I actually did this a year ago where I listed some things we should be talking about and discussing in our youth groups (check it out here). And wow, the response was crazy good!! So I wanted to do it again. This time I want to focus on a few topics I believe students are already talking about in other social settings, and really need to know where the church stands on these issues. So here we go:
Homosexuality - Students need to know where God stands on this issue. They need to know where their church stands on the issue. So that they can make a choice on where they stand based on the truth of God’s word. Our culture is definitely letting them know where they stand, while giving them a false view of where God stands. Right now the world is pretty split on the issue concerning it being morally wrong. And right now the media paints those who oppose it as haters and those who are for it right. Students need to know what God says about it and what their response should be.
Sin - It’s not enough to just talk about sin in passing. Students need to understand what it is and how it affected our relationship with God. A lot of times students don’t mind partaking in or excusing sin because they don’t really know a lot about it. All they know is Jesus died for their sins, but they don’t really understand why He had to die. I believe with a better understanding students will begin to mourn the sin they commit and see it for what it really is. If your students don’t understand sin, your teachings are really nothing but motivational talks. When you reference the world they picture people who don’t know Jesus as the enemy. We need to be talking about sin.
Pornography - 93% of boys and 63% of girls are exposed to porn before the age of 18.(source) And they are watching it all; from same-sex porn to child porn. It’s very assessable, and for some students they find it not even looking for it. You need to be talking about it. Here are a few suggested areas to cover.
- God’s view.
- The lie culture tells us about it.
- The spiritual damage it causes.
- The relational damage it causes.
- The personal damage it causes.
- Share some hope and help.
Grace - Here’s a topic I think we all need to be taught and reminded of. We speak about grace the same way we do sin. We talk about it in passing. Students need to know what grace is and why it exist. They need to know grace is not just something that we were given, but grace is something we need to extend to others. And it’s hard to give away something that you don’t fully understand. I believe understanding grace is understanding the cross. Sometimes it’s about getting back to the basics.
Mental illness - Only 20 percent of the children living with mental illness have been identified and receiving the healthcare they need. And over 90 percent of adolescents who commit suicide struggle with a mental disorder. We need to be a safe place to talk about topics like this. The goal is to remove the stigma that keeps students from reaching out for help. We must speak about and become educated on this topic.
Identity - This one may be a no-brainer but it has to make the list. When sin came into the world it didn’t just rob us of our relationship with God, it robbed us of our identity in God. Sin tells us we are our wants and desires. Culture has joined in on sins crusade, and the only cure is God’s word spoken boldly concerning who we are and who we belong to. It’s a huge deal that we speak on this topic.
Empathy Vs Sympathy – I believe this generation needs to know the difference between these two motives when it comes to serving. They both cause us to want to be the hands and feet of Jesus, but only one really puts you on the right path as you begin to serve and be the hands and feet of Jesus. Students need to know that the sympathy we feel should move us to empathy. Otherwise our service may do more damage than good. I believe we as believers are called.
Real Love - We take the word love and we apply it to so many things that it looses its true meaning and worth. Students need to understand what this word truly means and how it should be used and applied. Teach about it.
The Church with a capital C – It’s important that our students know that they are not just a part of the local church, but that they are a part of The Church. They need to understand that the Church is bigger than their congregation. The need to know the importance of the Church in the world and who belongs to it, since so many people are claiming to be a part of it. They even need to know the history and the future. Teach about it.
What would you add to this list?
Hope it helps,