Many times youth groups teach teens what to think not how to think and process through all the competing messages that the world throws at them. When Christian teens get to college, many of them are challenged to seriously think for themselves about their personal beliefs for the first time in their lives. One of the best things that a youth leader can do is help teens to know God for themselves and learn how to mine treasure out of the Bible.
So instead of dishing out answers to students, consider leading them on a journey of personal discovery. Ask them why questions and encourage them to read the Bible and dig for the answers that they want.
While just answering their questions may be easier at the time, it will produce robots who spit out answers not young Christians who know how to combat the world with light. This causes problems when youth leave home for the first time and don’t know how to think for themselves. A speaker at the National Youth Workers Conference said that more than 60% of teen Christians leave the Church once they graduate from high school and go to college. Why the disconnect?
The answer is fairly easy to figure out for anyone who went to college. The worldview they had been taught since childhood was far smaller than what they encounter in the real world.
If you ask a teen why they belief in the gospel or why is it wrong to have premarital sex, do not pre surprised if most Christians teen struggle to give Biblical answers. This is especially true if they are pressed for specifics not just general Sunday school answers. If you keep on asking why questions, most will typically get to a place where they will honestly say that they do not know.
Youth need to be taught that the Bible does apply to there life now. Being a Christian is not just about going to heaven. It is primarily about living the best life here and now as guided by the Holy Spirit. It is about reclaiming creation as God intended it. What we do and become now is preparation for eternity.
No matter how effective we are at teaching, if we focus on the wrong things, we will not achieve the desired results.