INSTRUCTIONS: Spark conversations about biblical truth by discussing the “News Nugget” below. Bring it up in conversation, as a discussion-starter at the beginning of your gathering, as a small-group discussion-starter, or as part of a Bible study. Add any additional information and new developments. Then discuss the event or story through the lens of one or more biblical themes. You can even send these discussion-starters to your teenagers as catalysts for conversations with friends and family.
News Nugget: After the holidays, disturbances and fights involving teenagers broke out in malls across America. Several shopping centers were evacuated as a precaution, and police used pepper spray to subdue some groups of unruly teenagers. Social media likely contributed to the large gatherings and unrest, authorities say. In response, at least one mall has set new limits on young people during certain hours. Beachwood Place in suburban Cleveland announced that kids 17 and under must be accompanied by a parent or other adult (21 or older) after 5 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. The policy’s goal is to “enhance the shopping experience in ways the entire community will appreciate,” according to the mall’s general manager.
Themes to Explore:
- Responsibility and maturity (see 1 Timothy 4:12-13)
- Social influence (see 1 Corinthians 15:33-34)
- Living as a community (see Romans 12:16-18)
- Why are irresponsible acts like these so often associated with teenagers? In what ways have you seen young people live up or down to the expectations other people have of them?
- Why do teenagers seem especially vulnerable to the pull of crowds? How has social media affected the types of peer pressures young people are exposed to these days?
- When a few teenagers who act irresponsibly “ruin” it for all the rest of you, what can you do about it?