How do you handle inappropriate talk in a youth Bible study?


I just graduated from high school and started hanging out with my sister's friends who are the college-age people in our church. Most of them are on our youth staff. They meet together in what they call a Bible study, but we did not touch a Bible once. It seemed like the whole time at least one person was making a dirty joke and everyone else was laughing hysterically at it.

I know that it is wrong to make this kind of joke, and it is wrong to laugh and encourage it, and I also know it is wrong to sit back when you know something is not right yet do nothing about it. I just didn't know what to do. After all, I am the young one who no one really listens to. Almost the whole time I felt uncomfortable. My high school friends don't really joke like that. And aren't these people supposed to be the leaders in our church? It was so shocking to me to see them act completely opposite of what they do around the students in our youth group.

Isn't there a verse in the Bible about a double-minded person? I don't know ... I just really felt disappointed in our youth staff. I expected more from them. I want to say something, but I feel like it wouldn't change them or stop them. I don't think they would listen to me. I don't know... Should I just not attend college group? But then it's like I'm just leaving the problem uncorrected and our church's youth staff will continue to behave that way! And if a student ever saw how they acted together, that would reflect very badly. Ahhh! I really don't know what to do! Please help!


If you only offered your opinion, you are correct that it would be easily dismissed since you are the youngest in the group. But remember what Paul told Timothy: "Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity" (I Timothy 4:12). Age doesn't matter when it comes to setting an example of Christian living. Still, something needs to be said, so you point to God instead of your own opinion. "If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen" (I Peter 4:11). God has the age, experience, and authority to make anyone sit up and take notice.

So when inappropriate jokes are being said, speak up clearly and ask: "Does anyone have a Bible handy?" (Might as well take care of two issues at once.) If you get the clown who says "no," look surprised and say "You mean you go to a Bible study without a Bible? That would be like playing a baseball game without a ball!"

After everyone is squirming in their seats, someone will dig out a Bible. You then ask, "I was reminded of a passage, and I wonder if someone would read Ephesians 5:3-7 for all of us?" Hopefully, you will get someone who will become offended and say, "Are you accusing us of dirty talk?" Your response will then be, "You drew that conclusion on your own from hearing God speak. Instead of agreeing with it, you took offense to it."

Hopefully, you'll have some soft hearts in the group and things will change. If God's Word is rejected then you know you are in the wrong place.


Thank you so much for this advice! I will indeed try your idea out the next time it happens! So thankful for your response!

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