The student ministry I served in just used Can I Ask That?, from Fuller Youth Institute, and loved it. In part one of this two-part blog series, I listed WHY a resource like Can I Ask That? is important. In this post, I will recap what we experienced from using Volume 1 and a few things that we may try next time.
- Switching the normal lecture/lab format
Our student ministry normally engages in large group teaching and breaks into discussion groups. For this series, we flipped it and started in discussion groups to let students express their opinions and thoughts on a particular issue. Students loved it. In fact, it seemed that they engaged more deeply in the larger group teaching because they had surfaced their own questions and that of their friends.
- Robust dialogue
This series stirred up A LOT of robust dialogue. In fact, it was almost like shaking a bottle of soda and finally pulling off the cap. What this series surfaced was the depth of questions, emotions and conflicting thoughts students have received from all their various inputs (e.g., media, news, friends, parents, church, etc.).
It also surfaced opportunity to help students learn how to express disagreement with one another in a way that shows respect and dignity.
- Kitchen table conversations
Several parents contacted the student ministries pastor to let them know that their son or daughter was coming home fired up and asking questions they had never voiced before. We’ve heard stories of families staying up late sitting around the kitchen table for an hour or more after Wednesday night talking about some of the questions. Most of the parents were thrilled to hear their son/daughter wrestling so hard over such foundational issues of their faith.
One dad mentioned that it woke him up to the reality that his son is no longer a child. He said, “I realized that I’ve not shifted my parenting. [My son] has his own thoughts about his faith and I need to adjust how I come alongside him in this season.”
- Exposing their worldview
This series did a great job of exposing what students really believe. It revealed how much they are being influenced by culture. It also helped to expose how many know what they really believe and, more importantly, why they believe it. I would say this series actually has helped us better understand what we need to focus more on in the coming year and affirm where the gospel is taking root and growing. Continue Reading…