There is no prescription or program for creating a culture of warmth, challenge, and grace. It is going to look different for every congregation. Warmth is characterized by displaying Christ’s love for all people and a personal invitation to be a part of the community of believers. It is an environment where all baptized members are consistently reminded and shown they are an important part of the Body of Christ. Challenge is willing to engage in tough spiritual conversations. Standing firmly in God’s Word, it faces the questions and confusion youth experience living in the darkness of sin with the light of the Gospel. The other opportunity challenge provides comes as believers seek to live out their faith through the work of the Holy Spirit. Challenge doesn’t underestimate young people but gives them opportunity to grow in their various vocations. Grace is an echoing of God’s love and forgiveness to others. As youth struggle, grow and change, they need parents and supportive adults to constantly remind them of their chief identity as God’s beloved baptized child.

For You

  • How have you personally experienced warmth, challenge and grace in your life?
  • What words would you use to describe your congregation? How can you help create an environment of warmth, challenge and grace?

For Youth Ministry Leadership

  • Would you say your youth ministry is a safe place for young people to struggle? If so, why? If not, what changes can you help create that environment?
  • How do you prepare parents, adult leaders and teens to be comfortable dealing with hard questions?

For Congregational Leadership

  • How do you practically work towards making your congregation an environment of warmth, challenge and grace?
  • What outlets do you have for adults and teens to share personal stories of failure, grace and joy?