Walk into most youth centers. Listen to the testimonies given by adults. They are often sad stories of consequences from disobeying God. While those stories have a place in youth ministry, often these testimonies are ignored by the very teens for whom they are given.
Teens often feel almost invincible. Of course those adults had problems, they obviously weren’t very bright anyway. Teens know they can “have fun”, disobey a selected few of God’s laws for several years and escape unscathed.
Probe a little deeper and there is actually just a wee bit more to the story. Ask a few more questions and you will often find the teen is terrified of living the obviously dull and boring life that is the fate of every Christian. I mean look at their parents!
What those teens and frankly, I am beginning to think their youth ministers and the vast majority of the people in the Church no longer realize is that you can have the most exciting, fulfilling, adventurous life possible and still keep the “big three” commands of the teen and college years (no getting drunk, using drugs or sex before marriage). In fact, you may even be surprised at the adventures some of the people in your congregation had and are still having. They just don’t talk about it in church.
Start asking people at church about some of the adventures they have had in their lives. Ask them if they had to sin to have those adventures. If not, invite them to share their stories with your teens and possibly the teens in your church. Make it as clear as you can that it is absolutely possible to have a ton of fun (with none of those nasty consequences) and obey God at the same time.
Changing your child’s world view of the ability of Christians to have fun and still be godly, may just increase the likelihood of them doing the same themselves. I think that’s a legacy any family and any church would love to have!