On Wednesday, I saw two of the women from my congregation who my students recently visited during my youth ministry’s interviews with the saints (for more on these interviews, check out this previous article). Both spoke enthusiastically about how much they enjoyed their conversation with our young people. Perhaps more remarkably, in the days since then, I’ve heard from our teens just how much they, too, enjoyed these conversations and learned from them.

One reason why these interviews were so meaningful is because students asked our saints great questions, written by our student leaders. Here they are:

1. Tell us about your childhood. What was your family like? What did you enjoy doing?
2. What were the pivotal national & world events that influenced your childhood and adolescence? (Ex: Wars, JFK’s death, etc.)
3. As a child, did you go to church? If so, what was your church like?
4. Did you participate in a youth group? Why or why not?
5. How, if at all, did your youth group experience impact your faith journey?
6. How, if at all, did your parents influence your faith?
7. Tell us about your family now.
8. Are / were you married? If so, for how long?
9. How did you meet your spouse?
10. What characteristics / qualities made you fall in love with your spouse?
11. What role, if any, did your faith play in your marriage?
12. What advice would you give us about marriage? Why?
13. Did you go to college? If so, where? What did you study? Why did you decide to study that?
14. Where did you work?
15. How did you end up in your profession?
16. How, if at all, did your parents influence your career choice?
17. How, if at all, did your faith influence your career choice or daily work?
18. If you had it to do all over again, what would you have done differently? Why?
19. As you reflect back on your life, how’s it different than you imagined it would be?
20. What words or phrases would you use to describe your faith?
21. Describe a powerful experience you’ve had with God.
22. Tell us about a time when you struggled in your relationship with God. What helped you overcome that struggle?
23. What questions or doubts do you currently have about your faith?
24. How long have you attended our church?
25. Why did you make our church your church home?
26. Which of our church’s ministries have most impacted you? Why?
27. How have you seen our church change?
28. How has your personal faith grown through your involvement at our church?
29. What do you value about our congregation and why?
30. What do you hope for the future of our church?

Jen Bradbury has been in youth ministry for 11 years. She’s the youth director at Faith Evangelical Lutheran Church in Glen Ellyn, IL. Her writing has appeared in YouthWorker Journal, The Christian Century, and Immerse. She blogs at ymjen.com