When I entered youth ministry, I must’ve signed a contract agreeing to teach about sex and relationships every February forever…it’s law! Okay, maybe not. But with all the Valentine’s Day love buzz, it’s a natural time to focus on relationships.
Last February I decided to try a series or book. I’d heard lots of buzz about Andy Stanley’s The New Rules for Love, Sex, and Dating. So I downloaded the Kindle version and quickly read it.
After seeing how incredibly practical the book is, I wanted to get it into the hands of every teenager in our ministry. So that’s what we did.
Stanley has taken some heat for his theology, but I think some people just don’t like his approach. In The New Rules for Love, Sex, and Dating, his conversational approach is fantastic. I wouldn’t classify the series as Bible-lite. I appreciate the solid content, and so did our small groups as they watched intently and leaned in to listen.
We purchased the four-week small-group DVD set and gave each leader a copy of the book a month in advance. In the back of the book is a small-group video discussion guide.
We asked leaders to read the book, especially focusing on chapters 1, 6, 9, and 10 (the chapters the videos address). We also asked them to prepare by reading each week’s discussion guide and to facilitate great conversations by talking with teenagers, not at them.
Our leaders and students loved the reading, teaching, and conversation. This resource was a win for our ministry.
Here are five great quotes from The New Rules for Love, Sex, and Dating (with Kindle page numbers):
- The best way to know if someone is prepared to commit is to examine his or her prior commitments. If you want to know how someone will behave tomorrow, take a look at what he or she did yesterday (page 38).
- Are you the person the person you’re looking for is looking for? (page 50).
- Jesus didn’t command his followers to feel something. He commanded them to do some things (page 65).
- Kindness is love’s response to weakness (page 80).
- Great relationships are built on good decisions, not strong emotion. Again, falling in love is easy; it requires a pulse. Staying in love requires more. Specifically, embracing love as a verb (page 63).
The DVD includes Andy’s full-length messages, along with a pared-down 20-minute version. You can purchase a copy here.
If you’re looking for curriculum, this is a great choice. Another strong resource is Pure Sex, a DVD-based curriculum featuring Craig Gross, founder of the anti-porn site XXXchurch.com. The Pure Sex starter kit is currently on sale here.