Replacing Monologue with Dialogue

What is the biggest impact an adult can make in the life of a young person?

I don’t even have to blink. The answer is, constant dialogue.

The key word there is dialogue, not monologue. Adults are pretty good at lecturing… but listening? Not so much. The lecturer misses out on what is going on in the world of a young person. The listener hears the heart of the person and draws out the truth.

Last week my son texted me, all excited about a discussion in one of his classes at APU, his college down in Southern California. The teacher had read the new CDC report about binge drinking among girls (the scary subject of the brand new Youth Culture Window article I just posted yesterday, Binge Drinking Unrecognized). Instead of lecturing, the teacher began asking questions.

“When does drinking become dangerous?”

“How many drinks does it take?”

Conversation erupted. It doesn’t take much when you ask teenagers the right questions.

Don’t underestimate the power of mentorship. This younger generation actually craves coaching. They want someone who will dialogue with them about the real-life issues they are facing.

Are you ready for these conversations?

Are the adults in your church equipped for these conversations?


About Jonathan McKee

president of The Source for Youth Ministry, is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices, If I Had a Parenting Do Over, 52 Ways to Connect with Your Smartphone Obsessed Kid; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. 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, and 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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2 Responses to Replacing Monologue with Dialogue

  1. Charlie says:

    Thanks for this reminder. One of the best things about doing small groups is you hear what students are thinking, learning, and saying. Sometimes I get more from small group discussion than I do from the message I did. Jesus was big on dialogue and questions too. Josh Hunt has great resources for discussion and questions and a great book called “Teach Like Jesus.” We need to learn to be better listeners.