Topical studies for Teens Q and A

Dear BPCWA worshipper, As you may have noticed on the “Appointments for today and the week” section of the bulletin, there is Teens Q and A which is regularly conducted on the 2nd and last Sundays of the month.  This means that there is a Teens Q and A session that will be conducted today.  The topics covered at Teens Q and A are in fact important and useful for all ages, not just the Teens.  This short 40 minutes (12-12:40 pm) study is open to all.  The aim of this pastoral is to encourage more to come and learn and be firm in our understanding of the Scriptures.

Why do we have Teens Q and A? This was first started in 2015 with the intent to have a means to answer the many questions that Christians, especially young people, often have about Christianity while growing up but never knew whom to ask or where to find the answers.   As the younger ones in our midst grow up, they start thinking about what they are exposed to in the world around them, and many questions may arise in their minds.  These questions could just be about things that they hear in school or read about in the news, and may or may not yet have been covered specifically in the Sunday school lessons or the Bible studies in church.  Hence, a separate Bible study cum fellowship was introduced to allow an avenue for such questions to be addressed.   That way, they can ask anything at any time by submitting their questions.  While many tweens and teens have started to attend our Y180 programs, Teens Q and A is an additional means for other younger ones to be involved in a Bible study to get to learn as well as fellowship with young people their age as well.  

Why is Teens Q and A important?  This Bible study caters specifically to an age where the growing child typically comes to personal convictions about his faith, or drifts off and joins the secular crowd.   The world daily casts doubts on the Christian faith and practices.  Some are tough questions that even parents may struggle with.  If they do not get answers, they will secretly begin to be skeptical too.  Yet, they may not speak up because they feel there is no avenue to get answers anyway, or may be reprimanded for having doubts.  Unanswered questions pile up, and many leave the faith when they grow up.  So, Teens Q and A provides them with a safe and open forum to ask and learn without feeling “judged” because, after all, they are encouraged to ask.  Hence, I encourage every parent to make serious attempts to come for these sessions with their children.  You can submit questions on their behalf too.

Why the timing for Teens Q and A?  It is specifically scheduled to be after the Worship Service so that it gives the young ones time to fellowship and interact after worship while waiting for the session.   While the time of this study, tucked between both the English and Chinese worship, is more taxing for me, I am ready to do this because it makes it more convenient for parents who do not then have to drive their children down on a separate day or time for their children’s fellowship meeting.  With this, the ball is in the court of the parents to stay back to let their children fellowship with others, and especially for them to learn and get their questions answered from Scriptures.

What is unique about Teens Q and A?  1) Short and direct Biblical explanations.  Since they come in as questions, each session is like having several mini subjects addressed in one study.  With the very young ones present, I also try to make the explanations easier to understand without compromising doctrinal accuracy.  2) Wide range of subjects.  With the question of every sincere seeker addressed, topics have ranged from doctrinal issues to childlike curiosity about heaven to current affairs subjects like should Christians take the COVID-19 vaccinations.  While the questions are answered, all who are present benefit from the learning of questions that they may not initially have thought of.  3) Thought-provoking and pertinent questions.  While the questions asked by the younger ones are given priority, questions are asked by all, adults and parents included.  Parents learn how to think biblically when their children ask questions, and adults are constantly amazed at the things that the young ones think about.  We often say that we should look at the world through a biblical worldview and the eyes of faith.  We are ready to take in the secular worldview, but it is at sessions like these that we learn to change our thinking and see things from the Christian perspective.  More importantly, it is not just about answering questions but learning to apply Biblical principles for spiritual growth and stability in the faith.  4) All are welcome.  While it is called Teens Q and A and it is geared towards our young ones, all ages will benefit from the learning at these sessions.  Some have been hesitant to come, because of the name.  However, young and old, married or single, all are welcome.  Parents must come because through this, they will learn how to answer the more difficult questions that their children will increasingly ask.  With the wide range of topics covered, every Christian should know what “denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world” (Tit 2:12) entails.  Parents of infants, toddlers, and pre-tweens too are encouraged to stay back after worship and join this Bible study because their children very quickly will grow up and begin asking some very difficult questions which they must know how to answer.  Subjects that have been covered may not be covered again, so do not miss out on this even while your child is very young.

Why introduce a topical study?  It is not because we have a lack of questions.  However, as I look around at what the world throws at and promotes to our young ones, I realise that there are some crucial matters and trends which are not addressed in the questions that the young ones pose.  It could be because they have not yet reached an age where they are exposed to these matters, or that they have unconsciously and ignorantly accepted the world’s norms and way of living.  But I am charged to be a watchman, to sound the warning against impending sin (Ezek 3:18-21) and to feed God’s sheep (John 21:15-17).  As the pastor, I must sound the alarm in the church against ungodly trends and wickedness, no matter how popular, prevalent they may be in the world, or even accepted by professing Christians.  If I do not do so on a church basis, God will require the blood at my hands (Ezek 3:18).  But “because he is warned; also thou hast delivered thy soul” (Ezek 3:21).  Parents, you too have the responsibility to do that in your homes.  Christians, you have a responsibility to learn and warn other believers.  We often forget that Christians live in a spiritual battleground in this world, where our “adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1Pet 5:8).  Instead, we think that all around us are tame domesticated cats that will only purr and do us no harm.  Our next generation is growing up in a society that is markedly more wicked and adulterous than the generation that we or our parents grew up in.  We forget that we are living in the last days.  “But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be” (Mt 24:37).  The ways of the evil one are becoming more and more deceptive.  So we must proactively and specifically warn of the dangers that a Christian must avoid, and not merely encourage them to walk in the good ways. 

Dark Things.  So, for today’s topical Teens Q and A study, the subject is “Dark Things”.  What is it about?  There is an increasing fascination with the macabre, the gloomy, the morbid, death, blackness, and horror.  It has slipped into what we see around us and society and has become attractive to the masses especially the young.  What is prevalent today would have been unknown and considered witchcraft in times past.  Yet, today, it is touted to our young as being trendy, even appealing, and “an alternative way of life”.  Some of them may already have slipped deceptively into you and your child’s life.  Are we taking things too seriously by teaching and warning Christians against them?  Is there an evil design driving it behind the scenes?  Parents, children, and adults alike, join us for our topical study today to learn more about it.     

Yours in our Lord’s service,