Spiritual Formation and Students:
Spiritual formation is intentional. Paraphrasing a common slogan, our goal is transformation, not information or recreation.MORE
Working With a Serial Killer:
CREATIVE DIRECTOR'S NOTE:
One of the most dedicated Christians I know also writes on "Dexter," Showtime’s popular series about a serial killer who preys upon other serial killers. We talked about growing up in youth group, Hollywood and the gruesome Old Testament.
Q: How does a guy go from growing up in youth group to working on "Dexter?"MORE
The Faith Journey and the Family Journey:
Rachel and her mother never seem to talk. William constantly quotes his father as an authority. Zach’s mother asks his friends, youth minister and even other parents how he’s doing. Mary’s father talks with many youth, including Mary.MORE
Dear Christian Girl / Dear Christian Guy:
Dear Christian Girl,
Paul writes in Titus that young women are to remain “pure” so “that the word of God may not be reviled.” But in this culture, teenage girls are struggling more and more with remaining pure and keeping their focus on Christ. So I, a teenage Christian guy who is by no means perfect or above reproach, will attempt to give you three tips to stay pure and help keep us guys pure at the same time.MORE
Spiritual Growth in a Hectic Schedule:
Parents want to grow their children spiritually, but often struggle to squeeze it in between school, dance, baseball, gymnastics… the list of activities just goes on and on. From the moment we get up until we finally get home, it seems we run, run, run with extracurriculars and outside events constantly competing with God for our attention.
It doesn’t have to be this way.MORE
Stop Asking Jesus to Come Into Your Heart:
If there were a Guinness Book of World Records record for “amount of times having asked Jesus into your heart,” I’m pretty sure I would hold it.
By the time I reached the age of 18 I had probably "asked Jesus into my heart" 5,000 times. I started somewhere around age 4 when I approached my parents one Saturday morning asking how someone could know that they were going to heaven. They carefully led me down the "Romans Road to Salvation," and I gave Jesus His first invitation into my heart.MORE
Homeless for Lent :
Last year, San Antonio youth minister Gavin Rogers made the decision to give up “home” for Lent. He remained active in his youth work at Trinity Baptist Church during the day, but outside of work hours, his life looked radically different than that of the typical single, young seminary graduate.
Q: What unique challenge did you take during Lent last year?MORE
Bible Study: What Influences You?:
Have you ever noticed that when you and your friends or family want to grab a bite to eat you typically end up going to the same place again and again?
What restaurants do you go to on a regular basis?
Why do you keep going back to the same place again and again?MORE
Becoming Fluent in Feminine:
I met Kevin in the sixth grade. Jason in seventh. Scott was freshman year and Blake entered my life in 10th.
Every youth pastor God brought into my life had a significant impact. And that wasn’t just because I had a crush on every single one of them.
Though the mere fact that I brought up the words “crush” and “youth pastor” in the same sentence points to why writing this article is probably necessary. Because honestly, how is an adult male supposed to have a mentoring relationship with a teen girl?MORE
The Teen on Your TV: A Conversation With Jake Short:
Jake Short may not have a driver's license, but he already boasts an impressive acting résumé as one of the stars in the feature film “Shorts” and in his current leading role as Fletcher Quimby on the Disney Channel series “A.N.T. Farm.” The bright lights of Hollywood haven’t distracted this young man from pursuing the Light of the world, though, proving that teens can remain devoted to God no matter their circumstances.
Failed Bible Translations:
New Bible translations and paraphrases are released every year. Some become extremely popular, helping people engage God’s eternal, never-changing Word and Truth in new ways. Other translations… not so much. These are but a few of the failed editions of the Bible.
So loved the world did God that his Son one and only gave he, that believes in him whoever, perish not shall they but life eternal have they shall.
Faith Foundations: The Holy Spirit:
The Holy Spirit can feel like the odd-person-out of the Trinity. If we’re honest, God and His Son Jesus are far more relatable than the mysterious “Spirit.” God the Father benefits from all the earthly daddies running around, giving something of a shadow representation to us. A tangible hook related to the All-Knowing, All-Powerful God of the universe. Besides, every human being longs for a deep, satisfying relationship with a father. It’s even possible that God planted that paternal need within our souls.MORE
Love Your Neighbor:
Service has become a key to opening doors for students — doors to scholarships, college admission, internships and better jobs. The message is loud and clear — “those that give will receive” — so students join philanthropic organizations, participate in fundraisers, go on mission trips and volunteer for community service projects. This seemingly wonderful development of youth culture produces some serious deficiencies. Résumés grow, but an understanding of community and service remains embryonic.MORE
Purpose in Effective Student Ministry:
When I have the opportunity to work with youth pastors, I like to ask, "What's your purpose for doing youth ministry?
Is it for evangelism, for having a large Wednesday night service, for discipleship, to teach the Bible, to have a strong parent-led ministry?”MORE
MORF Really Does Love Your Teens:
In case you haven’t noticed, this magazine is not targeted directly at teens. (Hopefully the tip off was the utter lack of Bieber or Twilight photos.) That said, the cover blurb proclaims MORF “The Magazine That Loves Your Teens,” which might be a bit of a head scratcher.MORE
Personality and Spirituality:
For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us.
The Bible: the Pressure of Temptation:
Say: “We’ve all felt the pressures of temptation, and some are stronger than others.”
Discuss: “In what school subject are you most tempted to cheat?” Encourage students to tell why they chose their answer.
Guide: Explain the key idea to keep in mind as the lesson is studied: “God won’t tempt me, but He will provide a way to resist temptation.”MORE
Max Lucado on: Parenting Teens With Grace:
This fall, bestselling author Max Lucado is releasing a new book written especially for teenagers titled “Wild Grace.” The message? That teens would know their identity doesn’t lie in their struggles or mistakes, but as children of a God who loves them. From this life defined by God’s grace, they can then show grace to others in their daily lives.
Bridging the Gap: An Interview with Carl Gulley:
After 10 years as a youth pastor, Carl Gulley became college pastor at Antioch Community Church in Waco, Texas. With a college ministry of 600 — almost a quarter of the church — Carl has a unique perspective on how to successfully transition students out of high school and into an active faith in college and beyond.
Q: Youth pastors are getting ready to send out their seniors. As a college pastor, what do you wish youth pastors would do to prepare students before they come into your college ministry?MORE
Ministry in Pain:
Pain is an inevitable part of life. We try at all costs to avoid it but it is inevitable. People hurt us, family members die and health issues arise. The challenge becomes what do we do with the pain we experience? In his book, “It Came From Within,” Andy Stanley says, “The natural response to pain, physical or emotional, is to stop it – and prevent it from ever happening again.”MORE
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