The Practice Game_ Part 4

Teens Are Sensual

Of course, because we expect teens to be walking hormones, when you read the title you assumed (and I am assuming this) that I was going to talk about how all teens are hormonal crazed lunatics, but that, first of all is not completely true and secondly that’s not the point of this blog. What I mean by sensual is that they are driven, like everyone, by their senses. What they hear and see affect their emotions and how they feel is what they go by.

What I’d like for you to consider is this; people’s lives are dictated by externals. As much as we’d like to assume that we are all SPIRIT led to the core, the fact of the matter is that we are very fleshly. As we grow in maturity, we begin to be able to balance those externals with wisdom, hopefully, and become more stable. We are still affected by externals and media producers have come to understand that in order to get our attention they have to use sensationalism. BANG, POW, BOOM!!! You get the idea. The news is filled with the biggest stories, the series on TV are flashy and the movies, musicians, tabloids and such are always over the top because they have to be. In order to cram an (!) in our face that must use the largest attract of our senses to captivate our drive. An (!) is big, it’s outrageous and it demands your attention now!

Your teens aren’t opposed to an (!) in their lives, they are all about an (!) because they are at the beginning of their foray into the world of independent sensory decision making. Before now their parents dictated where any (!) would be in their lives. They were told what was important, what was worth their time and how they should feel about things from their parent/guardians perspective. They didn’t choose their movies, books, friends, etc. so if there was an (!) anywhere it was filtered through their parents’ wisdom, which is not a bad thing AT ALL. This is true in most cases, but not in all and you may have some kids in your group whose parents are not exactly the brightest tool in the shed and have allowed their kids to fill their little mental pockets with whatever (!) they could get a hold of since they were five. That’s the kid you need to keep closest to you for his/her sake and the sake of the other kids in your group.

That’s why teen magazines and movies are sensational! You’ll see an (!) in their lives when it comes to relationships, emotions, problems, fears, etc, etc. They seem to thrive on an (!) and gather around it like moths to a flame. This is normal and you should expect it.

You can be a very effective youth pastor if you understand that you are not going to be able to take the (!) out of your youth group but instead you become an (!) filter. Find out what’s going on in their worlds and without being condescending give them insight from an external perspective. That external perspective I’m speaking of is YOU. You speak into what they are watching, listening to and what they are being affected by.

One more thing, if your teens are all about an (!) and your youth services or small groups don’t have an (!) in them, you will not reach into your kids’ lives. They will be bored (!) and hate any (!), not dislike, hate, any (!) coming to your class or meeting. Your messages, discussions and gatherings need to generate a lasting (!) in your youth. They need to address the things that are affecting your teens in their everyday (!) filled lives. So, start right now thinking of how you can be an (!) filter and how you can generate an (!) in your youth services. With no (!) they’ll see you as a (,) in their lives. If your youth view you as a comma, you’ll become a mere momentary pause between two ideas, neither of them being you, or your ministry. I could definitely expound greater detail upon this issue, but for now I’ll lay it to rest and end with this most profound scripture. Thoughts?

1 Peter 5: 2-4 (NASB): (2) shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness; (3) nor yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock. (4) And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.

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