I want to share with you guys the reasoning behind how and what we teach to students on Wednesday night. The truth about teaching students (or really anybody for that matter) is that there is no way that they are going to remember everything you say. So there is a ton of value in shrinking down the content that we teach to irreducible minimum and coming back around to those truths over and over again. It also gives us a framework to be creative in how we teach those principles from year to year.
As a parent, let me give you this link that has these seven checkpoints on one pdf document. Print this out and stick it on your refrigerator. It can be a constant reminder of what we as churches and families working in concert with one another are striving to engrain in our students.
Checkpoint #1: Authentic Faith
Principle: God can be trusted; He will do all He has promised to do. Key Passage: Proverbs 3:5-6 This checkpoint focuses on a correct understanding of faith. Confusion in this one area is the primary reason so many students abandon Christianity. True faith is confidence that God is who He says He is – and confidence that He will do everything He has promised to do.
Checkpoint #2: Spiritual Disciplines
Principle: When you see as God sees, you will do as God says. Key Passage: Romans 12:2 The focus of this checkpoint is on developing a healthy devotional life. The apostle Paul says that true spiritual transformation begins with a renewed mind. Only as we begin to renew our minds according to the truths of Scripture will our attitudes and behavior begin to change.
Checkpoint #3: Moral Boundaries
Principle: Purity paves the way to intimacy. Key Passage: 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8 One of the most important things you can teach teenagers to do is to establish clear moral limits. They need to learn how to protect their bodies and emotions by honoring God’s plan for sex and morality. That’s the focus of this checkpoint. The depth of their intimacy with God and others is dependent upon it.
Checkpoint #4: Healthy Friendships
Principle: Your friends will determine the direction and quality of your life. Key Passage: Proverbs 13:20 The people we associate with the most will have a direct impact on the decisions we make and the standards we choose. Healthy friendships build us up and draw us closer to God; unhealthy friendships bring us down and cause us to compromise what we know is right. This principle focuses on helping students build healthy friendships while avoiding unhealthy ones.
Checkpoint #5: Wise Choices
Principle: Walk wisely. Key Passage: Ephesians 5:15-17 This principle focuses on the necessity of applying godly wisdom to the choices we make. Good decision-making is more than simply choosing between right and wrong. We need to learn to ask, “In light of my past experience and my future dreams, what is the wise thing for me to do in this situation?”
Checkpoint #6: Ultimate Authority
Principle: Maximum freedom is found under God’s authority. Key Passage: Romans 12:1-2 Teenagers often view freedom and authority as opposing concepts. But the Bible teaches that true freedom is found under authority. This principle focuses on our need to recognize God’s ultimate authority and respect the earthly authorities He has placed over us.
Checkpoint #7: Others First
Principle: Consider others before yourself Key Passage: Philippians 2:3-11 Selfishness comes naturally to teenagers (not to mention the rest of us!) Selflessness, however, must be learned. The Bible says that Jesus “made himself nothing” in order to serve the people He loved. He put the needs of others ahead of His own. This checkpoint focuses on the true nature of humility and service.
For more insight into these seven checkpoints, let me encourage you go get a copy of “The Seven Checkpoints” by Stuart Hall and Andy Stanley.