Resources for Faith Leaders

Talking about it in a faith community.

Talking about love, sex and relationships within the context of your faith can help provide clarity for your young congregation. As a faith leader, it is important to clearly define how these topics are viewed within your faith tradition.

Communicating openly can: 

  • Clearly define faith community values
  • Build communication between parents and young people
  • Help youth feel at ease about who they are and their sexuality
  • Help youth cope with their feelings and deal with peer pressure
  • Help youth take charge of their lives and have healthy, loving relationships
  • Help protect youth from sexual abuse

Featured Training

Be An Askable Adult

Every moment with a teen is precious! This interactive workshop is designed to help make those rare moments positive and beneficial for the teen. This is an excellent opportunity for teen-serving professionals to improve your communication skills so you never miss an opportunity to support adolescents’ healthy decisions.

10 tips to help faith communities address teen pregnancy

  1. Acknowledge. Address the need young people have for spiritual fulfillment and offer them answers to the many challenging problems they face.
  2. Support. Encourage parents to talk with their young people about sex and mortality within the context of their faith tradition.  
  3. Clarify. Make sure youth in your faith community understand what your faith tradition says about sex, love, and marriage in general and teen pregnancy, in particular. Use clear and easy to understand language.
  4. Observe. Learn about contemporary youth culture—what young people are reading, listening to, and watching.
  5. Connect. Reach out to youth who are not involved in any faith community.
  6. Welcome. Provide an environment where sexuality, intimacy, and relationships are discussed openly and honestly with trained youth leaders.
  7. Educate. Provide age-appropriate and accurate information about sexuality, including its spiritual dimensions, from your particular faith tradition.
  8. Embrace. Recognize the diversity of young people in your congregations: those who are heterosexual, those who are sexual minorities, those who are abstinent and those who have had sexual relationships, and those who have experienced abuse.
  9. Protect. Implement policies to protect young people from abuse, harassment, exploitation and violence, both within the congregation and in the community.
  10. Lead. Model positive, healthy and joyful attitudes about human sexuality and relationships.

Denominational Support for Sexuality Education

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

“Sexuality is a mysterious life-long aspect of human relationships… Human sexuality was created good for the purposes of expressing love and generating life, for mutual companionship and pleasure.” (1996)

Reform Judaism

“Sexuality and sexual statement are integral and powerful elements in the potential wholeness of human beings… Every Jew should seek to conduct his/her sexual life in a manner that elicits the intrinsic holiness within the person and the relationship.” (1998)

Reformed Presbyterian Church

“Sexuality begins with a belief in a God of love who has created us as sexual beings to relate to one another in love. We believe in educating young people so they can learn about all aspects of sexuality, including the physical aspects, the emotional aspects, the beliefs and values we hold that inform our sexuality, and the appropriate ways to make decisions about our sexuality.” (1980)

The United Methodist Church

“We recognize the continuing need for full, positive, age-appropriate and factual sex education opportunities for children, young people, and adults. The Church offers a unique opportunity to give quality guidance and education in this area…” (1996)

The Episcopal Church

“The Episcopal Church strongly urge dioceses and congregations to provide a safe, hospitable environment for frank conversation with youth and young adults about human sexuality, to share and teach accurate information, and to promote dialogue, within the context of the Baptismal Covenant.” (2001)

Let's Talk

You can help get parents and adolescents talking to each other by hosting a National Adolescent Health Month™ event every October.