Aug 20
Erin Moon

This weekend the latest season of the BBC worldwide obsession, “Doctor Who,” premiers its eighth season, complete with a new Doctor, a new TARDIS (did I already lose you?), and new stories about the Time Lord from Gallifrey (oh yeah, that did it, right?). Hip to the vernacular or not, more than likely you’ve got students at home or in your group that are hoping to one day be chosen as companions, and surprisingly, there is ample room to talk about the Gospel when we talk about “Doctor Who.” 

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Aug 18
Jonathan Pearson

Phones, filters and fans.

We're living in a culture that is constantly looking for other people to celebrate them. Think about it...

We often miss the fun of our friends because we're trying to capture the moment.

We forget to talk to the people around us because we're busy checking Snapchat.

We post a picture to Instagram and check every three minutes to see how many likes it's gotten... and who liked it.

That's the world we live in. It's a cut-throat, ego-driven, and often depressing and discouraging world. For those of us that are younger, it's a world...

Aug 06
Dudley Rutherford

It’s that time of year again… no, not back-to-school or football season… I’m talking about "Shark Week" on the Discovery Channel! If you’re brave enough, or crazy enough, to watch this weeklong series dedicated solely to sharks, you’ll learn about many different species of sharks with the help of some amazing (albeit frightening) underwater footage. You’ll also hear tale after tale of people getting attacked by sharks – all while being assured that sharks don’t mean to harm humans. It never fails that some segment will show a man or a woman in an underwater cage getting up close...

Aug 04
Josh Waugh

Do you ever get the feeling you’re doing everything right in student ministry but consistently getting the wrong outcome?

What do you do when you pour your heart into your students but rarely see any change? What happens when you pray for spiritual and numerical growth but it never comes?

Hour upon hour. Day after day. Each week ending on your knees in frustration asking God if you’ve done anything wrong. Anything that might be holding you and your ministry back from His best.

For me personally, I felt like I preached with a passion, created the best fall retreat ever...

Jul 28
Jenna DeWitt

On the Disney Magic cruise ship, there is an unusual waterslide. Not only does this enclosed-tube waterslide have a clear section that extends out over the ocean, but it starts with a sudden drop. Instead of sitting down to board, you stand in place, leaning against the vertical back of the slide. As soon as you’re ready, the waterslide operator punches a button and the ground drops out from underneath you. Suddenly, you’re shooting downward, water surges around you as the slide twists and turns out over the side of the ship and back in again. Instead of a large splash in a pool at the end...

Jul 21
Dudley Rutherford

If you had told me a couple of years ago that I would one day ride 60 to 70 miles on a road bicycle for fun, I don’t think I would have believed you. But years of playing basketball and golf had finally caught up to me, causing major damage to the meniscus cartilage in my knee. A good friend of mine recommended cycling as a way to stay in shape and maintain the competitiveness I love about sports, but with less strain on my knees. I’ve been hooked ever since. 

Now that I’m an avid cyclist, the Tour de...

Jul 14
Nathan Smith

Make sure your ministry isn’t using one of these tactics to get youth into church because they will ultimately stunt a student’s spiritual growth and relationship with Jesus.

1.     Guilt

The best way to lead anyone to Jesus, teenagers included, is to build a relationship with them. I have seen more and more Christian leaders adopting this effective practice, but they must beware the dangerous temptation to “guilt trip” their students.

You might...

Jul 07
Jenna DeWitt

Soundbyte theology, Twitter wisdom, catchy sermonettes… whatever you want to call them, quotes that sound like Truth are popular with this social media generation. We like our advice short and sweet. Preferably under 140 characters.

What happens when we take one of those quotes out of the context of memes, emoticons and gifs? What if we seriously think about what it says about us and, even more importantly, what it says about Jesus?

We might encounter the reality of our beliefs. We could end up discovering a deeper faith than the weak catchphrase cultural Christianity we...

Jun 30
Lynette Kittle

The summer months are a great time for parents to create lasting memories with their kids that include Christ-centered activities and adventures, ones that encourage spiritual growth and strengthen their developing faith for years to come.

 

1. Spend time at a Christian festival 

We often took our four daughters to Christian festivals around the country, where we combined a fun getaway with opportunities for spiritual enrichment and growth through inspirational music, speakers and fellowship. Families can usually stay for a reduced cost at a...

Jun 23
Amy Ford

Editor’s Note: Many years ago, Amy Ford found herself facing an unplanned pregnancy as a teen. Today, Amy leads a ministry called Embrace Grace, Inc., helping other young single mothers choose life as she did. If someone you know is facing a crisis pregnancy, share these words of encouragement to help her know she and her baby are loved and valued by their Heavenly Father. 

Speed bumps, potholes… they get in our way, slow us down and sometimes point us in a different direction – one we haven’t thought of yet. We take detours, think we’re getting off track, but...