Crisis: Finding Hope in Tough Situations

Crisis: Finding Hope in Tough Situations
We began a series last week that is probably our most intense and dark series we’ve ever attempted. But God had been putting it on my heart and the rest of our team to really tackle some tough issues. Despite being “just” in junior high – whatever that means – we continually are amazed at how many real crises these 11-14 year olds are dealing with.

So, two months ago, Andrew Root, professor at Luther Seminary and in my opinion the foremost expert on youth ministry in the country, graciously allowed us to interview him. So, in week 1, we broke up his interview into 3 parts, which we showed as I spoke in between each one (unfortunately, I had the flu and was in sweaty, incoherent, feverish form, but I think it landed well for the most part). In week 2, we will show a 6 minute chunk right in the beginning.

Here is our series blurb:

Are you or a friend facing a crisis? Is someone you know dealing with issues like depression, suicidal thoughts, cutting? Do you know someone who has felt the pain of divorced parents? Our guess is: Yes. And if you haven’t faced a crisis yet, the reality is you will at some point in life. Although these are tough issues, there is hope. We will explore the realities of crisis and look for ways to find hope in the midst of crisis.

Week 1: Dealing with Crisis
Main points:
1. Life can suck sometimes. We need to call a thing what it is and face it head on.
2. But in the midst of the suck, God is there. “I will never abandon you.” Hebrews 13:5
3. When you expose it to the light, the darkness is overcome.
Our challenge was to expose the crisis in your life to an adult and let them stand and share it with you. (Very much a concept taken from Andrew Root and Revisiting Relational Youth Ministry, easily the best book ever written on youth ministry).

Week 2: Dealing with Divorced Parents
This is a unique one, in that it will only be applicable to 50% (if stats are right) of the students. However, we will present it in a way that the concepts will apply to all, hopefully.

Here was our message bumper for the series, made by our amazing media team:

This video really set the tone of the night, as it became kind of awkwardly long (with just the heartbeat). But that’s the affect we wanted to create.

Anyways, hope this helps someone. If I could encourage the junior high pastors specifically out there, don’t shy away from tackling these tough issues! They do a great job of hiding their pain, but the crisis in their lives is real and painful!

How have you helped this age group deal with the crises in their lives?

2 thoughts on “Crisis: Finding Hope in Tough Situations

  1. HI JOhn Thank you for tackling the tough issues Kids are hurting so bad and I love you for helping them. I want to help too. Love, Mom

  2. So glad to see you are tackling this topic! My two cents to add are “being present”. Living in a world where people are here but rarely present I think that being present will help students deal with crisis in their life. This may require us taking more time out of our days but it will show them the love of Christ and how much we care about them.

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