Sex Ed for Churches
I would like to propose today that we claim back this critically important aspect of our youngsters education. Historically Sex education (the birds and the bees!) was the job of the parents. Sex Education was domiciled in the home. If you went to church the subject might have been touched upon in youth group.
With the advent of smart phones and the internet coupled with a culture that pretty much says, ‘if it feels good do it’, add into that the phenomenal rise of the porn industry and the ease of accessibility into that industry, we now have a cocktail of ingredients that conspire against everything that is decent and good.
I believe that sex education should be taught in the context of a set of values whether we call them ‘traditional values or family values or religious values or christian values etc’. I know you believe this too. Though there is a very important biological aspect to sex education (I can still remember my 6th Form Biology class) it doesn’t take long for it to become a discussion about expressing our human sexuality, and about love, romance, dating, sex, marriage, and babies. And as we know children and teenagers are fascinated by all this.
So if the local church were to see this as an important part of their Christian education (discipleship ministry), how might you as Pastor go about this? Here are a few thoughts:-
- Please don’t dismiss this by saying to yourself, ’this is not my issue or worse still, ‘I don’t have a problem in my church’. You do!
- I don’t think this is just a children’s or youth workers responsibility.
- Convene say three focus groups of parents of pre-schoolers, primary and secondary age and ask them what are the challenges they face, what they are worried about and what they would like some assistance with. I guarantee you will get a surprise. Suddenly a few new books will show up on your book shelf.
- Consider running some evenings where you might watch a video piece or even a movie followed by discussion. What about a Father and Son, Mother and Daughter weekends?
- Convene carefully crafted panel discussions, information evenings and sex talks. This is a good time for Senior Pastors to go and chat to the pre-teen and youth group.
- Provide good resources for families including books for kids and teens.
- You might like to familiarise yourself with what the NZ Ministry of Education offers as a curriculum outline which as a Christian you would have to be concerned about. This will be very helpful to shape your curriculum and counter balance the secular programme.
- There are many excellent books and resources available. Here are three suggestions just to get started.
- Josh and Dottie McDowell’s book ‘Straight talk with your kids about sex’.
- The Search Institute in my opinion is one of the best Christian based organisations to help parents, schools and churches address this subject especially about healthy relationships.
- Focus On The Family website Where Do Babies Come From?
- I don’t think you can talk enough about good sex within marriage with your teenagers at church. Cast a vision for God’s plan for the expression of human sexuality. We should also help them understand the problems, disease and sadness that comes with deviating from God’s plan.
When all is said and done, the sex soaked culture we now all swim in requires us to think again about this very important aspect of human existence and to stand strong on our Christian convictions and to be pro-active and to have a plan to help our children, teenagers, young adults and our families navigate these treacherous waters.
- This October, Barna and World Vision are joining together to release and unpack the largest ever global study of Millennials and their attitudes toward Christianity. Check it out here.
- CMA will be back in November conducting two Governance and Accountability Workshops.
Alan Vink is currently the Executive Director for LeadershipWorx. Prior to this role he has been the Executive Director of Willow Creek Association NZ (WillowNZ), a Baptist pastor (23 years), Bible College teacher, and church consultant.