Hello, I will have the opportunity to bring 6-10 high school boys on an overnight camping trip and I’ve felt a pull by God to share some biblical truth about manhood with them. I’d like to keep it concise and easy to remember since high school boys are often distracted when surrounded by their friends. What advice would you have for me? Thank you for taking the time read my question
If permitted by RZIM, may I recommend John Eldredge’s book Wild at Heart?
Great question! It brings gladness to me to know God uses you to those students to know Christ more. I myself still a college student and I lead my friends and others in growing in their faith. I may not be super professional, but one of the passion and gifts God puts into my heart is the calling to preach the word of God and be with those who are struggling in their faith. Let me share with you a couple of things:
1.) Always be prepare “ice-breaker” session. In a set up like camping trips. Attendees are also looking for fun and memories. Make and prepare short-games that reflect the heart of the message you gonna share to them.
2.) When it comes to message you gonna share to them, here are some of the topic to be discussed for those students understand more about the nature and calling of manhood:
• temptation of Jesus in the wilderness. It is important for them to be awakened on this topic
• take the story of Peter and Paul. The character development they had in their walk with faith
• take biblical principles in the life of Jesus
3.) I would like to suggest to you this format, because it is helpful in our gathering. Hoping it is also helpful to yours:
• Ice Breaker
• Presenting explanations that stir up the mind and heart (Arguments)
• Biblical Message
• Storytelling of the Message
• Practical Application of the Message
I hope these help!
That is great to hear that God has placed you in a position of influence with these young guys. As always, give it first to the Lord and let Him direct the events and conversations for the camping trip. Sometimes topics we think have no fruit in them can have incredible meaning in a person’s life.
A topic that I have previously talked about with young adults is on integrity. Questions you could ask maybe along the lines of: What does a man with integrity look like to you? Can they think of other men who you look up to and respect? What attributes do you look for in people you consider trustworthy? This can often lead to discussions around identity, which both young men and woman struggle with. Giving personal stories about how you might have struggled when you were their age with ‘finding yourself’, or, with how you have found coming to Christ has given you greater security and peace in who you are and where you are going in life. Identity is a big topic and can go in many directions, so see how the conversation flows .
Another topic can also be on what healthy male friendships should look like. Being able to trust one another and be accountable to each other as they all struggle with the many temptations they will be fighting as their age. Giving scenarios about how to look out for one other and calling each other to a higher standard than what the world sets for them. But most importantly, love them, have fun, and embrace the opportunity to represent Jesus in how you hold yourself and open yourself up to also be honest and open with them. They will respect you for it.
Please feel welcome to let us know how it goes .
To me, few things are as concise and deep as the Beatitudes from Matthew 5:
Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, 2 and he began to teach them. He said:
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
The bolded ones are the sayings that stand out to me the most, as mercy and peace seem to be sorely missing from our world today. These are also easier/more familiar concepts to wraps one’s head around!
interesting sidebar: There is a difference between peace-making and peace-keeping! Peace-making requires humble engagement; peace-keeping is often accomplished via withdrawal.
As for advice? Be genuine. Speak from your heart. Seek to come alongside them in humility. Live it out in front of them.
I also should have said that I am excited for your opportunity to be with these guys! Will be praying for you and for the hearts of these young men.
Hi, You have a small window (overnight camping) of opportunity to share or impart a truth or two about manhood to young guys , who for the most part just want to have fun at this stage of life. I would suggest you consider one or two points or ideas you wish to communicate to them. A list greater than that will not work in a short window that you have. Context is always important, so see if you do any activities, is there a way of showing your point in the exercise or activity. If not, then maybe its a discussion around camp fire after the day has passed. What do young guys struggle with today? Is it their role or place in community? Identity maybe? Purpose? Perceptions off what manhood is? Have a conversation around that if you are able. Ask them what they think about things and go from there. Keep it simple and respectful.
Christ is a good story. He is a King, come to His people in the capacity of servant to save that which He loves (us) in order to restore us to the place He originally intended for us. Manhood is like that as well. To be responsible and to love and care for those we love in order to build them up to be what God intended them to be. Fathers and husbands should be good at this. Sadly in our fallen world this is not the case for a large part of human experience. These are some of my thoughts. Hope they help but if you have your own ideas then follow those and see how it goes. Keep it simple and if you get no response, don’t worry. They are there to camp for the weekend and so make it a great camping weekend anyway. That may open up opportunity for an other time. Cheers.
Hi, Marc Anthony!
I think that it’s great that you get to do this.
I became a Christian in my teens and my first church put a lot of emphasis on gender roles, which turned out to be more reflective of cultural stereotypes and personal preference than Biblical directives.
In the Bible, there aren’t many gender-specific directives. Both boys and girls and men and women are called to live with integrity, provide for their families, live sacrificially, resist temptation, and so on.
In lieu of a formal talk, it might be fun to ask them what they think it means to be man after God’s own heart and what they’re currently struggling with when it comes to living out their faith. My guess is that their questions will have more to do with their age/time of life than their gender.
I look forward to hearing about the trip!
Hi @Marc-Anthony_Seminara. I dont know if this has been said above but may be do a quick survey on topics that they are interested in knowing about when it comes to God and spirituality. That may help as well. High schoolers always want to talk about things that affects them or are curious about.
I hope this helps. Let God walk with you everyday.
In this day when teenage suicide & slow destruction through drugs & alcohol, it is almost a certainty that the majority of these boys know of someone their age impacted this way .
Given their personal knowledge chances are that the mention of youthful self destruction being something familiar to them, questioning what it was that led someone they personally knew to have such a seemingly bright future , to become distraught & weak enough to destroy themselves is something that would grab their attention .
Since young men are greatly enamored with the concept of power and strength I would convey to them
the greatest power a young man can possess in this age of constant restless destruction all around them , is the power to guard your own heart from every alien attack the world has in store for it to try and destroy them and their eternal destiny .
This constant never faltering peace in power that is theirs for the asking does not come from trying to cultivate calmness as the world does through , the mental machinery of entertainment , sex, recreation, pleasures, which only last for a moment .
It comes from cultivating God .
Through Christ the sacred intimacy of the soul is realized , and the great result of possessing the same
power of spiritual peace and poise amidst a world on fire , that the Lord Jesus possessed as he was
smitten and led to Calvary is theirs forever and no other power universe can ever wrest it from them .
When you are not right with God , nothing is right .
" Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on thee, because he trusteth in Thee." ( Isaiah 26:3 )