A couple weeks ago we hosted a parent panel as part of HSM’s How to Raise Your Parents series. We had students text in their questions and they are a goldmine. Here is a selection of the questions that students texted in over that weekend. Some pretty insightful stuff in here, I think. If you’re wondering what your teenagers are asking, here you go:

  • why do parents pick favorites with their kids?
  • how do you tell your parents your tired of them fighting?
  • how do I tell my parents how to let go?????? Seriously
  • what do you do when your parents dont give you a reason for not being able to do something besides saying” because i said so”
  • views on sexting?
  • how do you help a parent who refuses to live by christ and accept him?
  • If parents were hurt by the way their parents raised them, why would they raise their own kids like that?
  • my mom is very hypocritical to me and how i treat her. how do i handle that?
  • if you were born a guy but then changed yourself to a girl, then became a christian, would you change yourself back?
  • When parents r extreamly stressed out and it feels like they take it out on you wat do u do?
  • is it ok to not like your parents
  • how can i say back off without actually saying back off
  • my parents are in a bad financial situation and are always stressed and its taking away from the time that we can be bonding with our family what do I do
  • my dad is extremely lenient with me and sometimes I feel like he doesn’t pay attention to me or doesn’t want to…how do I get him to see me?
  • “Why do parents always punish their children for negative actions but seldom even notice the positive or beneficial actions?”
  • If your son/daughter came out as gay how would you react?
  • how do I still be a kid in a household where I’m fulfilling a parent’s role?
  • if i messed up sexualy or with drugs or drinking should i tell my parents even if they will never find out
  • why do parents get mad when we don’t listen but when you don’t listen to us it’s ok?
  • im super close to my dad but i dont really get along with my mom. Is it ok to talk to my dad about how to deal with the relationship with my mom?
  • do you think its okay for parents to read your texts?
  • How can we as son/daughters make the sex talk less ackward when mom and dad aren’t great at it?
  • why do we always have to keep our rooms clean?
  • should my parents be friends with me on facebook
  • what would you do if your child said they did not believe in god?
  • Do you have sex?
  • my parents won’t let me go to parties after dances. I want to go and i’m strong in my faith what should i do to show them i’m ready
  • How do you tell parents who are closer to parole officers than parents to let you have more freedom?
  • my parent smokes marijuana he doesnt know i know but they incourage me not too..how can i confront them?
  • if my dad is a football worshipper and lives for football but i want to quit, how do i tell him?
  • how do parents feel about us having friends that do drugs/drink if i dont do it.
  • I like a guy he’s a mormon…he has not tried to convert me…is it ok if I start dating him?
  • I’m so close to graduating, but still have so many rules like I’m a kid. Why not let me grow up a bit?
  • I did something really bad, how do i start regaining the trust of my parents back… can u give me some action steps?


One of our Life Group leaders, Blair Wilson, shares his story on video on the last week of the How to Raise Your Parents Series.


The last of the series/bumper videos from our How to Raise Your Parents series we just wrapped up in HSM.


This weekend we hosted a parent panel in HSM and it was incredible. I’m going to post some of my learnings about the setup this week, but wanted to point you toward a great article from Forbes that helped me a ton beforehand. I saw a link randomly on Twitter from DC Curry, and it was so good I passed it on to each of the panelists during the preparation week, too. Here’s a clip of it, follow the link for the rest:

  • Don’t feel compelled to let every panelist answer every question, but do make sure each one gets some air time, but do try to keep their contributions short to allow others to participate. I don’t believe in contrived one-minute rules, you have to use your judgment.
  • Keep the time tight, redirect mercilessly if they run on. You are the boss!
  • Tell the panelists at the outset that you will call on them at the end to give 2 sentences to give their takeaways at the end. Stick to it. Keep them breathless. Keep everyone breathless.
  • In advance of the panel, get each panelist to give you at least one question they would like to be asked by the other panel members, and one they would like to ask others.
  • If you can swing it (I can in most cases), have a 15 minute huddle with the panelists before, start a fist fight there, and then stop it just before the panelists come to blows. Let them take the fight into the ring. Fist-fight interruptus works every time.


Weekend Teaching Series: How to Raise Your Parents (series finale, week 3 of 3)

Sermon in a Sentence: Real-life parents answer your real-life questions. Each service will be completely different!
Service Length: 76 minutes

Understandable Message: This week we tried a first in HSM – the parent panel. I’ll post more later about my learnings on how to run a good panel, but for now, I’ll just say it was awesome. We had parents commit to at least 2 services if possible, so we had different parents throughout the weekend. It was incredible to hear their heart and passion, as well as their vulnerability and love for their kids. We had some parents, who I introduced as not perfect by any means, but that loved Jesus and loved their kids. It was awesome. I have almost 500 questions that students sent into us during the 4 services, excited to do a series of posts on them in the future – I think they will be super insightful for youth ministry or even parents themselves.

Element of Fun/Positive Environment: We had pretty straightforward programming this weekend – lots of student greeters and student leaders running the night. We had a video testimony about trust/parents featuring a Life Group leader, Blair Wilson, who really messed up as a teenager – that was solid, too. Tons of student involvement with students texting in their questions to polleverywhere.com which we moderated and pushed to the screen.

Music Playlist: Dancing Generation, Mighty to Save, Sing Sing Sing

Favorite Moment: The parents were incredible. They made the services – and I loved the unpredictability of each service. You didn’t know the questions, you didn’t know the answers – so each service was unique and honestly, really interesting. Oh, and using my iPad2 to push the questions students had texted in right on to the big screen was techno-fun, too.

Up Next: Stories (1-off)

So proud of McKenzie for writing this fun song for our How to Raise Your Parents series in HSM. The first time I heard it, I was nervous, but the payoff is GREAT. Enjoy.


Weekend Teaching Series: How to Raise Your Parents (series premiere, week 1 of 3)

Sermon in a Sentence: Your relationship with your parents is up to you.
Service Length: 69 minutes

Understandable Message: This week Doug Fields taught students from God’s Word about their relationship with their parents. He did a great job helping students understand that they control much of their relationship with their parents – if they respected and honored their parents, it would take them far. His usual mix of rumor and truth was super.

Element of Fun/Positive Environment: This weekend we had some more fun with HSM Talks, and Chris did a really creative announcement that was part live and part video – a dream about going to HSM Summer Camp. Simple, clean and solid weekend.

Music Playlist: Go, Divine and Holy, Revelation Song, Hosanna

Favorite Moment: My favorite moment was that during each service our junior high services dismissed the 8th graders out for a little root-beer-float-HSM-summer camp promo time. We had a couple students share about their camp experience, and had a raffle for a free camp registration. Super fun relational time with the soon to be freshman.

Up Next: How to Raise Your Parents (week 3 of 3, parent panel and series finale)

An illustration from a couple weeks ago during a message on trust for a How to Raise Your Parents series.