The Top 10: February 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 Ministry

3 Ways to Pass on Faith to the Next Generation by Tim Keller (The Gospel Coalition)

“We assume that if we instruct our children in true doctrine, shelter them from immoral behavior, and involve them in church and religious organizations, then we have done all we can. But youth are turned off not only by bad examples, but also by parents who are not savvy about the lives and world their children are living in, or who cannot be open about their own interior spiritual lives.”

Partnering with Parents

How to Teach Your Kids to Appreciate God’s Word by Jim Burns (HomeWord)

“Creating an appreciation for God’s Word in kids isn’t always an easy task! But, I encourage you to do the best you can. Be persistent, pray, and then let God be God — who does the work to change lives! Here are some ideas to help you get started.”

Roles of Children in Dysfunctional Family Systems by Chris Shaffner (Youth Specialties)

“When we think of a dysfunctional family it’s like a machine which is run by gears with weak or cracked cogs. As one cog breaks it puts more stress on the other cogs of that gear and then on other cogs of other gears. Eventually the whole machine shuts down…. The children in the family may play more than one role at a time or only one. Each role gives the child their basic identity and shapes their script and future.”

Stop Worrying About The Students Who Come To Church With Their Parents & Not Your Program by Justin Knowles (Download Youth Ministry)

“We want students to attend church with their parents because their parents should be the main source of spiritual influence in their student’s lives. If that is the case, why would I want to pull them from that to join our Wednesday nights instead?”

Youth Culture

GenZ: Your Questions Answered by Barna Research Group

“Recently, Barna released a landmark study of Gen Z, in partnership with Impact 360 Institute, providing a snapshot of the ways Gen Z sees the world, their faith (or lack thereof) and our culture.”

What Teenagers Are Learning From Online Porn by Maggie Jones (New York Times Magazine)

[warning: graphic language]

“It’s not surprising, then, that some adolescents use porn as a how-to guide. In a study that Rothman carried out in 2016 of 72 high schoolers ages 16 and 17, teenagers reported that porn was their primary source for information about sex — more than friends, siblings, schools or parents. ‘There’s nowhere else to learn about sex,’ the suburban boy told me. ‘And porn stars know what they are doing.’”

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.”

Sexual Sin

Help! I’m a Youth Worker Struggling With Porn! by Cooper Pinson (Harvest USA)

“As a youth minister, it’s an already confusing task to lead youth to the feet of Jesus when you yourself need to take the journey. How can we, as youth ministers, bear students’ sins and sufferings when we’re barely holding on? How can we lead youth to streams of living water when we’re dying in the desert?”

5 Do’s and Don’ts to Help Christian Leaders Guard Their Sexual Purity by Greg Stier (Dare 2 Share)

“As a traveling evangelist I’m on the road…a lot. With all the headlines of Christian influencers, Hollywood actors and political leaders falling morally I’m reminded again and again of the importance of relentlessly guarding my sexual purity. Over the years I’ve developed a short list of 5 do’s and don’ts that help me do just that. Perhaps this list will help you as well.”

Youth Ministry… Addressing the Sad Reality of Sexual Abuse by Walt Mueller (Center for Parent/Youth Understanding)

“…there is a question all of us who work and love kids must answer: ‘What can I do to prevent this type of thing from happening in the lives of the kids I work with, so that they might experience a childhood void of victimization, and a sexually healthy adulthood void of victimizing others?’”

Rooted’s Two Most-Read of February

The Matrix: Expanding the Story of Race, Justice, and the Gospel by Ben Sciacca (Rooted)

“For many whites, a detailed history of minorities in this country is something to simply ignore. It was never featured at my predominantly white schools growing up. Black History Month wasn’t mentioned at all. Maybe you and/or your students have had a similar formation. Majority culture has been afforded the luxury of commandeering their own historians and then subscribing to the words that they write.”

Footprints: How Jesus Uses Youth to Carry Us from Division to Unity (an Interview with Isaiah Brooms) by Rooted

“At Rooted, we’ve started asking ourselves an important question: How can we equip parents and other leaders of youth to help their teens foster authentic interracial relationships, as part of God’s design for his kingdom? We thought we’d begin this journey by taking the posture, first and foremost, of listening. For the next three days, we’re thrilled to share with you a conversational interview between our editor-in-chief, Charlotte Getz, and African American Rooted contributor, Isaiah Brooms.”

Rooted’s February Honorable Mention

Teaching Kids What “Thoughts and Prayers” Really Means by Anna Harris (Rooted)

“The point, however, is not to teach kids to take a particular political stance or embrace activism for activism’s sake. In fact, that’s why thoughts and prayers precede action. God leads a young person just as He leads adults: by His Holy Spirit.”


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