Why? A Resource Kit for Talking to Students about Disaster & Tragedy

In response to disasters and tragedies, LCMS Youth Ministry has developed this special resource from youthESource filled with practical tools to assist youth workers in creating conversation, facilitating understanding, and providing comfort as youth experience the devastation of tragic events via television, the Internet, and personal experience.

In the wake of tragedy, youth begin to form real questions about the nature of man, sin, and God in the face of human suffering. It’s time to share some real answers.

The theology surrounding the questions youth may ask is intense. The developmental reality of teens is also complex. Tapping into these heavy topics requires significant effort. This resource kit provides real, practical tools that youth workers can implement in a variety of settings as they chew on these tough topics with the adolescents in their care.


11 Talk Sheets: Talk Sheets are eminently practical guides that use creative, focused activity to spark questions and conversation about Biblical and doctrinal truths in an effort to provide answers about deeper theological, social, relational issues confronting and confounding teenagers.

Blessed Are the Hands (updated Sept. 2017)

A discussion starter based on a compelling photograph taken during the post-Hurricane Katrina evacuation in New Orleans. By Rev. Terry Dittmer

Can’t I Just Live in Today? (updated Sept. 2017)

Based on James 4:13-15. In times of great distress we are often tempted to hide in living only for the moment, and neglect the future. By Dr. Russ Moulds, Concordia Nebraska

God Is Not Nice (updated Aug. 2017)

Based on Isaiah 45:7. God does not ask us to be pleased with what he does or what he may permit, but he does remind us that we do not yet see the whole picture. By Dr. Russ Moulds, Concordia Nebraska

What A Choice (updated Aug. 2017)

Based on Ephesians 1:3-14. Our salvation and our daily protection then are not mere chance, nor are they a sign that we are better than others. They are the kindnesses of God which are undeserved and yet are a part of God’s intended plan. By Dr. Daniel Paavola, Concordia Wisconsin

But God Said No More Floods (updated Aug. 2017)

Based on Genesis 9:8-17. Water can be used by God for many purposes; when it is churning and washing, and in its beautiful work in Holy Baptism. By Dr. Daniel Paavola, Concordia Wisconsin

Spare Body Parts (updated Sept. 2017)

Based on 1 Corinthians 12:12-27. At our Baptism, we became a part of the Body of Christ, and as part of the Body, we have a purpose. By Rev. Dr. Reed Lessing, Concordia Seminary St. Louis

What’s He Waiting For (updated Sept. 2017) *

Based on 2 Peter 3:9-15. People keep saying it must be the end of the world. Christ is coming back, but you might want to know what He’s waiting for. By Rev. Peter Nafzger

Who Am I Supposed to Count On (updated Sept. 2017)

Based on Matt. 11. We LIKE happy, triumphant Bible stories, but God sometimes calls us to tasks that ask us to focus beyond our own well-being. Jesus is in charge of your life; in good and “bad” you count on Him. By. Dr. Bernerd Tonjes, Lutheran High St. Charles

Who’s the REAL Superhero (updated Sept. 2017)

Based on 1 Corinthians 3:5-9. Jesus is the ultimate protector, relief agency, clean-up crew, and source of goodness. By Rev. Dr. Reed Lessing, Concordia Seminary St. Louis

Facing the Deep Waters with a Deeper Faith (updated Aug. 2017)

A one session Bible Study, developed for use in a 60 minute youth Bible class setting. By Leon Jameson, DCE

Joy Comes With the Morning (updated Sept. 2017)

A Music-Based Devotion, uses a contemporary Christian song together with a traditional Lutheran hymn to encourage discussion and conversation about God’s plan, designed for use in a 30-45 minute youth meeting. By Rev. Micah Gaunt

Published November 1, 2005

About the author

View more from

Related Resources

Starting a Conversation About…Body Image

Starting a Conversation About…Body Image

Body image is a constant struggle for many people, especially teenagers. This conversation starter is designed to help you think about how to talk with teens, both boys and girls, about how they see themselves and assuring them they were created by a loving God.

Starting a Conversation about…School Violence

Starting a Conversation about…School Violence

The rise, and shocking normalcy, of school violence in our lifetimes brings about difficult questions. This conversation guide on school violence helps us to point teens to the Gospel, an important task since the majority of teens report that school stress is a significant source of stress.

Starting a Conversation about…Sexual Purity

Starting a Conversation about…Sexual Purity

While conversations around sexual purity have always been challenging, we know teens today are hearing more than ever about sex in songs, shows, and other forms of media. Our hope and goal is that this Conversation Guide helps you tackle, specifically, the complex conversations around sex & Biblical purity in a way that does not simply shame you and your teens, but leads all to a deeper understanding of God’s plan & purpose.

Starting a Conversation about…Anxiety

Starting a Conversation about…Anxiety

It is no secret that young people today are anxious. One out of three teens wrestles with anxiety to some extent, a statistic that has increased significantly in the last decade. This conversation starter is designed to help youth leaders open up a conversation about anxiety and how our faith and our faithful community can support and show God’s love to those who may be struggling.

Start a Conversation About…Suicide

Start a Conversation About…Suicide

Suicide is not easy to talk about, but it is necessary. It is the second-leading cause of death among people ages 10-24, and the rate of suicide in that age group has increased by 60% since 2007. This conversation starter sheet can help you approach the difficult conversation around suicide and supporting those who are struggling with mental health.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

How do I know if our youth ministry program is healthy and properly caring for our teens?

Discover how you can enhance your youth ministry and serve the youth in your church with Seven Practices of Healthy Youth Ministry.

Share This