We should be grateful to Christian Focus for bringing out this series of short books on contemporary issues for teenagers. In the past, youth publications have fought shy of talking about some of these topics, but if we want to retain young people in our churches we cannot put our heads in the sand.
There will certainly be teenagers in contact with most churches, who have experienced unplanned pregnancy, abortion, sexual abuse or self-harm. Only by acknowledging and understanding what teenagers are exposed to today can we begin to bridge the growing generational divide in our churches.
McDowell and Stewart, with extensive experience in youth work, are under no illusions and address these issues head on. Each book tells a vivid story of a young person struggling with the issue in question.
Two brief sections entitled ‘Time out to consider’ look at how people may feel or react in these situations. They provide a thoroughly encouraging and practical but uncompromisingly biblical response. In a short guide it is not possible to address each topic in detail. Wisely, each story models the young person taking their problems to a trusted older Christian.
Youth leaders will certainly know the difficulties of persuading teenagers to read! Fifty pages should be within the attention span of many readers, but if this material were put on the internet it would reach a wider audience. I am sure that one of these books, prayerfully placed in the hand of a struggling young person, would be very helpful.
Titles in this series: