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A couple of weeks ago I turned to find my 6th grade daughter with her fingers in her ears as I answered the question of one of my students in our small group. We were having a night, well actually a series, on “the talk.” It had turned into an eight week series, on “Marriage, Dating and Sex.” This particular night there were a lot of questions about all things “sex.” My daughter was responding by hiding. I, however, was not phased by her reaction as there was a part of me that wanted to handle the conversation the same way.

Let’s face it. We can’t all be Craig Gross, founder of XXXchurch.com and author of several Simply titles on the topic of sex. For some of us, this topic is entirely uncomfortable. Even if you think you have a handle on it, chances are there is going to be something at some point that makes you squirm. No, not about what the Bible says, that part it relatively easy to navigate. We want our students to have “God’s best,” and that’s why we know we need to discuss it. Yet, when the questions come it can be down right scary. (Believe me, I have had some really truly “special” topics come my way.) Sometimes I think they ask just to see if they can shock us. Other times they really want to ask someone they trust.

It’s not a question of, “Do we have the sex talk?” It’s more. When it all goes awkward, what do we do?

Communicate With Parents:

Before you head into these waters of this particular topic, make sure parents know the dates you will be talking “sex” especially. On the one hand, some may decide they don’t want their child as a part of the topic and that is their choice. Make sure you let them know that you are not going to replace them in any way. This is an additional place to have these conversations. After the difficult conversations, let them know an example of some things that you talked about. Avoid reporting things like, “Your child asked this.”  Instead, say something like, “These were some of the questions that were asked, and this is how we responded.” I can only imagine my 6th grader coming home to tell me she spent an hour with her fingers in her ears. I wouldn’t know what to think.

Don’t Be Afraid To Blush:

I tell students when we start on the topic of sex that I won’t know all the answers. I will blush, and I might stammer a little. I have been married 16 years and sometimes this still makes me blush. I let them know that giggles are alright. We laugh when we don’t know what else to say. We aren’t going to get out of control, and we aren’t going to ask things that are totally outlandish just to see if that will make me squirm. I will attempt to answer anything, but it has to be a “real” pondering.

What Have YOU Done?

Inevitably our students want to know OUR story. It is really up to you, in what you want to tell them. I do think what they are looking for is, “Have you ever struggled with your body wanting something it can’t have right now?”  If you have a “sorted” past, they will want ALL the details. DON’T. It’s not the point. I highly recommend in these situations using the phrase, “There are some decisions I wish I had made differently.”

Don’t Forget Marriage:

Our society today does a miserable job of showing God’s picture for marriage. In television, movies, magazines, music and just about everywhere else, sex is an action of only the body. Marriage in our society seems broken. Many of our students are growing up with bad or even NO representatives of what a marriage grounded in Christ looks like. In answering these questions, don’t ever forget to start with God’s best plan in mind. It’s not about purity- then dating and finally marriage. Marriage was the plan from the Garden. Help them see that.

I once had a student say to me, “I could never talk to my parents about this stuff so I have to go to my friends.” When I suggested maybe his friends were not always the best source for information, he balked then followed with, “I guess sometimes I do need to hear from another adult.” Our students sometimes need us to be a voice they trust no matter if we blush…just not with our fingers in our ears.

How do you navigate these “blush worthy” conversations?

Leneita / @leneitafix

Doug Fields just posted a hilarious new promo video from this Fall we used to promote the Facebook Official series in HSM. It is one of my favorite videos we’ve ever done in HSM – for a long time we had held back because … well, it is pretty awesome. If you want to check it out – head over to his blog and watch it = really effective, really funny.

JG



Solid video that might work well during your next series on purity/sex.

JG

Kurt just posted the 3-week series arc for their series about sex in our Wildside (junior high) ministry the past month. Worth checking out for inspiration for your own series, and be sure to head over there to check out some other insights about teaching about sex/relationships to junior highers, too.

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: Sex 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.

JG



Weekend Teaching Series: Facebook Official (week 4 of 5)
Sermon in a Sentence: God’s plan for your sex life.
Service Length: 62 minutes

Understandable Message: This weekend Doug Fields took the HSM stage and brought it! In his usual just-about-over-the-line style he taught students about God’s plan for purity and sex. It was incredible – my favorite part of the talk was when he was talking about “the drift” and how there are forces pushing us toward the world’s way and how we have to admit and correct that before we can really get on God’s path for our sexuality. He used a ton of humor, stories and Scripture to present a biblical challenge to purity, abstinence and forgiveness.

