There has been a lot of talk about truth recently. This week Facebook and other social media outlets are addressing all of the false news reports that appear on their sites. In recent weeks, numerous fact checks were completed to verify if the Presidential election candidates had all of their facts straight. It seems as though we all have this deep desire to know the truth.
As you spend time with young adults in your small groups or one-on-one, key cultural topics are bound to come up in the midst of the conversation—along with a variety of opinions. So, how do we help young adults determine the truth in the middle of all of these opinions?
Here are some thoughts to help young adults in their journey for the truth:
1. Root everything in Scripture.
As young adult ministry leaders, we can’t waver on the source of our truth. “Experts” are willing to give us their latest research and findings after studying a particular topic. Is it important for us to read, listen to, and chew on the findings in this type of writing? Absolutely! However, it can never replace the complete source of truth: God’s Word.
“Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light on my path.” (Psalm 119:105)
2. Don’t avoid the questions.
Our tendency is to avoid the things that may seem difficult or may cause some controversy in the conversation. However, don’t avoid the questions that are already being talked about in the coffee shops, at work, at school, and among their friends. Will we always land on the “right” answer initially? Probably not. However, the fact that you are willing to talk about the hard questions of culture and faith breaks down one mindset that many young adults have. Namely, they think that the church simply doesn’t want to talk about the questions that are important to them.
“Jesus told him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.’” (John 14:6)
3. Don’t tell them “what” to think, but teach them “how” to think.
In a society where everything is figured out for us by typing in a few words, keying in a math problem, or asking Siri, many have lost the desire or ability to actually think through an issue. As a young adult ministry leader, take the role of helping the young adults in your group learn how to think. Ask them hard questions—not information questions—but questions that intersect with the daily realities of life.
Key individuals in my life challenged me to think. There were college professors and mentors who did not allow me to simply be satisfied with the “correct” answer, but who pushed me to consider how I came to that conclusion. I am forever thankful for their desire to see me use my mind to find truth.
“Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise—dwell on these things.” (Philippians 4:8)
What other ideas would you have on this topic?
Mark Whitt is the Collegiate and Young Adult Specialist at Lifeway Christian Resources. Before joining Lifeway, he spent many years on the campus of Murray State University as a campus minister. Connect with Mark via Twitter.