Andy Stanley’s 7 Topics to Teach Students

A little while ago Andy Stanley and Stuart Hall wrote a book called “The Seven Checkpoints”.  They were arguing that there are seven topics or themes that need to be constantly communicated throughout a student’s time in your ministry.

Here is what they came up with…

1. Authentic Faith

When you say God, what do your students think?  This is an important question.  The idea behind this topic is that God can be trusted.  He will do as He promised to do.

So the question that you have to ask is are your students trusting God with the critical areas of theirs lives?

 2. Spiritual Disciplines

Spiritual Disciplines lead to intimacy.  When we are intimate with God we see the world as He sees it.  When we see the world as God sees it we are much more likely to do what God says.

Are your students developing and growing in the rich array of spiritual disciplines?

 3. Moral Boundaries

Almost every chance that we have we need to be teaching students about moral boundaries.  We need to teach that God created sex to be great.  However, outside of His boundaries it can be destructive.

Are your students establishing and maintaining Godly moral boundaries?

 4. Healthy Friendships

Friends have a HUGE influence on the life of a student.  In fact one’s friendships have a huge influence on determining the health and direction of their life.

Are your students establishing healthy friendships and avoiding unhealthy ones?

 5. Wise Choices

We are in the habit of asking students, is this right or wrong.  A far better question to ask would be, what is the wise thing to do.  Huge chunks of scripture are considered wisdom literature.  We need to teach from here and other areas to help our students make wise choices.

Are your students making wise choices in every area of their lives?

 6. Ultimate Authority

We are often told by society that freedom is answering to no one but yourself.  This actually does not lead to peace and freedom.  Maximum freedom is found under God’s authority.

Are your students submitting to the authorities God has placed over them?

 7. Others First

In our society we are told to be a somebody.  To make yourself great.  However scripture says something very different.  It says that when you make other first that is when you really become something.  This is what Philippians 2 says about Jesus.  He made himself nothing.

Are your students putting the needs of others ahead of their own?

What the authors of the book were saying was that this is not a program.  It is themes that need to be communicated regularly to students.  The idea is that when they graduate these 7 topics are burned into their hearts and minds.


Do you think they missed anything?  What are your thoughts on these 7 topics?


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Tyson Howells

Tyson is the associate youth ministry director for Vanguard Youth Ministry Institute. He has been a youth pastor for many years in Winnipeg as well as in Edmonton. Tyson is passionate in seeing relational youth ministry that results in youth that are passionate about following Jesus. He still leads a small group at the youth group in his home church.


  1. Message :thanks do you have additional youth resources.

  2. Jeremysays:

    How would you recommend breaking these topics up throughout the school year?

    • Great question Jeremy.
      How about 3 weeks of teaching then an event night. In 7 months you will hit each of these and have some room for some other ideas to cover.

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