The Source for Youth Ministry


Jonathan: You're really big on saying, "Hey, we need to be able to dialogue with people," and have these pleasant conversations with people. Yeah, pleasant conversations about Hell.

Dan: Right.

Jonathan: Now, tell me, how often do you because I heard this, my dad came back and said, "Do you know Dan talks this often about Hell?" So, how often do you talk about Hell, and tell us a little what you do.

Dan: Yeah. We give a sermon every year on Hell.

Jonathan: At your church.

Dan: At our church. And even back in youth ministry we gave talks on Hell. They've been developed a lot since my youth ministry days but, you know, I think for youth ministry I've lived in the same town now, youth ministry, then young adult ministry, and then we planted a church five years ago and I think that we need to be equipping youth during the youth years in theological topics that they will then be forced to talk about with people when they're in college. Hell is gonna be one of them. You know, how you view the Bible. Because in college, or in those years, they will hear different opinions about it and deconstruction of what Christians believe about this or that so I think we should be proactive....

Jonathan: And we need to be ready to talk about it cause they're gonna talk about it in philosophy class.

Dan: And hear the different views. So like, if I'm a kid in high school I may not be addressing, you know, the JEDP theory of the Bible and that's not relevant in my life but when you go to college and you're in English Lit class they very likely will do that. So even if they don't become experts in these areas at least we're then informing in advance, you're gonna hear about this particular thing or this particular thing in your college years, so then they're not caught totally off guard and it can undermine their confidence in the faith. I heard of a youth that left our youth ministry, went to college, and the professor even said, "Your youth leaders probably never talked to you about these things."

Jonathan: Wow! It's like they know.

Dan: Yeah, and they we're even saying, like, "You've probably never heard this before because your leaders don't even know how to answer it. Or they're afraid to talk. They don't want to tell you about these difficult things in the Bible."

Jonathan: That's right. They think we might hide that from them because this is the awkward subject or this is the weakness in our argument for God's existence or whatever, so let's just avoid these altogether.

Dan: Right. I'm not saying have deep theological teaching about subjects but at least have them aware of what some of the common ones will be, you know? The integrity of how we view the Bible. What about the difficult passages? How is it formed? The reality of Hell.

Jonathan: Sure. Sure.

Dan: Now, about sexuality, it's a huge, huge issue today that we need to be prepping youth to be thinking, "How do you answer these questions that now pop culture is raising, you know, about sexuality?