In the Mind of our “Good” Kids

Do our “good” kids really need us to talk about sex, raunchy music, pornography, etc? Are we just putting thoughts in their heads that weren’t already there? Are we “making them grow up too fast?”

These are all accusations I’ve heard when it comes to talking with our “Good” kids about real issues in this very R-rated world. That’s why I gathered 5 of our “good kids” together yesterday and recorded a podcast asking them about these issues. I wanted to get a peek inside the mind of our “good kids,” and hear what pressures they are actually facing day to day. Then I asked them point blank: “Should the church talk about these issues?”

Great responses.

At the beginning of the podcast I made a disclaimer to our listeners. I told them that these kids were NOT at all a representation of the typical kids you’d find at your local campus. That wasn’t the intent of this podcast. I didn’t gather a random sampling of kids of different beliefs and attitudes. Instead, I hand-selected kids who have grown up in Christian homes where church is a priority. These kids are all “discipleship level” kids, many of them student leaders in their youth groups. I wanted our listeners to hear the perspective of kids who have been “protected” from many of the influences of this world. It was interesting to hear what pressures and temptations these “sheltered” kids faced (Three of the students are public school kids, one attends a Christian school and one is homeschooled).

The podcast was really fun. Some of the answers were a little churchy, but they answered with authenticity.

Here are the questions I asked:

– What does it mean to be a follower of Christ today?

– What are some of the biggest pressures you feel from the world that seems to battle against your faith in God and His truth?

– Parents and youth workers have been reading an abundance of articles and even seen 60 Minute news specials about a trend called “sexting.” This is, of course, sending sexually explicit text messages or even naked or sexually revealing pictures of oneself. Have you witnessed this, received any of these messages? Do you see this as a trend at your school, work or in your social groups? FOLLOW UP: Reports say that 39% of teenagers say they’ve sent suggestive text messages, 48% say they’ve received them. 20% say that they’ve sent naked or semi-naked pictures of themselves. 33% of teenage boys say they’ve seen these images. Do you think these numbers are accurate?  Do you think this affects Christian kids just the same?

– Music is a huge influence on teenagers today. Who are some of the biggest names in music that you see influence teenagers today? FOLLOW UP: Is there pressure to listen to not only sexually explicit music, but maybe sexually suggestive music? How do you deal with this pressure?

– Internet porn is abundant, so abundant in fact that they say that the average age that kids experience internet porn, even accidentally, is age 11. Have you found this to be a temptation, a nuisance, a pressure? How do you fight a battle like this?

– How has the church equipped you to deal with these kinds of pressures and influences?

– What do you feel like you still need? In other words, what OTHER ways can we teach and train you?

You’ll really enjoy their responses.

We should release the podcast within the next two weeks. Look for it on our THE SOURCE Podcast page soon.

About Jonathan McKee

president of The Source for Youth Ministry, is the author of over twenty books including the brand new If I Had a Parenting Do Over, 52 Ways to Connect with Your Smartphone Obsessed Kid; Sex Matters; The Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket; and youth ministry books like Ministry By Teenagers; Connect; and the 10-Minute Talks series. He has over 20 years youth ministry experience and speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers and parents on his websites, TheSource4YM.com and TheSource4Parents.com. You can follow Jonathan on his blog, getting a regular dose of youth culture and parenting help. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.
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One Response to In the Mind of our “Good” Kids

  1. Patrick Garrett says:

    I’m so excited!! Form the moment I read this posting I have been anticipating this podcast and now this morning as I come into the office there is one new download from your site ~ it’s the podcast! Jon, this hits right where I am wrestling as I start my new year with the students; having to show my elders and parents that the stuff I am doing in regards to culture is not as “world-crashing” as they think it is for their “good kids”…I can’t wait for it to download!