As of late, I have been thinking a lot about why doubt needs to be an integral apart of our youth ministries. During the Orange Tour, Joiner has been talking about the insane importance doubt plays in the spiritual life of a teen. He concludes that where there is faith, there is doubt.
The book Sticky Faith, authored by Dr. Kara Powell and Dr. Chap Clark from the Fuller Youth Institute, discusses how some studies have shown that those who face their questions and doubts emerge with stronger faith in the end. Stronger faith does not happen when a students stifles doubts or pretends it does not exist. Students need to know and feel like that at any point they can ask any question about life, the Bible, church, Jesus, theology, Christianity, other world religions and God.
(Faith/Doubt photo brought to you by: All rights reserved by Joe Cavazos)
Getting our students to doubt their faith is not only backed by research but it is being accepted as a common practice in youth ministry.
This is so liberating.
I still remember very clearly back in 2004 when I gave my 1st youth group sermon on doubt. I was so scared to give the talk. I felt like a heretic because I was encouraging students to question their faith. Students loved it but parents hated it. The parents were worried because their son or daughter were asking questions they didn’t know how to answer. P.S. If you need a great series on Doubt– XP3 Students has a most excellent series that will get your students to embrace doubt, which will pave the way to belief.
The philosopher Soren Kierkegaard, whose questioning approach to the deep notions of existence and knowledge help keep us and our youth ministries halfway humble. This is why we have to train our students to have a deep questioning approach to their faith journey. It not only keeps us humble, but us on our toes.
Here are 10 questions youth workers need their students asking by 10th grade:
(10) Why Do I Have To Listen To A Sermon?
(9) Why Is Church Important?
(8) Why Is There Evil In The World?
(7) If We Can’t Work Our Way INTO Salvation, How Can We Work Our Way OUT?
(6) How Can We Escape the Love of God?
(5) How Can We Identify Christians if We lgnore God’s Law?
(4) Is Profession of Faith Enough, or Do Our Acts Also Count?
(3) Does God Answer Prayers of Sinners?
(2) What Can Possibly Interrupt Christ’s Dominion?
(1) Why Shouldn’t Christians Become Civil Rulers and Enforce God’s Law?
Do you encourage doubt in your student ministry? If so, how do you do it?
What doubts do your students have?
Do you have a difficult time answering your students questions?
Do you doubt when your students doubt? How does doubt fit into your spiritual growth process?
How do your parents respond when you teach on doubt?