RYM 013: How To Talk About Sex And Dating With MS And HS Students

Our students live in a world where sex and dating are talked about everywhere they turn—on the bus, in the school halls, on Netflix, and on social media. Because it’s so prevalent, it’s important for us to talk with our middle school and high school students about it as well. On this episode, join ministry leaders for a conversation about the best ways to address the topic of sexuality in our ministry environments. They’ll discuss real questions that students are asking, what to say and what not to say about sex and dating, and how you can better equip parents and small group leaders for conversations with students about this topic.

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What are some real questions that eighth graders are asking when it comes to sex and dating? (7:00)

What tensions are youth leaders feeling before they talk to students about sex and dating? (12:00)

If we believe that the Church is the safest place to talk about any topic, we’ve got to be able to talk about sex and dating with our students. (13:00)

Why should youth pastors be addressing these questions from stage? Because students are going to be asking these questions. (13:30)

No matter what age you are, you can talk about your sexuality in a healthy, God-loving way. (16:00)

What is a Parent Preview Night? (17:00)

Before you talk about this topic in your ministry, pre-record your message and share it with parents prior to talking to students. (19:00)

When and how do you start talking about sex and dating in middle school? (20:30)

The conversation needs to be starting earlier than middle school. (21:00)

Start the conversation with middle schoolers with the idea that sex is good and sex is powerful. (22:30)

When it comes to talking about sexuality, we have an opportunity to coach parents in having these conversations with their kid. (24:00)

The biggest gifts we can give middle school students when it comes to the topic of sexuality is the words to talk about it and the skills in how to do that. (25:00)

How does the conversation change from middle school to high school? (28:00)

From year to year, the principles we teach will stay the same, but the conversations in small group will change. (29:00)

How do you equip Small Group Leaders to have conversations with middle school and high school students about sexuality? (32:00)

When talking to students about sexuality, do not over-share and do not over-promise. (33:00)

Know your students. Laugh with them. Get comfortable with saying words that make you feel uncomfortable. Talk about the whole picture. Normalize their questions. (36:00)


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CJ is the Managing Editor for XP3 High School and Social Media Strategist for XP3’s blog and social media platforms. CJ has been leading small groups for middle school and high school students at North Point Community Church for the past 10 years. He also placed 5th in his 8th grade class fun run. CJ and his wife, Teri, live in Alpharetta, GA.


Tom Shefchunas is the Executive Director of Student Strategy at Orange. In this role, he leads the development and strategy for XP3 Middle School and High School curriculum. Previously, Tom was North Point Ministries’ Multi-Campus Director of Transit, their middle school ministry, for 12 years. And before that, he spent 10 years as a high school teacher, coach, and principal. Additionally, he is the co-author of Lead Small with Reggie Joiner. Tom and his wife, Julie, live in Cumming, Georgia, with their three children, Mac, Joey, and Cooper.


Crystal currently leads the XP3 High School initiative at Orange. Before that, she spent 10 years as a high school teacher and student ministry leader, doing everything from leading small groups to speaking to curriculum design. Crystal and her husband, Tom, live in Alpharetta, GA with an ill-tempered chihuahua named Javier.


Ashley Bohinc serves as the Director of Middle School Strategy at Orange, co-host of The Think Orange Podcast, and co-author of The Art of Group Talk. She’s worked with students in public education, athletic, and ministry settings since 2005. Ashley is most passionate about resourcing the local church, communicating onstage, developing leaders, working with students, and engaging in world missions. Additionally, she’s the USA Director of Carry 117. In her downtime, you’ll find her watching Friends, cheering on the Cleveland Cavaliers, traveling, reading, or on one of her Fairytale Friday Adventures.

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Orange Conference 2018