When mentoring students (as parents or youth workers), there is a never-ending stream of lies, deceptions, and half-truths we’re forced to counter. And we should expose those as they arise, but Jesus didn’t say, “Expose the lies, and you’ll be free.” He said that if we follow Him, “…you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32
Where are your students hearing the truth?
With three kids at age 3 and under in my house, I’m constantly reminded of a truth I’ve long known in student ministry. That is, don’t assume they know about spiritual truth. That’s easy to remember when they can barely speak, but harder to remember as they get older and may even demonstrate good manners or morals.
Assuming your student is getting great spiritual truth in Sunday School, Youth Group, and Big Church, that’s just three hours in a week of 168 total hours (0.017% That’s not even a D-). With so little truth going into our students amidst the dump truck load of falsehoods, why are we surprised when they don’t “get it?” And how do we get more truth into their lives?
- Show (& Tell) them they’re loved. We all want to go to people we trust and who we know love us with life’s hard questions.
- Be a safe place for them to AYA (Ask You Anything). It’s either you, their friends or a Google/YouTube search where they’ll find answers. Make sure it’s you!
- Simmer down. In other words, don’t freak out when those awkward questions, strange ramblings or confessions of doubt come up.
I’m not saying it will be easy, but I know it will be worth it. For more thoughts on communicating truth to your students check out:
- How to Have Hard Conversations with Your Teen
- Helping Kids Hear Truth in a World Blaring Lies
- For Parents of Spiritual Doubters
You can also call me directly or visit www.mtsbc.org/next-gen for more resources and info on Get Real East, a great way to impart more spiritual truth to your students.
“Fearless” @ Get Real East 2019 – Montana Southern Baptist Convention