Youth Workers Respond to Pornography. . . . by Walt Mueller
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.
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 to 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?