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I hate that I do it; however, every time I run in to a senior in my student ministry I have to ask the question, “What colleges are you applying to?”. Realizing the agony I’ve caused them I quickly apologize for being that broken record player in their life. When you see someone you know it’s easy to ask them the same old questions, “How are you doing?” and “What’s new in your life?” It’s a matter of habit. Sometimes those questions are filled with sincerity other times it’s done as a reaction.
In your youth ministry I’m sure there are a series of questions that you constantly ask your students. It might be, “What does your relationship with Christ look like?” or “What would God want you to do in that situation?” While those questions are important and carry weight, they are not always the best questions to ask. In fact there are several questions you should be asking, because they will challenge teens to look at their heart and the path God has shaped for them. Two of those questions are:
- WHO DO YOU WANT TO BE? Teens get asked a lot, what they want to do and where they want to go. Rarely do we ask them, “What type of person do you want to be?” It’s a question that deals with vision and values. In a world that relies heavily on tangible accolades teens need to be reminded that God wants to know what is in their hearts, not what’s on their shelves. Put this question in their minds and help them write out a vision for that person they want to be.
- WHAT IF EVERYTHING WASN’T OKAY? Teens will face trials, some more life altering than others. It’s easy to tell students that life will be full and extraordinary when they follow Christ. It’s hard to tell them that not everything will work out according to their plans. While it can be a harsh question it can help prepare them for the obstacles life will bring. This is a great question to ask when a teen is discerning where to go to school or is about to take on a huge challenge. It brings about the opportunity to talk about a true dependence on God.
Unexpected questions bring about unexpected conversations. When you get the chance to ask your teens questions that are uncommon you create conversations that expose the depths of their heart. When questions become too common they become easy to answer with generalities. If you want teens to grow you need to expose what is going on in the heart.
What other uncommon questions should we be asking teens?