What’s up Insiders?
By RACHEL CRUZE
As youth leaders and parents, we’re responsible for making sure our teenagers are ready for life. How cool is that opportunity?
In the few years we have with them, we can help them build a firm foundation in their faith. That way, when they’re out on their own, they can be confident and stand strong when culture gets in the way.
When we talk to our teenagers we usually focus on obvious topics like salvation, baptism, and plugging into a small group. We also hammer away at subjects like sex, dating, peer pressure, drugs, and alcohol. I used to be a Young Life leader, and I talked a lot about these issues in my ministry too.
By focusing on these hot-button topics, we hope to help teens avoid stupid mistakes they will end up regretting for the rest of their lives. But we often focus so much on these broader topics that we ignore many of the day-to-day trials our teenagers deal with.
Have you ever asked your teenagers what they want to talk about? Have you asked them about which topics they don’t understand? What questions come up at school, or with friends, about why they believe the way they do? Do they need help handling pressure from media and advertising, dealing with death, or understanding what God says about money and body image?
Sure, you can’t discuss these things every week, but you should ask students what they’re dealing with and get them thinking about how to work through these problems as Christians.
Don’t worry about a topic not being “spiritual” enough. If you or your students feel led to talk about an issue, then maybe it’s time to step outside your set curriculum.
Take a few weeks off and dive into a new topic. Only God knows what conversations might spark and who those discussions might bring in. If we tiptoe around these topics because they’re uncomfortable, we’re doing a disservice to the teenagers in our lives.
But what if you don’t feel like you’re enough of an “expert” to talk about a certain topic? Don’t worry. You can find plenty of tools and resources created for youth workers on those very topics. You might need to make some slight adjustments to fit your group because, after all, you know them best.
But no matter what, say something your teenagers need to hear this week. And don’t be afraid to do something different!
Thanks for reading,
Rachel Cruze is a part of the Dave Ramsey team. More info can be found at: