Rooted’s Top Ten of November 2020
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.
by Zach Cochran (ERLC)
We also believe that singing comes as a response to the gospel; our doxology follows our theology. We’ll spend an eternity in heaven singing God’s praises. But singing is not just reactive. It’s also formative. That’s why Paul writes in another place, “Let the message of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts” (Col. 3:16).
by Derrick Brown (LeaderTreks)
What fruit comes from our games, fun trips, and events? Are we just entertaining the next generation? Are we focusing too much on fun and missing the Great Commission? Are we undervaluing the great command of Jesus to make disciples?
by Brett McCracken (TGC)
The “community” of social media is a disconnected mass of individuals wanting to be seen and heard, and rather uninterested in being formed. It’s a space for public affirmation, not private growth; virtue signaling more than virtue cultivation. Especially for digital natives who’ve grown up in a world where having followers is more valuable than following a leader, and performance more appealing than membership, this “platform” approach to institutions is second nature. But it’s not healthy.
Partnering with Parents
by Stephen Burnett (TGC)
Jesus, however, has come to redeem rebel humans. He begins in our hearts, then works his transformation outward to our gift-enjoyments and our world. He makes originally good gifts holy again, “by the word of God and prayer” (1 Tim. 4:4–5). As Christian parents engage popular culture with kids, we must know this gospel purpose. We also need to flesh out this worldview with specific questions. Here are five examples.
(Fuller Youth Institute)
But just because many of the things we look forward to during the holidays will look different this year doesn’t mean that we can’t still nurture our connection with loved ones and create meaningful moments. Here are four suggestions to help our families de-stress and keep disappointment at bay this pandemic holiday season.
by Will Anderson (TGC)
Much of our freneticism, distractedness, and fatigue is self-inflicted. With good intentions, we load our family schedules beyond our bandwidth. Quarantine forced us to clear the calendar; in the days ahead it’s something we’ll have to choose.
If you want to confront this issue with your teen, start by seeking God’s guidance. Confronting what it means to be a Christlike man or woman will help us understand God and ourselves better. Read God’s Word, pray, and meditate on these questions:
by Carl R. Trueman (Crossway)
Expressive individualism is a term used by philosophers such as Charles Taylor to talk about the way we think about being selves in the present day. Expressive individualism particularly refers to the idea that in order to be fulfilled, in order to be an authentic person, in order to be genuinely me, I need to be able to express outwardly or perform publicly that which I feel I am inside. So expressive individualism in some ways overturns a lot of the notions of the self that previous generations may have held to.
by Jen Pollock Michel (Christianity Today)
However well-intentioned purity culture might have been, it was also guilty of gross errors. It made Christian purity a function of sexual history and behavior, not spiritual rebirth. It saddled women with the responsibility for male lust and failed the victims of sexual abuse. Further, it made unqualified promises of marriage, children, and great sex to everyone who pledged to wait.
by David Brooks (New York Times)
After all we’ve been through this year, wouldn’t it be nice, even during a distanced holiday season, to be able to talk about this whole experience with others, in a deep, satisfying way? To help, I’ve put together a list of nonobvious lessons for how to have better conversations, which I’ve learned from people wiser than myself:
Rooted’s Two Most-Read of November
by Cole Shiflet
After having the opportunity to sit under the preaching of my senior pastor and college pastor for the past two and a half years, after watching the way they both preach to a congregation with a large student population, I wish my high school youth pastors would have preached the Bible similarly: deeply, simply, and lovingly.
by Jonathan Molengraf
While preaching the Sermon On The Mount, the Lord Jesus says, “Be on your guard against false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravaging wolves” (Matt. 7:15 CSB). Jesus is saying here that there will be false prophets who are in reality wolves, but look just like the rest of the sheep. Sound familiar? In Among Us, the imposters look like the rest of us, but are actually trying to destroy us. Christians are called to be on the watch for those who teach the Bible falsely; the catch is, a lot of times they look just like us.
In Case You Missed It (Rooted’s November Honorable Mention)
Last year, sixteen of our Rooted writers joined us to write , reminding them- and us- that we are loved by a God who makes promises and keeps promises. Now, more than ever, the hope we have in our promise-keeping God sustains us and gives us hope. Each devotional centers around Messianic prophecies – promises – from the Old Testament, and the wonder that each one came to be fulfilled in the person of Jesus Christ. You can either print out or forward along to the teenagers in your care. O Come Let Us