As a Father of Sons…


(…Don’t miss the must read link for parents and teens at the bottom of this post…)

I have three sons. They are still young. Their primary interests are hot wheels, ninja turtles, and for one, that yummy bottle of milk. But I know these days will fly by, and so will these interests.

The cost of raising Godly young men is rising in our culture. It is getting harder than ever to monitor the social media scene. I (want to) believe many young teenage girls have no idea the impression they are making on their male peers. With the provocative selfies and pics, do they understand the message they are sending about themselves?

My sons are still young and it is scary to think of the state of our culture in 10+ years when my boys are teenagers. I just read a blog from a mom of three teenage sons. Mrs. Hall lays out a call for the teenage girls connected to their family through social medial to rethink their posts, or be blocked. This mom wants to raise Godly young men and teach them the value of women. But the young women are sending a different message!

Mrs. Hall calls girls to be the one worth waiting for. She asks them to take her advise. She pleads,

“Will you trust me? There are boys out there waiting and hoping for women of character. Some young men are fighting the daily uphill battle to keep their minds pure, and their thoughts praiseworthy. You are growing into a real beauty, inside and out. Act like her, speak like her, post like her..”

Take a minute to read this blog linked below. It has some insights for teenagers and parents of teenagers.

FYI (if you’re a teenage girl) 

Thank you Mrs. Hall for the honesty. And more importantly thank you for the boldness to not allow your boys to be swept away in our culture. I pray that when I am in your shoes I will take the same stand as I raise Godly young men.

-Adambe bold

Social Media Boundaries for Student Ministry Workers

social mediaLets face it, social media is part of life. It is a two edged sword if you are not careful how it is handled. When working with teenagers we have an added responsibility to model how to live and act, even in the online forum. I ran across this helpful article by Phil Bell of and forwarded it on to my small group leaders. Here are his wise suggestions for some boundaries regarding the powerful tool of social media.


Here are 5 social media boundaries for you as you go about your youth ministry:

1) Accept that leaders live in ‘glass house.’ This is hard to accept, but when you are in ministry and you are using social media, it automatically means that you are under the spotlight. Leaders, parents, and students are looking up to you and will often follow you for inspiration, guidance, and hope. On the other hand, others will follow you to get an inside track to see whether you fit their mold of an acceptable youth worker.

Like it or not, the reality is that a leader is always watched closely. What are others seeing?

2) Wait to be Friended or Followed: If you don’t know a student well, wait for them to friend or follow you. I know this might seem a little extreme, but unless I know a student quite well, I will wait for them to friend me. If there is a student in your ministry who is new and getting plugged in, it might be worth waiting for them to friend you. Waiting for a student to ‘friend’ you simply avoids any weirdness and ensures they are happy for you to get an inside track to their life.

3) Avoid Private Conversations: Avoid private messaging students. Try to keep messages public and for all to see. If a student wants to talk to you about an issue or a problem, try to do it face to face in full site of others. It’s also essential to communicate with parents that you are talking to their student. I know this might seem a little over the top, but here are two good reasons why contacting parents is a good idea:

  • It opens the door for a relationship to partner with parents.
  • It avoids parents wondering what your intentions are. In this day and age, parents are protective when other adults contact their kids, and rightly so. Honor parents by touching base and letting them know who you are.

4) Consider carefully what you post: Here are three things that can get you in trouble.

  • Questionable pictures: In certain social media platforms such as Facebook, you can create a setting that gives you the option to ‘allow’ pictures you are tagged in. Ensure that the pictures of you will always allow others to see you in a positive light.
  • Complaints: Complaining about others simply does not look good. It shows weakness that we can’t talk to the person directly as well as modeling a poor method of dealing with conflict.
  • Controversial Issues: For me I don’t post  anything that could divide people in my church. Political statements, local controversies, and attacks on political leaders should be avoided.

In what you post, would others describe you as a  divisive and opinionated person, or a inspirational leader? 

5) Leverage social media to inspire and uplift:  This should be a given, but many of us have discounted the great value of regularly posting to inspire others. As I said at the beginning of this post. People are looking for hope and direction. Consider what influence you can have by using social media effectively?


How Teens View Social Media

Interesting lessons within this graphic…from my perspective:

  • Even after the admission of most teens being “addicted” to thier social media devices teens still prefer face to face contact. This tells me that no matter how many texts or FB messages I send, that personal contact is the only way to build deep meaningful relationships. The texts and other stuff can supplement that or be convenient, but without face to face time you will never get to really know a teenager.
  • Facebook is dominate. I think this is because of the combination of messages, photos/video uploads, status updates, and the infamous “like” button. Facebook has it all. But be warned, what you put on FB will be seen. No matter how deep in some obscure album that picture is, someone will comment on your behavior or associates. People do read into status updates and know what you have been saying on FB. Just as in all of life we must guard our integrity on FB and live in a way not to bring shame to ourselves and our God!
  • Teens (really, all of us) need a break from social media sometimes! We need to encourage teenagers (and ourselves) to unplug once in a while and spend some undistracted time alone. Preferably with God. Remember that verse, “be still and know that I am God”. It is getting harder and harder to be still in our media driven culture. Take some time everyday to reflect and unplug and allow yourself not to be a slave to social media, and encourage this in teens in your lives.
  • Social Media highlights the insecurities of some girls and adds pressure to be perfect. 57% of girls feel left out after seeing photos of friends without them, 45% of girls worry about others posting “ugly” pictures of them online, 28% of girls have edited photos of themselves before posting it online. These stats reinforce the truth that we need to guard our daughters hearts! While it is also true for the guys, it is crucial for the girls. We need to train them that they will only truly be satisfied in Jesus Christ and His love for them, everything else will fall short. We need to constantly be saying and living the fact that true beauty comes from within. We need to remind them that Psalms 139 says we were “fearfully and wonderfully made” in exactly the way God intended, and God doesn’t make mistakes! The Gospel tells girls (and everyone) that God loves us despite our imperfections and has made a way for us to have the one relationship that will truly satisfy us. The Gospel proves that we are priceless in the eyes of God! He sent His perfect Son as a sacrifice for us. And because of Jesus’ victory over death we can overcome all things!

These are the times we live in. We need to see our culture through the lens of the Gospel of Jesus, and social media is no exception. Social media is a great tool, but like any tool, it can be used to build up or tear down. I strive to be biblical in all that I do, even in how I interact with social media.

Your fellow worker in the field, Adam