Element of Fun/Positive Environment: This weekend was lean but awesome – we opened up with a fun acapella cover song using a choir and a fun dance by a fake boy band. The program was lean this week to make room for Fields’ talk, but lots of student involvement in lights, sound, band, control room, greeting etc.

Music Playlist: Hello! [opening cover song], Facebook Official [dance lip-sync], Grace

Favorite Moment: Great weekend! No doubt the highlight was having Doug teach this weekend. There’s no one like him – really really great services.

Up next: Facebook Official (series finale, week 5 of 5)

Hello! Opener in HSM

Josh Griffin —  November 3, 2011 — 1 Comment

Our students did this really cool opener for one of the weeks of our Facebook Official series. Really good stuff, original and fun!

JG



Weekend Teaching Series: Facebook Official (week 3 of 5)
Sermon in a Sentence: 7 questions to ask about your dating relationship.
Service Length: 76 minutes

Understandable Message: This weekend I wanted to focus on a biblical perspective to dating – although dating isn’t implicitly mentioned in the Bible and is a much more modern cultural invention of ours. For sure the Bible does talk plenty in principle about WHO to date and HOW to date so that’s the perspective of the talk. I shared a bunch of personal stories from my dating life including heartbreak, and eventually how I met my wife. The talk was designed to build on Doug’s narrow vs wide way challenge from last week and included 7 questions to ask about their current/future dating relationships.

Element of Fun/Positive Environment: This is the last weekend before our Pumpkinfest event, so we spent a little chink of the program with a funny skit that included an awkward robot and our stage emcee. Really funny stuff, as always trying to make annoucements both memorable and engaging. We also played a funny video from RhettandLink about Facebook profile pictures and dating.

Music Playlist: Enchanted [Taylor Swift cover], Oh Lord, Your Love is Enough, Grace, Cannons

Favorite Moment: The conversations after the service were the best. Nothing like a series like this to get students thinking … and talking. Several students were convinced it was alright for them to date someone of a different religion – by far the most popular discussion this weekend after the talk.

Up next: Facebook Official (week 4 of 5) [Doug Fields teaching about sex]

We’re in the Facebook Official series in our High School Ministry right now and about to turn the corner this weekend to talk about sex and dating. Here’s a letter I adapted to send to parents via email today. Wanted to give them a heads up about what is coming:

Dear HSM Parents,

I wanted to take a moment to inform you about the current series we are teaching in the High School Ministry at Saddleback Church. It is called Facebook Official and deals specifically and candidly about relationships during the high school years. This weekend we are in part 3 of the 5 week series and soon we’re going to be talking candidly about God’s plan for sex. Here are the details for the remaining weeks of the series:

  • October 22/23: Dating
    Taught by Josh Griffin
    7 Questions to Ask About My Dating Relationship
  • October 29/30: The Sex Talk
    Taught by Doug Fields
    God’s Plan for Sex
  • November 5/6: Where Do I Go From Here?
    Taught by Josh Griffin
    We’ve talked about friendship, marriage, love, dating and sex. How do I make changes or receive forgiveness and live differently from now on?

This series has been incredible so far — the students have been engaged and attentive to this series. We’re praying for scores of commitments and life-change to the Biblical understanding of sex.

I’m sharing these insights with you so you will know what your student will be hearing, and so you can use them as launching pads for discussion. I also wanted to give you this “heads up” because I recognize some may not feel the timing is appropriate for your teenagers’ specific needs – if this is the case, please feel free to have them attend the adult worship service with you as appropriate.

Thanks for allowing our High School Ministry team to play a small part in God’s plan for your teenager’s life!

Josh Griffin
High School Pastor

HSM meets in The Refinery at 1 Saddleback Pkwy Lake Forest, CA
Services are Saturday 4:30pm / 6:30pm and Sunday 9am / 11:15am
GET IN A LIFE GROUP: www.hsmlifegroups.com
COMING NEXT FRIDAY NIGHT: Pumpkinfest!

Feel free to adapt/use it the next time you talk on sex, too!

JG