Monday, January 23, 2006

The Ultimate Question

Had one of those great sessions with our young people yesterday. One of those unplanned, unexpected, unpredictable moments when a young person says...

"I have a question..."

Before we got to that I had been asked by the parent of an 11 year old who isn't due to join the group until September (it's a group for year 7 and above and this young person is in year 6) if the young person could join sooner. I told the parent that I would have to ask the group and, even though the group is currently quite young - years 7-9 rather than older as it has been before - the young people still felt they wouldn't want to discuss some things or ask some questions if younger people were in th group. Therefore we will be staying as we are and taking secondary school only people.

So what was the question...?

"What do you think about sex before marriage?"

It led to a really good discussion. Interestingly Ian is about to run some training on this on 7th February and I reflected when I saw that a few weeks ago that I've always been pretty secure in tackling this subject when it arises but not so good at PLANNING to discuss it. It made me ponder... should we PLAN to discuss these things with young people or wait for them to ask?

After our sex before marriage discussion one of the others asked another question...

"Is heaven a physical place or a spiritual place?"

With only five minutes left to discuss that one I think we might just focus on it for next week's session!


EasyRew said...

:: should we PLAN to discuss these
:: things with young people or wait
:: for them to ask?

I *definately* think we should plan for these discussions. If we don't there's a danger that they won't be had at all.

In my first few years as a youth leader we had a number of young people caught up in unmarried pregnancies. Each was involved in our youth work to a differing degree, some regular and engaged, others occasional and disengaged.

When the youth leaders reflected on the situation, we came to the realisation that we had failed them by not engaging them in this kind of conversation/teaching often enough.

This is something we've regularly addressed since - although another bash at it now wouldn't hurt ;o)

Obviously it depends on the age and circumstances of your group - but my feeling is definately that we need to plan for these discussions.


Mel said...

Classic question! Was one of the ones I was asked most commonly at school.

Another good discussion (related and possibly for the slightly older!) is supposing you decided that you were not going to have sex before marriage, how far should you go (given the Bible has no guidance on this that I know of)?