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How to Talk to Your Students About Sex

Our church just wrapped up a message series on sex we called A Way Forward (to learn more go HERE). It’s not the first time we talked about the subject, but it is the first time we did a church-wide message series.

There were a lot of positive results and the series was well received. We created conversations between adults, teenagers and kids. We were able to help people see that living a pure life is huge to having intimacy. A couple of lessons that we learned from the experience is that we need to:

ALLOW TEENS TO ASK QUESTIONS ABOUT SEX

Often we do all the talking and want them to listen. But there are so many voices competing for a teen’s attention. We need to give teens time to process and ask questions. When you allow them to ask questions, it’s like giving them permission to find the Truth.

Asking questions will also help you learn more about the teens in your community. You’ll discover which competing voices are loudest. You’ll learn what worries them, and that will equip you better to help them grow.

EQUIP PARENTS TO OWN THE AWKWARDNESS

The subject of sex is extremely awkward for parents to address with their teens. Like their kids, they too are battling different voices. They need to know what to say and how to say it.

Your youth ministry can give them the tools and information by providing a workshop. If you do not feel qualified, find experts to come and speak. Break them into small groups and facilitate small groups that allow them to practice the conversation. Get them connecting with other parents.

PREACH LOVE, TRUTH AND HOPE

Teens are hurting and struggling when it comes to sex and purity. We need to be aware of how we are addressing the subject. If you come off too strong, you can turn teens away. If you water it down, teens will miss out on important truths.

Make your programs loving and welcoming. Give teens the heads up that not every Truth is easy to understand at first. And remind them that no matter their path, there is a way forward for them.

Content is important, but if not delivered in the right context it will be ignored. To talk to your teens about sex and other tough subjects, make sure you are consistently improving your programs. Make them irresistible environments filled with authentic relationships that can help teens grow as disciples.

Question: How do you talk to your teens about sex? What resources or experiences would you recommend?  

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chriswesley@churchleaders.com'
Chris graduated from Xavier University in 2003 with a BA in Communications: Electronic Media. He moved to Baltimore in the fall of 2003 where he served as a Jesuit Volunteer for a year. During that time, he was a Case Manager at Chase Brexton, met my wife Kate and felt God's calling to Student Ministry. In the summer of 2004, heI was hired by the Roman Catholic Parish Church of the Nativity in Timonium, Maryland as a Middle School Youth Minister. Today he oversees grades 5-12 as the Director of Student Ministry.