As a youth leader, you already know that teenagers love to talk. So why not harness all that vocal energy by using debate topics for youth at church? In-depth conversations and lively debates get teens thinking while sharpening their faith and evangelism skills.
Teens need to know how to apply their beliefs to their day-to-day lives. In today’s secular culture, they also must be able to defend their faith against challenges. As they do so, teens will be sharing Jesus with other people who need him too.
When teens engage in debates, set ground rules for fair, respectful back-and-forth discussions. Many of these debate topics for youth at church are called “hot-button” topics for a reason: They push people’s buttons!
Also set aside plenty of debriefing time after a debate. Encourage teens to share their reactions and feelings. Ask if anything a teen heard during the conversations changed his or her opinions at all, and why.
Most importantly, when using debate topics for youth at church, turn to Scripture. Take time to dig in and see what God says—or doesn’t say—about each subject. And end each session together in prayer. Ask Jesus for wisdom, patience and a gentle spirit as teens learn to respectfully engage in controversial issues.
Just for Teens: 46 Debate Topics for Youth at Church
- Creation vs. evolution (Did God make the world? How old is the world? Did evolution occur? Did God play a role in evolution through Intelligent Design?)
2. Is faith in Jesus the only one way to heaven? (Are all religions the same? Are all gods the same? Can you get to heaven by being good?)
3. Does hell exist? Why would a loving God subject someone to eternal punishment?
4. What happens to you when you die?
5. Do animals have souls and go to heaven?
6. Is Satan real?
7. Are angels real?
8. Do miracles still happen today?
9. Is everything in the Bible literally true?
10. When, if ever, is divorce okay?
11. When, if ever, is abortion okay?
12. Is premarital sex okay if you’re in love? if you’re engaged?
13. Is homosexuality a sin? Should same-sex marriage be legal?
14. How many genders are there? Should a child or teen be allowed to transition to another gender?
15. Is euthanasia ever okay? Should people remain on artificial life support—and for how long?
16. How should doctors decide who gets life-saving organs or medical care?
17. What should society and lawmakers do to end homelessness and poverty?
18. Is racism systemic? Do we need reparations for slavery?
19. Do cities need to abolish or modify their police forces?
20. Should health care be free for everyone?