Having said that, our Student Ministry is right in the middle of our annual teaching emphasis on sex, dating, relationships, etc. I’ve been teaching the senior high the last couple weeks. This Sunday is the third and final week, with the last talk being led by Nancy. If you’re curious, you can hear the audio on our podcast feed, www.SummitDEpodcast.com. Once that series wraps, I’ll teach a two week series with the middle school kids entitled ‘SEXuality: What was God thinking?’ It’s from the Live Curriculum, one of my favorite curriculum resources. You can read the letter I’m sending parents below that gives them a heads up to the series (as well as lets them know about some other upcoming opportunities) and hopefully becomes a launching point for them and their child.
One of the strange things for me as a youth pastor over the years has been a reoccurring idea that middle schoolers aren’t thinking about sex. The reality is, they are. A lot. Just in my few years here some of the most direct and blunt questions about sex have come from sixth grade students. What scares me is that for most kids they are hearing far more about sex, dating, hooking up and whatever else from the cast of the Jersey Shore than they are from all the adults in their lives combined!
Anyway, submitted for your approval … my letter to parents:
I wanted to drop you a line and fill you in on some upcoming teaching series and opportunities for your middle school student(s)! As Delaware thaws out and heads into spring, we have a lot of great things going on and coming up! Check out the attached calendar to see our upcoming events – you can get more details on our student page at the church website, http://www.SummitDE.com. There are a couple things I’d like to highlight in particular:
Over the next couple months we’ll actually be bouncing back and forth on Sunday mornings between two series, ‘HABITS’ and ‘SEXuality: What was God thinking?’ Here’s the teaching schedule, followed with some comments about it,
- 3/20 HABITS: H = Hang time with God (quiet time)
- 3/27 HABITS: A = Accountability
- 4/3 HABITS: T = Tithing
- 4/10 SEXuality: What was God thinking? (part one)
- 4/17 SEXuality: What was God thinking? (part two)
- 4/24 EASTER Sunday: there is no Student Quest, families are encouraged to worship together
- 5/1 HABITS: S = Sacraments (Baptism and Communion)
- 5/8 HABITS: B = Bible study and memorization
- 5/15 HABITS: I = Involvement in church
If you’re wondering about the timing of the teaching schedule … I’m just weird! We’re actually doing the HABITS series and a dating series with the senior high as well, and I’m the lead teacher when it comes to sex and dating lessons and I can’t be in two places at once, so we had to rearrange them a little to make the schedule work! Here’s an overview of the 6th-8th grade SEXuality series and what I’ll be teaching:
Most middle school students never stop to consider that God created the idea of sexuality. It’s all part of God’s plan — male and female differences, sex, marriage, our desire for connection and intimacy, the reason boys don’t seem so gross anymore, and the reason girls no longer seem like a waste of time. Unfortunately, our culture sends confusing, conflicting, and inaccurate messages about sex. This series is designed to help your students understand God’s plan and purpose for sex (that’s week 1) and then encourage them to make wise choices in this area of life (that’s week 2). This series is NOT a sex education course – it’s a brief attempt to give students an understanding of what God says about sexuality in all the different areas of their lives – not just in dating, but in what they watch on tv, the jokes they tell and laugh at, the words they chose, the thoughts they entertain, the internet, and how they use their many portable electronics and cell phones, and to challenge them now to be intentional about honoring God with their decisions in these areas as they continue to grow. Like I do for all our Sunday morning teaching series, I’ll post an overview of the lesson on my blog (www.MatthewMcNutt.com) with follow up discussion questions and ideas that you can use at home to continue the conversation. I’ll also record the audio for those curious to listen and post it on our podcast feed (www.SummitDEpodcast.com).
I wanted to let you know about this series and what we’ll be talking about as a ‘heads up’ because I recognize some of you may not feel the timing is appropriate for your child. If that’s the case, please feel free to have them attend the adult worship services for the two weeks of this series.
I also wanted to point out the HABITS series; it’s actually a series that we repeat every year with students in junior and senior high because we feel they represent spiritual disciplines vital to their faith. On May 1st we will be talking about baptism, its importance, meaning, and why it’s one of only two sacraments that Christ instituted. Following the lesson we will invite students who haven’t been baptized to participate in our next baptism service which will be on May 22nd. In addition, Pastor Bo has offered to do a special preparation for baptism class on the Wednesday evening of May 4th for just students . Some of the kids had mentioned to me in the past that they were intimidated to attend his classes because they didn’t want to be in a room full of adults, so he has offered to do this one just for them.
On April 15th and May 20th, we’re doing something a little special! In addition to ‘The Three,’ our fun night for middle school kids, our Costa Rica student mission team will also be doing a Parents’ Night Out fund raiser! It’s babysitting for children fifth grade and younger, with a suggested donation of $5 per child, happening at the same time as ‘The Three’ so all of you parents with younger kids can have a date night! All of the donations will go towards the $7000 they are raising for the House of Hope they will be building in Costa Rica this summer, a new home for a homeless family that will change their lives forever!
Keep checking our webpage, http://www.SummitDE.com, for all the latest events, as well as our Facebook page, http://www.Facebook.com/SummitDE, for photos, videos and event information as well! Let me know if you have any questions, want to come in and talk, or need some ideas for family devotions – we have some exciting ideas in the works to help resource you and your family in this area!
Thanks for lettings us minister with you to your children! It’s a blessing we appreciate!