The Fallen Idols of COVID in the Life of a Teen with Julie Sparkman (Rooted 2020 Conference)


Over the next several weeks, we will share workshop and plenary content from our Rooted 2020 Microconferences. This week’s workshop comes to us from Julie Sparkman, author of Unhitching From the Crazy Train (click here for our review). Julie is a pastoral counselor in Birmingham, Alabama, and she gave a workshop for parents at our 2018 conference called When a Good Desire Becomes a False God. She has also been a guest on the Rooted podcast: listen to Our Good Design for Desire.

Our kids live in a world that teaches from a young age that it is what they DO that sets them apart from the crowd. And then, COVID hit. From the star athlete to the academic award recipient, achievers have watched their platforms disintegrate, leaving them grappling with lost notoriety, identity, and security. This workshop explores how we might help kids see that their greatest losses may, in fact, be a divine rescue.

Discussion questions

  1. Sometimes it is not until we have been stripped of something that we realize just how much of our sense of well being or significance may have been tied to it. What have been some areas of your life that God may be revealing have moved from a “good thing” to an “ultimate thing“? Consider how it is those very struggles that “qualify” you to lead others well. How are you seeking to address those areas before God? Have you shared this with those you are leading?
  2. Have there been times in your life when you have unwittingly bought into (perhaps even taught) the “theology of good choices”? Can you relate to the psalmist who cries, “in vain I have kept my heart pure”? Are you seeing hearing a similar cry amidst the youth that you are involved with? Could they feel safe enough with you to express the disillusionment contained in Psalm 73?
  3. This is a wonderful opportunity, contained perhaps in what seems like some scary questions… thank GOD our hope will never be found in our ability to make good choices, because our flesh will indeed fail BUT GOD transcends the contract relationship we often seek to engage in. COVID, like any great pain in life, exposes our true theology… and the gap between what we say we believe and what we are really trusting in to make our lives work. As you repent of whatever God is revealing in your own life, your teaching of the gospel to others becomes that much more winsome.  How might you use these COVID exposures to teach the gospel in a fresh way?

To watch it on You Tube, click the link below:

Or you can listen to it as a podcast below.


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