- cutting/self-injurious behavior
- self-image/personal identity
- drugs and alcohol
- homosexuality (currently realizing)
I look at that list and I look at my teaching list, and a weird feeling of disconnect hits me. I think of the last year of sermons I've heard in the main service, and I take another blow of dissatisfaction. It seems like the solutions we as the Church have come up with to these problems are to teach on them once a year and move on. Are we trying to combat the never-breaking messages of the media, peers, and celebrities with a 3-week series?
I've decided to change my approach to teaching on these issues. I will touch on pornography, cutting, drugs and alcohol, and more in every lesson I teach. I will work them into small group discussion questions. I will make these specific issues part of my vocabulary more than the usual Christian jargon of "discipleship," "saved," "pressing in," and other weird Sunday school sayings.
The Middle School students that are part of this ministry will know what the Bible says about these issues: not because of a once-and-done series, but because of the regular, purposeful discussion of the way these issues relate to God, our worship of him, and how he has designed and desires us to live.
This will not be easy. I want to work both smarter and harder to make this meaningful, not repetitive; relevant, not dogmatic; convicting, not churching; encouraging, not hindering.
Will you help me?