Gospel-Centered Discussion Questions for Discipling Teens

The #1 thing God has been convicting me of in the last year concerning my ministry is the lack of discipleship. So for about the past 12 months I have been asking tons of people questions, reading articles, looking through books, studying the Word, praying, and thinking through the best and most biblical way to disciple teens. In the process, I have learned so much about what it means to disciple. It’s not a clipboard with a list of questions, but an on-going conversation. It’s not just accountability, but it’s deepening in the gospel. It’s not a Sunday night class, but it’s doing life together. It’s not just a weekly meeting for coffee, but it’s a daily invitation into each other’s lives.

I feel like I’ve learned so much, but I have even more questions when it comes to discipling teens. I want to keep this article brief and focused on understanding conversations and questions in gospel-centered discipleship. I think the big question that most youth pastors are begging to be answered is…what do we talk about on a weekly basis during intentional discipleship discussions with teens? I’ve become increasingly convicted and convinced that our discipling conversations must revolve specifically around the gospel of Jesus! So here is the gospel-centered discipleship discussion flow and questions I’m currently thinking through…

1. Jesus’ obedience: Our identity and acceptance.
Because of Jesus’ sinless and perfect obedience to His Father by fulfilling all the law, the Father was fully pleased with His performance. When we are saved, we are united with Jesus. Therefore, we share in Jesus’ perfect identity, full satisfaction from the Father, and absolute acceptance. Teenagers need to be constantly reminded of their identity and God’s satisfaction and acceptance for them. Here are some questions I like to ask when it comes to this: How are you finding your true identity in Jesus? Do you believe that God is fully satisfied with you through Jesus? How do you live differently knowing that you have God’s full approval of acceptance? Have you been trying to find your identity in anything or anyone else over the past week? Have you been seeking anyone else’s satisfaction or acceptance for you more so than enjoying God’s? These questions are huge to start off with because they are the reminder off the bat that we are working from God’s acceptance and not for it! Continue reading

Restructuring Student Small Groups – A Huge Hit!

Free file for youth pastors:

Weekly Info Email for Small Group Leaders (word doc)

 About a month and a half ago, we decided to experiment with restructuring our small groups away from just another teaching time and to a time of building relationships.  So far after experimenting with it for several weeks, it’s been a huge hit.  Jennifer is one of our senior students who we’ve given the responsibility to step down into the 7th grade girl’s class to learn leadership, mentoring, facilitation, etc.  You’ll love what she emailed me about how this new small groups structure is enhancing her class’ experience:

 I LOVE this new Sunday school plan. Our girls are getting much more out of it (and me to). We haven’t been able to get them to read the books or the Bible reading plans no matter what. But I guess now that they go together (Wednesday worship and Sunday small groups), a lot more are starting to read it. And they have all said that they don’t really read their Bibles, especially the old testament, because they think it’s boring and confusing, but they’re seeing on Wednesday nights that it is not at all, and how applicable it really is, so after they hear it preached, they’ll go home and read it because it gets them interested, and they’ve heard it preached so they understand it.  And with them reading it the discussions are soo much better, they actually talk!!  Haha, Its just great….Thanks for everything. =)

 Now if you think I put her up to that or even asked her what she thought…you’ve bumped your head.  That email just totally came out of the bleu, straight from her heart, and got me pumped!  Here’s how the big switch, restructuring, and new system all happened what we’re doing now, and how its all going… Continue reading