Over the past six years of holding question and answer sessions with students at teen camps and retreats I have found that hundreds of their questions consistently revolve around the same themes. If you are a parent or youth worker, this list might help you get into their heads. It is a general consolidations of hundreds of questions.
Here are the top fifteen things that teenagers ask about when given the chance to do so anonymously:
1. How do I know what God’s will is? How do I know if I’m called to ministry?
2. What’s wrong with rock/country/CCM/jazz music? How can you tell what music is good and what is bad?
3. What do you do if you have parents/siblings who are living the wrong way? (one way in church, another way at home, dad on the internet) How do you avoid wrong influences when you live with them?
4. How do you take a stand with your friends/what do you do when you have a friend that is becoming rebellious?
5. How do you separate from bad friends without hurting them or making them think you’re stuck up? How can I be a witness to my friends and still be accepted?
6. What’s wrong with holding hands, kissing, etc., before marriage?
7. Why is it so hard to be consistent in the Christian life as a teenager?
8. Why are we supposed to dress differently/wear non-worldly clothes? (What is appropriate and modest clothing and why?)
9. What’s wrong with going to the movies? (and other issues of separation)
10. How do you get over/deal with a broken relationship (dating & friendships)?
11. Why does God allow trials/temptations to come into our lives?
12. What does having a relationship/walk with God really mean?
13. Why should I go to Bible college for a year after high school?
14. In dealing with authority, how can I explain things or make a point without sounding argumentative or disrespectful? Why do authority figures sometimes assume they know what you are thinking?
15. How do I deal with people and problems in my life that have hurt me deeply?
These questions reveal a lot of real life issues and a strong desire to know “why” or “how.” As adults, we ignore this list to our own detriment. This is what our young adults are seeking to understand. This is what has them tied up in knots. This is what holds them back spiritually, emotionally, etc. Thankfully, God’s Word has answers to every issue — it’s up to us to apply His truth and make it come alive.
Let’s add to the list. What questions have you seen recurring as you work with young adults?