by Andrew Marshall
During the month of May our Youth Ministry took on the privilege of talking to our students about Sex as part of our curriculum. We are using the XP3 curriculum from Orange and this series was called “The Talk.” This was a very interested month and very difficult at times. Here are three things I learned, I actually learned so much more but three is enough for now:
1. Be prepared
The boy scout motto is to “Be prepared” and that is so important when talking about sex. I was not fully prepared and neither were my leaders. We were not completely unprepared but we could do a lot better. Here are some of the things I should have done better that I will do next time.
–Over communicate with Parents. My only communication was a weekly email that I send with a little blurb telling parents what we are talking about. Most parents do not even read the email so I know I blindsided most of them. Next time I will send out flyers, a mail out, txt messages, emails, all a month in advance with all details and the opportunity for parents to ask me questions.
–Train leaders. I sent my leaders the lesson a week in advance like I usually do, but we did not talk specifics or meet. Next time I will have a meeting with all the leaders, prepare a short training of things to say and things not to say, and have a discussion if they have questions
–Pray. We should pray for every time we meet with students, but it does not hurt to pray more.
2. The word Sex is hard to say
Before you decide to talk in front of a group about sex, make sure you know what you are going to say and how you will say it. Also, if you prepare an illustration, think it through and think about how it can be misinterpreted by a 12 year old kid.
We did an activity where every student wore a name tag and had to find a partner. After they had a partner they were to switch name tags. After switching name tags they were to find a new partner and switch name tags again. This went on for about one minute. After the minute was over they look at their name tag and notice it was not as sticky anymore. My illustration was how sex can loose its power when it is shared with multiple partners rather that with one spouse in marriage.
One of my students interpreted it differently and thought you should not have a lot of sex or it looses power.
3. One on one conversations
You will have conversations that can be difficult with students and parents. Students want to know everything you have done so use a lot of discretion. Parents want to know why their kids are asking questions about sex and how appropriate this conversation is for middle school.
Gather your facts and know why you are doing what you are doing. This is a touchy subject but one that the church should not avoid. Many churches avoid talking about sex keeping us in the dark, or they demonize sex and make it awful.
4. Sex is good and powerful
I learned that sex is good because it was invented by a good God (Genesis 1:27-28). I learned that it is powerful because it can bring two people together and make them one, spiritually, physically, emotionally, and socially (Genesis 2:24). Nothing in the world has the power that sex has. God has given us a gift and we must teach our children how to use this gift the right way.