The Top 10: January 2018

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Each month we compile a Top 10 list for the Rooted community. This list represents ten articles from around the Internet that we believe will encourage and equip you to continue in your ministry to students and their families. If you have an article you’d like to share, please include it as a link in the comment section below.

Gospel Centered Ministry

7 Ways Teens Can Contribute When the Church Meets by Steve Burchett (For the Church)

Teenage believers, you can contribute right away in significant and helpful ways when the church gathers. Here’s how…

7 Ways New Preachers Bat from the Wrong Side of the Plate by Dave Harvey (The Gospel Coalition)

Over three decades of ministry, I’ve heard some preaching in need of a restart. