Rooted Ministry’s Top 10: January 2016

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Rooted is excited to share with you a new initiative: “The Top 10.” We’ve scoured youth ministry blogs and news sites to find the most helpful articles from January that will strengthen and encourage your ministry to students. Most, but not all, of these articles come from a Christian perspective and we believe there are nuggets of wisdom to glean from each of them. If you know of an article you think we’ve missed this month, please link it in the comment section below! 

Without further ado, here are the Top 10 for January 2016, arranged only by subject! (Since this is the inaugural post, there are a few articles from December that were too good not to share.)

Gospel-Centered Ministry

4 Obstacles to Your Students’ Spiritual Growth, by Andy Blanks (YM360)

“There are entire seminary courses, volumes of books, and even ministry organizations dedicated to the “what can you do about it” answer to this question. So, this space is not much use to us for providing solutions. But, I will say this: you have to know the problem you are dealing with if you are going to begin to solve it. Make it your mission to know the home situation of all your students.”

6 Traits of a Mature Disciple, by Kyle Rohane (LeaderTreks)

“For ourselves and for those under our spiritual care, we cannot settle for undeveloped faith. We must encourage those in our ministries when we see signs of maturity, and we should develop those areas where their faith remains immature. So what does a mature disciple look like? Here are a few areas of maturity that we should ask God to grow in others and ourselves.”

7 News Years Resolutions Every Youth Leader Should Make, by Greg Stier (Dare2Share)

“A Gospel Advancing ministry is one which relentlessly pursues the mission of Jesus by relationally multiplying disciples resulting in radical Gospel transformation. This value-based philosophy of ministry can be used in virtually any youth ministry model. If this appeals to you here are 7 resolutions you should make this year.”

Partnering With Parents

The Collapse of Parenting: Why it’s Time for Parents to Grow Up, by Cathy Gulli (MacLean’s) 

“…all too often adults defer to kids because they have relinquished parental authority and lost confidence in themselves. They’re motivated by a desire to raise their children thoughtfully and respectfully. In theory, their intentions are good and their efforts impressive—moms and dads today are trying to build up their kids by giving them influence; they also want to please them and avoid conflict. In reality, parents are at risk of losing primacy over their children.”

Changing Perspectives on Youth Ministry & Parenting, by Matthew McNutt 

“Fifteen years ago I had no idea how unnerving, confusing, overwhelming it is to parent teenagers. I am considered a professional youth worker. In youth ministry circles, I’m a veteran. I have read more books on adolescence than most people, I’ve gone to school for it, I’ve attended conferences, gotten further training, had countless hours of experience, walked with students and their families through just about every adolescent scenario you can imagine, I’ve written articles, spoken at training events, the list goes on. And apparently almost none of that translates to parenting my own teenagers!”

Youth Culture

Fear, Time, and American Youth Ministry, by Matt Overton (Princeton’s Institute for Youth Ministry) 

“The American church needs to begin experimenting with some new ways of doing youth ministry. These experiments must speak to the fears, pragmatic frameworks, and values of our culture without completely bowing to them. The church can begin by stopping its moralizing about how families spend their time. It’s not enough to say to our families, “You ought to be at church or youth group!” We need new forms of church that speak to present realities.”

Drinking Responsibly, by Hanna Lottritz 

“I am writing this because I didn’t realize the importance of drinking responsibly until I was waking up from a coma, and I don’t want anyone to go through what my family and I went through. I ask that you share this with your friends, family or anyone who may benefit from reading this. If I can help just one person by sharing my experience, then I will be absolutely ecstatic.”

Affirm Me: the Risks Kids Take for Approval, by David R. Smith (Youth Culture Window)

“The concept of ‘frexting’ isn’t as new as the term itself. Essentially, it’s the exchanging of sexy pics between girls who are friends with one another for the purpose of encouragement or approval.”

Ministry Skills

Put Your Sermon on a Diet, by Brad Widstrom (LeaderTreks)

“Organization and structure, word choice, intonation, body language, powerful illustrations, and other skills are critically important. But what good are they if you roll your overflowing wheelbarrow of content and multiple themes onto the platform and then dump them all on your listeners. Your eloquence and oratorical skills cannot overcome content overload.”

Nothing is Off Limits, by Jen Bradbury (Download Youth Ministry)

“By talking about things that people interpret differently and better yet, by explaining some of those different interpretations to teens, we teach them that the body of Christ is big and beautiful; that it’s diverse and that diversity need not be feared. When we teach multiple interpretations to teens, we give them the chance to actually decide which makes sense to them.”

In Case You Missed It…from the Rooted archives

The Authenticity of Grace through Repentence, by Ben Beswick

“My confidence found in my forgiveness through Christ can only be felt by me, and understood by my community, when there is a proper appreciation of the sin that is continually overcome. Furthermore, that community can continue to grow in Gospel maturity only when it daily feels first, the weight of sin, and second, the relief of that weight being lifted. “

To learn more about gospel centered youth ministry, check out more articles from Rooted’s youth ministry blog. 

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