Youth ministry in the Southern Baptist Church reaches out through special websites and videos created specifically to appeal to teens. Through such avenues as dramatic role playing, watching lesson-centered videos, playing group games or taking part in a program designed to help teens maintain a lifestyle of sexual abstinence, teens stay connected to God and their church teachings.
Drama and Skits
The Southern Baptist youth minister behind the "Confessions of an Average Youth Minister" blog (nailscars.com) offers a number of short drama skits that can provide teens with the opportunity to create short performances containing vital lessons about living a life surrendered to God and Jesus' love. One skit focuses on playing Nintendo, another on a teenage romantic relationship and another on "two guys watching Sports Center" on ESPN. These skits are short and doable without a lot of bother with props or costumes.
"True Love Waits"
The Southern Baptist Church teaches teens to wait for a sexual relationship until after marriage. This teaching flies in the face of the cultural perspective that teens are faced with daily amongst peers and in the mass media. The LifeWay ministry (lifeway.com) has developed a program to address the question of sexual abstinence. Aimed at teenagers, it can be presented beginning in middle school and is meant to carry through a teen's high school years. LifeWay's program, called "True Love Waits," offers materials through a series of lessons, each of which costs between $5 and $10 as of May 2011. You can purchase the lesson series for a general group of middle or high school age, or by grade level.
"How Far Are You From God?"
Ryan Snodgrass of Spring Hill Baptist Church offers this game. Have the group stand in a circle. The leader calls out specific questions about choices made during the previous week for each teen to consider and answer truthfully. The leader will direct the teens whose answers to a question are yes to step forward, while those who must answer no must step back. Questions that might be asked of the teens playing this game include: "Did you argue with someone?" "Did you tell even a white lie this week?" "Did you read your Bible every day?" "Did you talk about someone behind his back?" and "Did you talk about your faith with a non-Christian friend?" Students should notice where they end up compared to where they started. Discuss the results and relate this game to Mark 14: 19-31 and John 21: 15-19.
Modern, Edgy Videos
Teens are very comfortable staring at a screen -- be it for playing video games, surfing the Internet or watching movies or TV. The LifeWay ministry (lifeway.com) created a series of videos designed as lessons that depict everyday teenagers being interviewed, combined with youth leaders presenting an accompanying Bible study lesson. These videos also include contemporary music and sharp editing, giving them the modern edge that teenagers respond to. LifeWay's "Fuel: Igniting New Life with God's Story" is meant as a teaching tool for kids in grades seven through 12.
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