I’ve always been a huge advocate of letting students in a youth ministry decide what you teach them. Afterall, why waste their time with something they’re not interested in, even if you <i>think</i> it’s what they need? No, let them pick. <br />
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To that extent we have a question box at Berean (my church in upstate NY) that teens can write out their questions on life, God, the Bible, or the Church and put them in the box. It has been a huge hit! We’ve only done it for two weeks so far, but we’ve gotten a great response. The students are loving it, and really interested and attentive during the discussion time. <br />
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Oh yeah! That’s the other thing, instead of me, or Len, or Mandy, or Diana standing infront and droning on about something we have a discussion. We allow the teens to take part in talking. Sometimes they say crazy things, and that’s okay. Sometimes they say things that most Christians would never let them say at a youth group meeting. But that’s okay, it’s probably a good thing. These teens are able to express themselves, share their thoughts, all in a non-confrontational environment. We love them…you know, like the Church is supposed to. <br />
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Now, don’t get me wrong! I believe that there are absolutes. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God, and the only way to find freedom from sins in this life, and fellowship with the Father in heaven. However, I also believe that my God is big enough to handle any question a 15 year old might throw at him. Sure, sometimes it leads to some of the students being confused, since a number of students give their input some of it is wrong, and some of it is confusing, and some of it is completely un-understandable. But, they are <b>LEARNING</b>. They are growing, and they are getting to know more about God. Given time I hope they get to know God more through this. At the very least I hope they grow to respect and trust us leaders. Maybe then we’ll be able to disciple them – you know, the way the church is supposed to?


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