One of our Christian readers shares a teen-centered idea. The same format could be adapted to any cultural or religious style.
Faith and Doubt Night
“We have a relatively small youth group… maybe 10 high school aged kids if everyone shows up. Faith and Doubt Night has gotten positive feedback from them. It’s not a typical ‘youth group’ thing. No games, no icebreakers, just a living room full of teens and the senior pastor (no parents), and any questions the kids want to ask. As a parent, I’m not allowed to attend, so my husband and I watch something in the basement while the kids meet in our living room.
“What about this?”
Because of the personality, education and demographics of our church, it tends to be rational, intellectual, debate-style, “What about this?’ kinds of questions. The unfairness of hell, the reliability of the Bible, the character of God, injustice in the world, etc.
We’ve had one so far and the kids really liked it. They thought it was interesting and relevant. After seeing how the first one went, some are now open to inviting friends who have expressed interest in spiritual things.
What parents say
I’ve talked with some of the parents and we mostly agree that most high school kids– whether raised in the church or outside of it– aren’t really sure yet about what they believe. They may give general assent, but they haven’t really kicked the tires and decided what they think for themselves.
How we advertised it
At [church name] we value all honest questions, doubts, and hesitations about the Christian faith. If you are in 9th-12th grade, the floor is wide open for you to bring ANY question you’re wrestling with about Christianity. Pastor Bill will lead conversation as we talk through each other’s questions, and help us think through issues together. Bring your questions. Dessert will be provided.
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Tweetable: One of the happiest discoveries for teens can be that asking questions is far more interesting than making statements about their own views. Read about one church’s Faith and Doubt night. Click to Tweet