of Fuse Student Ministries
    McHenry, IL

  7. Kurt, I’m with Natalie — any more info on your series?

    I know this wouldn’t work exactly this way in your context, but I’m thinking about teaching to the youth on this (sometime this spring) early in the worship time, and then gathering the parents for their own “take-home” session down the hall. My hope is that they would talk about it at home more after both hearing about it.

  8. Natalie and Aaron. shoot me an email at kurtj@saddleback.com and copy Jasonp@saddleback.com and we will give you what we’ve got! You can also go to http://www.simplyyouthministry.com and purchase last year’s JH sex series called “EXPOSED” The series Arc of Exposed is:

    Week 1: Sex…What Was God Thinking?
    Week 2: Sex…What Went Wrong?
    Week 3: Sex…What Is A Junior Higher Supposed To Do?

  9. Erik w/a “k” November 18, 2011 at 2:06 am

    Kurt,

    Love that you are doing this and not in the traditional February format. It is such a HUGE deal for our students every day that I am a fan of infusing moral purity stuff in as often as possible. Where did you land on the specifics this past weekend? I know that I have been thinking wayyyy more how I approach this subject as I have have a 7th grader myself.

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