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The youth group recently traveled to the city of Carlisle, Ohio to partner with The Village Church of Carlisle and serve alongside them for the week. During the week the group spent the mornings helping the church during the kids club at the park. Students helped with groups and ran games. During this time they were able to build relationships with the kids while going through stations such as recreation, Bible, crafts, and snack. They were challenged this week to be very intentional in sharing the Gospel with students and they went above and beyond what was asked of them. Many in our group were pushed out of their comfort zone because of the sharing but that didn’t stop them! In total, we had fifty Gospel conversations, six of which came on Friday while we were at the amusement park and talking with people while waiting in line. It was great to see their efforts in several different areas of the kids club serving and sharing!

In the afternoons during the week, the group served several different ways in the area. They helped out at the church’s ministry center advertising and offering a free car wash two days of the week and helping prepare rooms for painting and other general clean up. We also helped with Headstart, which is a preschool in the area. They are currently switching into a new building so the students helped paint rooms, move tools around to help with those fixing and performing maintenance for the building, power washing the building, pulling weeds, and taking care of larger trash that needed to be carried. And the last company they partnered with was Alistrong which is a resale store where people can come shop and offer a price for different things like clothes, shoes or other household items or they also help those who aren’t able to afford clothes and allow them to come to pick up things every couple weeks. So the students helped sort through clothes, organize, paint, as well as other general building maintenance. During the afternoon time of service, the students did a great job working hard and serving the different ministries in the area.

Overall, the week was a great time of seeing students stretched and pushed out of their comfort zone, becoming leaders and ministering to the younger students around them. We had great attitudes, especially later on in the week as we were running on little sleep. They had very busy days and they continued to serve and continued to stay patient, helpful and upbeat as a group. We are very thankful for the group that went and served and are proud of their efforts during the week and willingness to serve.

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In the parent-child relationship, one the most infamous discussions that is had is “the talk.” Whether you have broached this topic with your child yet—or it’s still to come, there is a need for an ongoing conversation after the “talk”—a “talk after ‘the talk.’” The sex-obsessed and sexually confused culture that your children are growing up in is primed to impose challenges upon them, if we are not actively discipling our children. The prevalence and variety of sexual sin—same sex attraction, gender dysphoria, pornography, sexting, etc.—in our culture is not lost on Christians. As parents, how can you continually disciple your child to pursue God’s design for sex.

  1. Keep Talking

a. While you may have explained the birds and the bees, and there were no questions asked, that doesn’t mean that the topic should be dropped forever. As your child ages and matures, so does the complexity of sexuality—and the need to keep talking. It’s most likely not necessary to discuss with a ten-year-old the benefits of group dating for avoiding temptation. However; it may be necessary to discuss, in an age-appropriate manner, the dangers of inappropriate content on the internet. It is important as parents that sexual sin is brought to the forefront of conversation and discussed often. This allows for more open communication between the parent and child and the opportunity for children and students to not feel unprepared, ill-equipped, or alone in this battle.

2. Don’t Assume

a. Your kids likely know more about sex than you think they do. They also may be dealing with more temptation than you’d want to know. One of the most dangerous things we can do is assume that someone is immune to a sin. This often just buries sin. Our goal should be to create an environment where spiritual growth is the goal. As you disciple your children, it is necessary to always communicate truth in love—but also that you can provide an environment for them to confide in you so you can aid in their spiritual healing.

3. Help Them Grow

a. Your children are not perfect, like all of us, they are sinners, they will make mistakes. Ministering to them in the wake of a mistake will produce some discomfort, awkward conversations, pain, and hopefully—growth. How you choose to handle when your child makes mistakes—even those in the realm of sexual sin—will continually produce a testament to the power and love of God in their life.

    Whether your children are grown or you are not quite yet a parent, it is important that we think through how we can better communicate with our children about sex and sexuality. Thinking about this can be overwhelming. It is important to come up with a plan and system within your family that can produce the most effective communication possible between you and your children. I encourage you to pray and consider how God would lead you to disciple your children better in this matter. Know that God will guide you and equip you in this and that your children and student ministries seek to partner with you in discipling your children.

For some information relating to the current sexual climate, visit these links:

What Americans Believe About Sex-https://www.barna.com/research/what-americans-believe-about-sex/

Porn in the Digital Age- https://www.barna.com/research/porn-in-the-digital-age-new-research-reveals-10-trends/

What Parents Need to Know About Sexting- https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapediatrics/fullarticle/2673714

Fight the New Drug- An Organization Raising Awareness of the Harmful Effects of Pornography- https://fightthenewdrug.org/

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