Jesus isn’t cool

Challenging youth ministry

Cramming more than 50 high school students into a small room for weekly Bible study is challenging, but getting them to talk about sex is not. When the questioning hand of one 15-year-old boy shot up in the back of the room, I braced myself. “Is masturbation a sin?—I really gotta know.”

I was proud of him, but not for his honesty and openness. Talking explicitly about sex is easy for MTV-watching teens. Using a word like sin is much harder. As Christian Smith and Melinda Lundquist Denton, authors of Soul Searching: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of American Teenagers, observe, few teens think seriously about theologically explicit words like resurrection, redemption, sanctification and sin.


This article is available to subscribers only. Please subscribe for full access—subscriptions begin at $2.95. Already have an online account? Log in now. Already a print subscriber? Create an online account for no additional cost.

This article is available to subscribers only.

To post a comment, log inregister, or use the Facebook comment box.