The Top 10: March 2018


Each month Rooted compiles a list of the top ten articles for youth workers from the previous month. Our goal is to provide you with a variety of articles: from longer and more academic type reads, to short and practical ‘how to’ types. While we may not agree with every detail, we are confident that these articles will strengthen you, your team, and the parents in your ministry as you serve teenagers for the sake of the gospel. If there’s an article you think we missed, please share it in the comment section below!

Gospel-Centered Youth Ministry

Millennial Faith that Sticks: More than “Niceness” (Impact 360 Institute)

“The early church father St. Augustine believed that what we know is to a large degree determined by what we love. Katie’s love for God was easily outmatched by the scintillating things college had to offer her at the time. Looking back, her faith was more or less ‘niceness.’”

Responding to American Christianity’s Obsession with Youth by Jonathan Merritt (Religion News Service)

“Have you ever been to a house of worship with a top-40 style music and a skinny-jeans wearing pastor donning a carefully coifed hipster hairdo? Then you know exactly what I mean.

This trend is born out of an earnest desire to “reach the next generation” and is usually well-motivated. But according to Andrew Root, author of “Faith Formation in a Secular Age: Responding to the Church’s Obsession with Youthfulness,” it is a recent phenomenon and creates challenges that must be addressed. Here we discuss how American Christians can understand and respond to our obsession with youth.”

What Are the True Essentials in Your Youth Ministry? by Andy Blanks (YM360)

“If you looked at your actual youth ministry and began to pare things away, what are those elements that you would simply not be able to live without? It’s an interesting way to think about the HOW of the ministry we do. If suddenly you lost your technology, could your youth ministry as its currently constructed still be effective? Or would losing technology strike such a blow to how you operate that you’d lose the ability to function? What about your building?”

The Surprising Reasons Members of Generation Z Become Christians by Aaron Earls (LifeWay)

“Researchers asked: ‘When you think about the reasons you became a Christian which two or three of the following, if any, were most important for you?’”

Youth Culture

Here’s How to Prevent the Next School Shooting, Experts Say by Anya Kamenetz (NPR)

“A public health approach to disease means, instead of waiting for people to be rushed to emergency rooms with heart attacks or the flu, you go into the community: with vaccinations, screenings, fruits and vegetables, walking trails and exercise coaches. You screen and regulate environmental hazards, like a nearby polluting factory. You keep watch on reported cases of illness, to stop a new outbreak in its tracks. A public health approach to school shootings, Astor explains, would be much along the same lines.”

10 Things You Should Know About Teenagers by Jaquelle Crowe (Crossway)

“Twenty-first-century teenagers are the first to grow up in a post-Christian context. In the past nineteen years, culture’s attitude toward religion and morality has shifted dramatically. But what’s new to you is normal to today’s teenagers. We were born, bred, and are now steeped in an unprecedented religious climate. We do not take the gospel for granted.”

Are Young Adults Growing Tired of Constant Social Connectivity? by Jennifer King (emarketer)

“Despite popular assumptions that young adults are social media-obsessed, new data suggests that many have considered a temporary—and even permanent—reprieve from their newsfeeds.”

Why Teenagers are Becoming Trans-Curious by Joe Carter (TGC)

“Social contagion is the only adequate explanation for why so many women have become bi-curious in such a short period of time. The ubiquitous promotion by the media of bisexual female relationships has promoted the idea that such ‘experimentation’ is a natural part of growing up female. Even young men and women who have no desire to actually engage in same-sex sexual contact are encouraged to be ‘open’ to bisexuality.”

Ministry Skills

Ministry Downfalls…And the Problem of Me… by Walt Mueller (CPYU)

“First, endeavor to know yourself and your human depravity. You and I are horribly broken people. Our default setting is to do the wrong thing. Theologian David Wells writes, ‘Knowing about sin is vital knowledge. There are none quite so lost as those who know little or nothing of their sin. Knowing about our sin, therefore, is something for which we should be deeply grateful.’”

Things No One Tells You About Going on Short-Term Mission Trips by Michelle Acker Perez (Relevant Magazine)

“We have both seen the good, the bad and the ugly of short-term missions. And we continue to feel this tension with the short-term mission teams that we host. Do they do more harm than good? Do they perpetuate the cycle of poverty? Do they contribute to feelings of superiority? Or inferiority? Our work with families and communities in Guatemala, as well as churches and schools from the U.S. has forced us to ask these questions daily.”

Rooted’s Two Most-Read Articles of March

An Argument Against Living Biblically by Josh Hussung (Rooted)

“While it is silly to compare a juice cleanse to the human condition, our hearts really do need cleansing. The Bible describes even our attempts to live righteously as ‘filthy rags’ (Is. 64:6). Father Gene leaves out that the point of the commands of Scripture is to show us that we are truly unable to keep those commands, and that while we do need a “soul cleanse” of sorts, we are incapable of accomplishing it within ourselves.”

Teaching Teens a Theology of Suffering in a Time of School Shootings by Kendal Conner (Rooted)

“With politics and positions aside, there is a real, important question before us as youth leaders and parents that we must consider: how do we care for, shepherd, and stand beside our students in the midst of this suffering? Here are a few contrasts I believe will help us begin the conversation.”

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

Gender Warriors Aren’t Helping Kids (But the Church Hasn’t Helped Much Either) by Cameron Cole (Rooted)

This reality calls for Christians to exercise careful discernment in determining what’s cultural versus what’s scriptural when it comes to expressions of gender. In truth, the Bible has far more to say about what is glorying to God as a human being than it has to say about what is honoring to him as either a male or female.


Join our mailing list to stay informed!