What Are They Thinking?

teens

Last week I was on a plane heading to one conference, and preparing to speak at another. The topic I was given was Helping Students Develop a Passion for the Bible.

I know how this plays out in our own ministry, but turning it into a reproducible system to give to other leaders to have their own success was a tough task. I had been wrestling with where to start and finally at 30,000 feet in the air…I got it.

As parents, we often teach kids about the Bible from a position that they are as hungry as we are to learn. Sometimes that is the case, but more often than that – can we just be honest? – they are not.

When kids show up Sunday School, many of them are there because they are passionate about their faith and want to learn more. But, honestly, a lot of them are more concerned with issues such as:
-My girlfriend just dumped me. I was going to marry this woman!
-I have to pick a college for next year!
-I have HUGE test Monday and I am so far behind.
-My parents grounded me from my phone – what am I missing?
-A girl looked at me oddly at school 3 days ago. I think she hates me.

When we talk to students, we MUST acknowledge that there are many of them who don’t feel the deep longing for Jesus and the Word of God in that present moment – because of, well, LIFE.

As staff and volunteer small group leaders, we need to meet students at their level and help them see how Jesus meets their biggest needs. How He is always present for them in their questions and troubles. How His love for them is unquestioned.

As I prepared my breakout session, I encouraged the student pastors to remember to humbly ask the question, “What are they thinking?” as they determine how to create a passion for the Bible with their kids. It is critical to figure out what is going on in their minds. Start with their worries and questions and then show how the Gospel intersects. Then, and only then, do we have a captive audience who will be receptive to developing a passionate relationship with their Creator.

Jim has been working with families in camping and church ministries for over twenty years. He has a master’s degree in Biblical Studies and a Doctorate of Ministry from Dallas Theological Seminary. He has ghost written small group curriculum for Matt Chandler, Tommy Nelson, and Mark Driscoll and is the lead pastor at Rockland Community Church in the hideously grotesque town nestled at the foot of the disgusting Rocky Mountains called Golden, Colorado. (He says that even the wild caribou and buffalo that frolic freely about his property think it’s gross there—they tell him as much while they ice skate on the frozen lake.)

Most importantly, however, Jim is a husband and father of three with a deep desire to help kids hear the truth of the gospel message.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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