My youth group experience (at least the way I perceived it) seemed focused more on what not to do. Don’t drink, don’t smoke, don’t have sex. In fact, I think it was in my church high school group that I learned that ‘sex was bad’. Church seemed so unreal from the reality I faced and the pressures of the teen years of fitting in. I wasn’t being equipped to reply to the reasons why I shouldn’t do these things other than moralism. I wish the conversations were more frank and dealt less with the ‘what not to do’ and more with a Kingdom culture.
That leads me to a post Jen Zug made:
When I was a teenager I smoked, I shoplifted, I double pierced my ear with a needle and an ice cube, and I kissed boys in the bushes at church camp.
These are the kinds of characters and antics I find in the Diary of a Teenage Girl series by Melody Carlson. This is not simply the Christian version of the Sweet Valley High series with its drama and quest for popularity, but these are honest stories of real people who wrestle with everyday things like car privileges, school bullies, body image, and boys. (Full Post: Finally, a Teen Book Series for the Rest of Us
Churches, let’s stop entertaining our kids with cool services and XBox after service and raise a generation of gospel culture-changing activists. That may need to start with conversations based in reality.