Many Christian teens in Iowa don’t know or don’t always remember Whose they are, as God’s Word tells us in 1 Corinthians 6:19-29: “Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore, honor God with your body.”
Instead, they are tempted to believe society’s misleading messages about sexuality communicated through advertising, music, movies and television and choose to engage in early, dangerous and promiscuous sexual activity. This has resulted in a multitude of devastating consequences such as unplanned pregnancy (one out of every three babies born in Iowa today is born to an unwed mother), sexually transmitted disease (more than 4,082 cases of chlamydia or gonorrhea are diagnosed in Iowa teens between the ages of 15–19 each year), abortion (more than 6,000 abortions happen each year in Iowa), lack of respect for marriage, hopelessness about their prospects for a happy, lifelong marriage and complex issues related to guilt and shame.
Lutheran Family Service developed the Whose UR program to bring a positive message for a healthy life to young people in our communities, focusing on important topics facing young people today.
In Whose UR, we explore identity, self-esteem and how culture influences who we are and how we perceive and present ourselves.
At this most important time for young people, Dating in the Right Direction takes a look at the positive and negative qualities in dating relationships. Commitment, intimacy and passion are explored, focusing on how they work together to build strong, healthy relationships. By identifying healthy behavior and recognizing red flags, youth are empowered to be successful in dating and to choose safe and healthy partners.
Social Media presentations help young people recognize how the ever-present social media networks can be used in healthy ways, like reaching out to help others, but also teaches how to avoid social media dangers like bullying and inappropriate content.
As young people continue to experience Drama in Friendships, this presentation helps them understand why volatile relationships are so prevalent and construct strategies and tools to cope with drama when it can’t be avoided.
Looking to bring a Whose UR youth program to your area? Contact Mick Wolfram today at firstname.lastname@example.org
"Greetings in Christ!
This past Sunday we were blessed to have Bethany Kuhlmann come to Trinity to share her presentation about Dating and Social Media. I'm writing to thank Lutheran Family Service for this opportunity and to highlight what a great job Bethany did. Bethany began her presentation with helpful icebreaking games, which allowed us to know everyone in the room. Since we had members from congregations in the community, this was helpful for getting to know them and provided a helpful illustration for Bethany's talk on how relationships are formed.
Her slides were helpful and provided useful breakout activities to help the kids determine what healthy relationships look like. Her presentation on social media was compelling. She educated parents how social media aps are used to form relationships and the dangers that are often unknown to users. But more importantly, she noted what the costs of exposing oneself to others means for our identity in Christ. Bethany continually encouraged the kids to speak to their parents and involve them in all aspects of life. She also continually pointed them to their identity in Christ as their source of confidence and strength.
Pastors and parents constantly battle the challenges kids face, and point kids to these truths, but hearing them from an outside source is incredibly supportive and encouraging to all of us. The kids bonded well with Bethany and were eagerly engaged by her presentation. I hope we have the opportunity to have her return for further presentations.
I encourage LFS to continue to provide and promote these important topics to congregations. Our people need to hear about these things and pastors need support in teaching them. We thank God for your partnership in the Gospel of Christ!"
Pastor Joshua Lowe
You helped me know that God created me for a purpose.
Connecting with Young Adults Through Outreach
It’s extremely meaningful for youth away from their family for the first time to regularly receive support and Godly encouragement from their church family.