Rooted’s Top Ten of July 2021

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Each month we compile a Top Ten list for youth workers. This list represents ten articles from various sources that we believe will encourage you in your ministry to students and their families. Some give explicit instruction on gospel-centered ministry, while others are included because there is a message of common grace that is helpful to youth workers. (The opinions presented in these articles do not necessarily reflect the position of Rooted.) If you find an article that could speak to the Rooted community, please share it in the comment section below. 

Gospel-Centered Ministry

The Gospel Doesn’t End with the Cross by Mike McGarry

Imagine the pastoral implications of the ascension for students! Jesus is praying for them when they don’t know how to pray (Hebrews 7:25). Jesus is with them always (Matthew 28:20). Jesus is reigning in glory over his kingdom (John 18:36). Jesus is victorious and has been enthroned in glory, where he continues to lead and care for his people until he returns to fulfill every promise we read in Scripture. This is good news that we almost never talk about.

The One Critical Thing Missing in Most Sermons by Michael Kruger

But there is one thing that very few sermons do, and that is persuade. Now, a persuasive sermon may not be what you think. For most people, the word brings to mind formal “apologetics” where we make the case for Christianity over and against other worldviews. And while some formal apologetics may be involved, I am using “persuade” here to refer to how a pastor might seek to show that any particular Christian doctrine, truth or behavior is genuinely wonderful, excellent, and worthy of our lives, and thereby better than any other alternative that is out there.

Partnering with Parents

Teach Children to Value Singleness by Lydia Kinne

From a young age, children pick up what their parents value. Therefore, parents need to start by examining their beliefs about marriage and singleness and consider how they are communicating those to their children. When parents intentionally center their beliefs on singleness on biblical truth, it is more likely that they will teach their children to have a proper perspective.

Dress Your Best for Jesus by Clarissa Moll, TGC

What I discovered surprised me. I’d sought to eliminate stress from my life, but my choice unexpectedly began a renovation in my heart. When I surrendered the Sunday wardrobe wars, God opened my heart to the worship war that I’d quietly been waging all along.

How Parents Can Have Better Conversations with Teenagers by Kara Powell and Brad M. Griffin.

As parents learning this new vocabulary ourselves, we’d like to suggest a couple of phrases to cut and a couple of phrases to start using to boost your conversational skills with your own kids.

Youth Culture

Teaching Kids to Navigate Culture: A New Resource From CPYU by Walt Mueller

A Student’s Guide To Navigating Culture is not about describing cultural trends, but rather a book that teaches cultural discernment skills that can be used both now and in the future as culture shifts and morphs at breakneck speed. It’s a book that teaches kids to think first. . . and how to think. . .  so that they might follow their thinking with counter-cultural living that pushes back on what Paul calls “the course of this world.”

Songs of the Summer by Axis

This round-up of songs, slang, and social media trends will catch you up on what’s going on with teenagers this summer. A great resource that will translate youth culture for you.  

Ministry Skills 

One Easy Trick to See If You’re Reading the Bible Right by Adam Stevenson

Augustine said there’s a way you can check or double-check whether you understand the Bible. If you read it right, he said, it would produce a “double love of God and of neighbor.”

Youth Ministry- Rebuilding After COVID- Part 1 by Shane Thacker

What is at the foundation of youth ministry? It’s not found in your reopening plan, your programs, or your curriculum. It’s found in your relationship with the Lord. 

Redeeming Christianese by Mike McGarry

Christianese usually flows when Christians are trying to speak biblically and helpfully, but haven’t given much thought to their words. Here are three types of Christianese, offered to help you find a better way to articulate the gospel. 

Rooted’s Two Most-Read of July

The Question Teenagers With Suicidal Ideation Need You to Ask by Liz Edrington

 It is absolutely essential that we ask instead of making the assumption that our student probably isn’t thinking about taking his own life. 

Tough Questions Teenagers Ask: Why Don’t We Follow All the Old Testament Laws? by Mark Howard

We’re losing the art of capturing and shaping the imagination of a generation to help them more truly embody their role as image-bearers of the One True God. What I believe we need is more narrative storytelling of the world the Bible asks us to inhabit and imagine.

In Case You Missed It (Rooted’s July Honorable Mention)

Tough Questions Teenagers Ask: What About the “Good” Person Who Doesn’t Believe in God? By Meredith Dixon

In a culture that seeks to pump students up with “self-love” talk, we as youth ministers have the difficult yet crucial task of teaching students the painful truth about themselves: apart from Jesus Christ, no one is good.

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