100 topics that I encourage every youth ministry to talk about

in Coaching on June 2, 2020by Nick Farr
100 topics every student ministry should talk about

In my 12 years as a student pastor, I taught countless messages, wrote many devotions, spoke at a ton of student events, and did so many student counseling sessions that I can’t even begin to count. During this time, I know that there were certain topics that I focused on and other topics that I rarely mentioned. To be truthful, the time that I spent engaging these 100 topics likely coincided with where I was spiritually. Sometimes, I leaned too heavily on teaching what God was teaching me instead of what students needed to hear. Sometimes those topics lined up, sometimes they didn’t.

Even after all of these years, I still don’t know everything. I would never claim to be an expert on students as their landscape is constantly changing. Frankly, I hope you do a better job than I did in hitting these 100 topics. While some of them would make for great sermons or series, others fit more nicely into small group topics, devotions, or Q&A times with various youth coaches. Several of these topics might also make you uncomfortable as they did me too. That’s ok and it’s nice for our students to see us dealing with our own feelings towards sticky issues. I also realize that many have different points of view depending on your background. Regardless, I hope that you’ll consider these topics and be ok with allowing God to move and the Holy Spirit to speak where he wants to speak.

Here is my list. I’m sure you’ll have your own to add. Would you do me a favor? If you’ve written a sermon, small group lesson, devotional, or even a blog post about one of these topics add a link back to YouthMin.org. We’ll see it and list it below for others to benefit from as well. What’s even better is if we see our diversity in response too.

  1. What happens if I don’t feel God?
  2. How does the Holy Spirit affect my everyday life?
  3. How to have better devotions or quiet time with God.
  4. How often should I read my Bible?
  5. How do I love someone who disagrees with me?
  6. Can we trust the Bible?
  7. Does the Bible contain errors?
  8. What is the relationship between science and the Bible?
  9. Is being a Christian all about following the rules?
  10. Am I a racist? How do I recognize my bias’ about race?
  11. How do I respect my elders if I don’t agree with them?
  12. What does God want me to do with my life?
  13. I might be LGBTQ. Does God still love me?
  14. Is showing love to someone the same as agreeing with them?
  15. Is it ok to pray to the Holy Spirit?
  16. Does God care about my thoughts or just my actions?
  17. Is it ok to date someone who isn’t a Christian?
  18. I’ve had sex and I’m not married. Am I no longer a good Christian?
  19. What is shame culture? How can we support our females and not blame them for my sin?
  20. How to lead like Jesus.
  21. Was Jesus a pacifist?
  22. Does the book of Acts talk about communism?
  23. Does the Bible expect me to remain pure until I’m married? That could be a long time!
  24. Would Jesus be a Republican or Democrat?
  25. Is smoking weed as bad as doing other drugs?
  26. What does the Bible have to say about drinking?
  27. Does God cause bad things to happen?
  28. Did God cause my sickness or someone I know to die?
  29. I’ve had an abortion. Does God still love me?
  30. If I don’t have intercourse, am I still a virgin?
  31. Should I memorize scripture?
  32. What are different versions of the Bible and what’s the big deal?
  33. What does it mean to worship in spirit and in truth?
  34. Is speaking in tongues sinful?
  35. Do I have to speak in tongues?
  36. Is everything black or white, right or wrong in the Bible? Does gray area exist?
  37. I have same-sex attraction, am I gay?
  38. How do I tithe and is it important for students?
  39. Should I have non-Christian friends?
  40. How do I know who to marry?
  41. Should I kiss dating goodbye?
  42. Is it my responsibility to lead my girl/boyfriend in devotions?
  43. How do I know what emotional, physical, and spiritual boundaries to set while dating?
  44. Is anxiety sinful?
  45. How do I deal with my depression?
  46. I’ve thought about killing myself. Do I need help?
  47. How do I handle my parents getting divorced?
  48. What does a good prayer life look like?
  49. How long should I pray?
  50. What are some different ways we can experience God?
  51. Should I fast? What is considered fasting?
  52. Who is the Holy Spirit?
  53. What is the Trinity? Do we believe in 3 Gods?
  54. Should I forgive others even if it was really bad?
  55. How do I talk to my friends about Jesus?
  56. Why does the Bible seem to condone killing people?
  57. Why does the Bible seem to agree with slavery?
  58. How does the Old Testament fit with the New Testament?
  59. Do I still have to follow the law of the Old Testament?
  60. Do we have a new law from Jesus that we should follow?
  61. How should I read the Bible? Where do I start?
  62. Why did Jesus have to die?
  63. What is baptism? Why should I do it?
  64. Why does the Bible talk about covenants so much?
  65. Is Revelation real or is it a metaphor?
  66. If Revelation is a metaphor, then how do we know what to trust and what’s metaphoric?
  67. Why does every religion say they worship God yet they seem so different from one another? How do we know we are right?
  68. Can I trust God?
  69. Why does the Bible talk about miracles, but I don’t see them now?
  70. I feel like God might be calling me to full-time ministry, what’s my next step?
  71. What is the fruit of the spirit?
  72. What is salvation and how do I know if I have it?
  73. Why are there so many rules in the Bible?
  74. Why are there so many different types of churches?
  75. How can I live out my faith at my school?
  76. How can I live out my faith in my home?
  77. What is the church and how does it function?
  78. Why do bad things happen to good people?
  79. Does my clothing have anything to do with my faith?
  80. Are we supposed to obey our nation’s leaders?
  81. Did God put bad leaders in power?
  82. Will Jews go to heaven if they don’t believe in Jesus?
  83. Can I lose my salvation? Why are there two views?
  84. How can women lead in the church?
  85. Why does God give me hormones and tell me not to use them?
  86. Why is the Catholic Bible different than ours?
  87. What makes our church different than the one down the road?
  88. Do I have to be a pastor to serve God?
  89. How can I read the Bible more?
  90. How can I grow closer to God?
  91. Is it ok for me to judge people?
  92. Who wrote the Bible?
  93. Where did the Bible come from?
  94. Why should I open up in a small group?
  95. If the Bible was written by a bunch of people over thousands of years, how do I know I can trust it?
  96. Why do we take communion?
  97. Do I have to worship in a certain way?
  98. I don’t like going to church. Should I make myself go?
  99. How honest should I be with my parents? My pastor?
  100. What will heaven be like?

BONUS TOPICS:

  1. What is hell like? Is it forever?
  2. Why would God send people to hell? Does he?
  3. Who was hell created for?
  4. How can I defend my faith at school? Should I defend my faith at school?
  5. Is the devil real?

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