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Who I amReside in St. Louis Missouri currently, Lived in California & Colorado.Husband.Father.Pastor.Football Enthusiast.Teacher.Learner.Dreamer.Reader.Friend. [thoughts & comments blogged here are my reflections living life trusting Jesus as God]

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Social Snares

Recently I sat & talked with a group of 13 & 14 year olds for about 7 hours.  Some of these teens I knew, some I didn't.  But in those 7 hours the topic of conversations were as follows.

  • Sexuality
  • Drugs
  • Family pressures
  • Home life stress
  • Popularity
  • Parents fighting
  • Sex talk with Parents
  • Sex talk with friends
  • Popularity
  • School stress
  • Male anatomy & bodily functions that involve gas
  • Passions for future jobs
  • God/Faith/Jesus/Church/Religion

Why I LOVE my job is because moments like these 7 hours give me a deeper glimpse into the reality of our culture & what students are facing daily.  I also believe moments like this God uses to give me DIVINE insight into what my role as a Pastor needs to be for effectiveness.

Here is what I learned & was reminded of in those 7 hours:
- I need to encourage truth when 13 & 14 year olds ask a question seeking my thoughts.
- I need to be able to allow conversation to occur even if I completely disagree with their view on something.  They need room to speak without being condemned.
- I need to continue to raise awareness with "Christian" parents that the statement "just wear a condom" isn't a God-fearing way to have a sex talk with your 13 year old son.
- I need to walk along with parents when they are desperate for help/resources when drugs, alcohol, sex, peer pressure enter the life of their 7th grader.
- I need to help raise/train this generation when"Sex & Sexual conversation is 70% of what we talk about with friends" so that Godly wisdom can come from their own mouth & heart before consequences occur.
- I need to do some more homework on common drug use.  I was surprised 3 times that the 13 year old next to me actually has more internet homework time on illicit drugs than my 30 years of life does.
- I need to help students see that popularity & desire for popularity will alter your thinking pattern
- I need to remind teenagers to enjoy life.  Stress at 14 will lead to an un-healthy lifestyle, teens need balance.  But this also starts with helping parents see this critical perspective as well.
- I need to be a students pastor to love, encourage & point them to the cross.  I need to be willing to be vulnerable & walk life with them....or I'll never have a voice worth listening too.

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