With the ability for the modern Christian teenager to access information and ideas from all over the globe, it is likely that they will run into several ideas and people that challenge their beliefs. As a youth leader, it is important to help teach young Christians how to stay strong in their faith while practicing a certain level of tolerance for other people and religions. Leading a discussion about tolerance and religion during your youth ministry allows you to address concerns and questions that young believers may have about Christianity and other religions.
Be Prepared With Several Bible Verses About Tolerance
You may want to open your discussion with a prayer followed by a Bible study based around tolerance. If you have a large group of youth, you can break them into groups and give each group a Bible verse to discuss. One group should have a verse about tolerance, another about religious unity, another about intolerance and finally a group should have a verse showcasing how Jesus showed tolerance.
Once the small groups have read and discussed their verses, bring your groups back together. Have each group present their verse and what they think it means. Then, ask if any of the verses seem to conflict with each other and why. Your youth should state that the Bible teaches them to be tolerant of people, but to not believe things that go against the Bible and to protect themselves against those who would challenge their faith.
Be Prepared to Talk About Current Events
Teenagers are eager to apply their knowledge to the world around them. By discussing current events, you can give your youth members concrete examples of how they can practice their faith. For example, you may want to discuss the current refugee situation in the United States and the various positions held regarding religious tolerance for Muslims by American Christians. Any time that the debate gets heated or uncomfortable, you should gently lead your discussion back to finding Bible verses that apply to the situation you are discussing.
Give Plenty of Time for Youth-led Discussion
As with any youth discussion, your youth members will learn more if they are able to reach conclusions on their own. While you should guide the discussion, you should leave plenty of time for youth members to contribute their thoughts, feelings, and opinions. You should keep in mind that tolerance and drawing boundaries can be sensitive topics that are best covered after you have already developed a strong relationship with your youth group.
If you are looking for a place to engage with other youths who share your faith, look into churches, like Crossroads Baptist Church, that offer specific programs for youth.Share
31 December 2015
After my mother died, I realized that I wasn't living the type of life that she would want me to live. I had gotten into drugs and alcohol, which had led me down a predictable, boring path. Fortunately, a friend of mine talked me into going to church one day, which completely changed my outlook. I found a sense of purpose and hope that was missing from my life, and it was amazing to see the light. I want other people to see the benefits of participating in a religion, which is one of the many reasons I started this blog.