by Lori Richey, former youth director
One of the places that young people learn about faith is at church – through Sunday School, worship, youth group activities and more. To enhance that learning, parents should make a habit of asking questions that can help their children process what they’re hearing outside the home.
Here are some ideas for great questions to ask your high-school student or young adult.
- “What was one thing that stood out to you from today’s worship service?” (Avoid asking specifically about the sermon – there are many other ways a young person might engage, whether through music, prayer, or scripture reading.)
- “Tell me about what you’re hearing and doing at Sunday School/Youth Group.”
- “Some people I know choose a life verse – one piece of Scripture that really resonates with them. Do you have one? If not, what would you say is your favorite Bible story?”
- “Is there a Bible character that you really identify with? What about them interests you?”
- “Is there a question you have about God or God’s word that you’ve always wondered about or wanted to ask?” (Don’t be afraid of these questions – it is always OK to say “Hm, I hadn’t thought about that… but I’d be glad to look for more information together.” Or, “We might ask our pastor about this” and then reach out to make that connection.
Other topics that parents can share about:
- Your own faith journey
- The impact faith has made in your life or in other family members’ lives
- How you have seen God at work in others
- When you relied on your faith to help you through a challenging time
Remember that everyone’s experience is unique, and that some days teens and young adults are willing to share more than others. Watch for moments when they might be receptive to these conversations and, if they indicate it might not be a good time, ask them to pick out a time for conversation. They will appreciate that you care about them and want to support them.