December Top Ten
A Year in Review: Top Ten of 2018
Here are the top ten articles from this past year. We trust these articles will continue to encourage, equip, and bless you as well as the parents and students in your ministry. Some of these give explicit instruction on gospel-centered ministry, while others are included because there is a message of common grace that can help us in our ministries. If you find an article that could speak to the Rooted community, please share it in the comment section below.
Gospel Centered Ministry
Why Youth Ministry Shouldn’t Be The Greatest Show On Earth by Walt Mueller (CPYU)
“It’s ironic that one of the marks of today’s emerging generations is a deep need for community and connectedness, and yet we plan and program in ways that cut them off from experiencing community and connectedness with people who aren’t their own age.”
8 Things to Keep in Mind When Teaching Kids Theology by Melanie Lacy (Core Christianity)
“There is a danger that teaching kids theology can lead to an abundance of head knowledge related to Christian things but result in little heart change. Of course, it is always right to instruct children in the things of God, because by not doing so we allow them to be informed by something other than Scripture. However, we must strive to allow theology to warm and thrill children’s hearts as well as inform their minds.”
Why ‘Passing on the Faith’ Fails Our Kids by Sharon Galgay Ketcham (Christianity Today)
“In our contemporary setting, then, passing and receiving seem more closely tied to the service industry than to the transfer of an authoritative message. In the context of a coffee shop, for example, the salesperson’s role is to be a service provider by passing you the product, and the customer’s role is to receive the product passed. Applied to youth ministry, adults pass the faith, and young people receive the faith. What is a young person’s relationship with the church here?”
How Apologetics Can Address the Six Reasons Why Young People Leave the Church by Tim Barnett (Stand to Reason)
“If the church would begin to take the life of the mind more seriously and equip its young people to understand and defend their faith, we could meet these challenges head on.”
Why Gen Z Is Not Prepared To Follow Jesus In A Post-Everything World by Jonathan Morrow (Impact 360)
Unfortunately, many Christian teenagers are simply unprepared for the world that is waiting for them. We all know students who have drifted, become disillusioned or just walked away from the faith. Even one heartbreaking story is enough to move us to action. No student should “outgrow” their faith. It doesn’t have to be this way.
The FAQs: What Parents Should Know About Peer Contagion Joe Carter (The Gospel Coalition)
“The term peer contagion describes a process of mutual influence between a child or adolescent and their peers that includes behaviors and emotions that potentially undermine one’s own development or cause harm to others. Examples of peer contagion include aggression, bullying, depression, disordered eating, drug use, bisexuality, suicide, tobacco use, and transgenderism.”
The Teenage Smartphone Problem Is Worse Than You Think by Donald Coburn (Education Week)
“While teens are in a prime stage of life to learn, they simultaneously possess powerful habit-forming abilities that make them vulnerable to dependency and addiction. Thus, it follows that as adolescent attention spans continue to diminish in the interests of unrestrained media consumption, we may be raising a generation of students who are cognitively unprepared to think critically.”
Partnering with Parents
There is No Difference Between Parenting and Discipleship by Andy Blanks (Iron Hill Men)
Think about it: your every interaction teaches your child about how a man who has surrendered His life to God conducts Himself. In everything you do, you are modeling what it looks like to live as someone transformed by God. You are showing your child what a disciple looks like.
Why We Really Put Our Kids in Sports Melanie Springer Mock (CT Women)
“…if Christians truly believe we are all created equally in God’s image, we will need to rethink why we want our offspring to be bigger, faster, and stronger than the children of other parents, who are image bearers of their Creator, too. And the very life and ministry of Jesus should be worthy of emulating, even at a middle school football game. For Jesus, winning did not look like an end-zone victory dance; instead, he became as the least of these and walked with those whose physical weakness would not find a place in much of today’s competitive sports culture.”
Twelve Tips for Parenting in the Digital Age by Tony Reinke (Desiring God)
iGen is a recent label given to those born between 1995 and 2012. It is 74 million Americans, or 24% of the population, and the most diverse generation in American history. It is also the most digitally connected and smartphone-addicted generation. …As parents, we face many challenges in shepherding these teens in the digital age.