Youth Workers Respond to Pornography. . . .
Over the weekend I had the privilege of spending a day with a roomful of youth workers at the Simply Youth Ministry Conference talking about one of the most timely, urgent, and difficult youth culture topics out there. . . pornography. It was our CPYU seminar on the topic. At the end of the day, I asked my youth worker friends to act on what we had discussed during the day. Their task was to sit around their tables and come up with a list of youth ministry strategies that were framed as “do’s” and “don’ts.” While their list is not exhaustive, it’s a good one. And so, I share it here. Take it and run with it. There are some great starting points, parameters, and boundaries here. . . .
- Don’t ignore the pornography issue. It’s not going to go away. It’s touching every one of your kids and their families in some way, shape, or form.
- Don’t be scared of the pornography issue. None of us have all the answers than this. And, God is bigger than this issue.
- Don’t chastise, berate, or belittle the kids who are struggling with pornography. You’ll only drive them away and forfeit your opportunity to lead them in the right direction.
- Don’t joke around, mess around, or make light of sexuality and sexual issues. They get enough of that from the culture and peer group. Let’s be above all that.
- Don’t lose hope. There’s not a kid who will benefit from a lack of hope. All of them need to know there is hope for them as they struggle with this issue.
- Do compare God’s truth and big “YES” for sex with the enemy’s lies about sexuality.
- Do be proactive in addressing the pornography issue rather than being reactive. Remember, it’s a matter of when not if your kids are being exposed.
- Do pray. The Holy Spirit can bring change.
- Do equip them to live Christianly in the world. Don’t pull them out of the culture. Rather, equip them to live in a “porn is the norm” culture.
- Do have conversations with your students’ “gatekeepers.” In other words, talk about the issue with moms and dads.
- Do educate and empower parents.
- Do elevate women in the eyes of your students. Culture and pornography are objectifying and tearing down women. We need to lift them up and celebrate their identity in Christ.
- Do have credibility with kids. Do you have an issue with pornography?