Think back when you were a junior high or high school student. What would’ve been the equivalent to sexting?
I’m guessing it would probably be flashing. The only difference between the two (besides the obvious) is that a quick flash would only be talked about after it happened. Sexting pics are forever; therefore, people have visuals to add to the conversation for years to come.
If you think sexting is about students just getting a quick fix of sexual gratification, you are mistaken. There is a lot more going on. Guardchild.com did a very detailed survey on sexting, and the results were interesting:
These statistics say a few things that we in youth ministry need to pay attention to:
So, what should be our response?
Sexting is a complete lie embedded in the mindset that it’s innocent or that it’s not worse than having sex. Here are four ways I feel we should respond:
1. Prayer. We should be interceding for our students and for the students at our local schools. Prayer in our ministries needs to be proactive, not reactive. Keep your ministry connected to the power source—God.
2. Educate parents on trends and technology. About two out of every five teens say their parents have no idea what they are doing online. So we must take the initiative and help parents become more knowledgeable with trends and technology. Let’s be the support they don’t know they need.
3. Talk about it in youth group. I wrote a post on this (click here). Add sexting to the list because it’s becoming the norm. And right now, students don’t get a choice whether they are exposed to it or not.
4. Challenge your students. I think sometimes we may feel like a good talk is enough, but actually talk is only half the battle. You need to challenge your students to take action and stand against cultural norms that are slowly destroying their generation. Give them action steps that will give them confidence in the stance they take. Teach them how to move in righteous anger. Be creative in what you give them the opportunity to do. I would grab a few students and let them help you shape the challenge. I love getting students involved in stuff like this, because it gives them ownership.
What are some other ways we should respond to sexting?
Aaron Crumbey oversees pastoral care for the high school ministry at Saddleback Church. He cares deeply about sharing Christ with students and seeing them reach their full potential in Christ. He’s married with three children, loves family time, sports, movies and all things musical among some other things. He also runs www.yoacblog.com.
For the original article, visit morethandodgeball.com.