David LynnZondervan, 2012, 112 pp., $16.99
Teens have a lot of people talking at
them; High School Talksheets
give teens an opportunity to share what is happening in and around them—a tool especially useful for teen guys. Lynn's counseling nature is revealed clearly in this resource, so if you are more of a shepherding leader or if developing the softer side is a growth area for your ministry, this curriculum will resonate with you. The introductory tips are insightful and especially useful for newer youth workers or less experienced small group leaders. While the Old Testament stories used are awesome, Lynn tends to steer toward the historically safe Sunday School stories. It would be great to see future Talksheets that deal with some of the grittier OT stories.
could be used on its own, it is better used as part of your broader toolbox of resources. For example, teens seem to catch adult agendas intuitively and reflect back what adults want to hear. Consequently, youth group leaders may want to reframe some of the discussion openers where the correct answer is clearly revealed at the start. Also, blindly using the "Read Out Loud" sections may communicate an agenda-driven lesson instead of a heart-propelled one. Instead, consider what Lynn writes, reflect on it; then share from your heart, knowledge and experience. Regardless, this is a great resource that needs to be a part of your toolbox. By guiding teens through a God-directed reflection of their experiences, we are practicing a tool of evaluation in a world of information overload. Additionally, God proclaims, but He also listens. Teens need more adults listening in their lives.—Brad Howell, Fuller Seminary, Sacramento, Cali.; Twitter, Facebook
Lynn's resource is a wonderful and easy guide to leading and facilitating a discussion with your high school students either in a Sunday School setting, small group or breakout session at a conference. The guides allow for multiple launching points for discussion in the Bible, as well as for application within their own context, which is wonderful to have in a resource. However, the only drawback is very little direction for outside resources when it comes to introducing the topic at hand; perhaps an appendix or website would be helpful in the future. All in all, this is a great resource for youth pastors to have for their leaders and volunteers as well as for themselves.—Tim McDaniel, Worship Pastor, Southside Christian Church