Riding a bus full of rowdy, screaming teenagers can be hazardous and should be attempted only by trained professionals. Since I am a youth pastor, I am often blessed with this ministry opportunity, which usually involves walking through the bus to keep the conversation to a dull roar. I usually learn something about my students in the process. On one of these trips, for example, a student asked me, “Why do you do this?” “Well,” I said slowly, “when you were a baby, your parents brought you before the whole congregation to be baptized. On that day, we made a promise to you and to God.”
Cramming more than 50 high school students into a small room for a Bible study is challenging, but getting them to talk about sex is not. When the hand of one 15-year-old boy shot up in the back of the room, I braced myself. “Is masturbation a sin?—I really gotta know.” I was proud of him—using a word like sin is hard for a teenager.
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