3 Tips for Youth Workers Navigating Teen Pregnancy

I’ll never forget that weekend.

I was picking up a few students for our Friday night Youth Worship service.  That was when John* told me that Matt had gotten Lisa pregnant.  This was the last thing I thought we’d be talking about in my car on the way to youth.

I’m not sure if you’ve dealt with a teen pregnancy but it’s never easy.  In fact, it can often be a very messy and complicated situation.  You feel like you’re navigating through a minefield as you deal with the 2 students, parents, church, leadership and all of your youth.

This is by no means a manual that will answer all of your questions, but here are some tips to help you navigate the minefield.

4 Ways to Effectively Help Hurting Students

We all have them.

Unfortunately, we do not always know what to do with them.  I guarantee that your ministry is filled with hurting students.  They might hide it from you, but below the surface, they are hurting.

So how do you help hurting students?  In his book, Help My Kids Are Hurting, Marv Penner offers 4 ways.  In fact, he uses the acronym LOVE to help explain them.

A Suicidal Teen: What do you do? (and not do)

Let me tell you about one of my big regrets in youth ministry.

One of my small group leaders came up to me and told me a student kept bring up suicide.  I brushed this leader off and said it is not a big deal unless the student talks about going through with it.

For the next handful of weeks, this leader would come to me with concerns.  I kept not taking them seriously enough.  Finally, after weeks, we brought the parents in on the conversation.

It was clear that the parents were not impressed that they were not told about their student and suicide concerns immediately.

Suicide is a very real issue that you will have to deal with.  Let me give you some advice on what to do and not to do.

5 Attitudes to Have With Students Who Struggle With Sexual Identity

It’s a politically charged topic.

In fact, many churches don’t know how to handle it. If you haven’t encountered the issue yet, you will.

I’m sure you have already guessed what I am talking about. Let me ask you a question. What do you do when you have a student that is confused with their sexual identity?

Here are 5 attitudes to have.

Screen Time and Improving Teens’ Social Skills

I fail emotional intelligence tests.

That’s when I am honest. I know the right responses. I just don’t use them in everyday situations. I don’t like to say “God bless you,” if someone sneezes (it’s based on a terrible superstition.) I don’t ask “How are you?” unless I really have the time to find out (which is rare.) And when asked, “What do you want to do?” it’s normally, “Work.”

I know I’m probably a terrible role model and the last one who should be writing this blog, except studies are showing that a generation is coming up with even poorer social skills than mine!

Here are the stats and what the experts say that we should do.

2 Responses to “How Far Is Too Far?”

How far is too far?

If you haven’t heard the question, I guarantee it is on their minds.  You really can’t blame them.  If anything you have to blame puberty.  All of these new feelings, emotions and hormones are flooding their way through their body.  And yes, part of that is sexual feelings.

So biblically speaking, how far is too far?

Paris, Immigration and Youth Ministry

What is your responsibility to refugees?

This will be perceived as the most political blog that I have written to date.  I am not intending for it to be political.

The world that our students are growing up in is a very different world than what I grew up in.  The most recent attacks on Paris were horrible and inexcusable.  As a result of these attacks and everything else that has happened in recent history, words like ISIS, Immigration and Muslims have become hot topics.  In fact, they are lightening rod issues.

Ask anyone on the street where you live and minister about ISIS, Immigration or Muslims and I bet you will get a very wide spectrum and even emotional response.

This includes your students. 

I know these are complicated issues and there are no easy solutions.  I know we cannot rush to give simple answers.  I also know that we cannot find our answers from CNN or Fox News.

Can we agree that scripture is what should shape our worldview.

I just read an article on www.relevantmagazine.com called, “What the Bible Says About How to Treat Refugees”.  The majority of the article is scripture.  It got me thinking, when we talk to students about current issues is scripture the next words out of our mouth?

It is just a thought and I would be curious what you think.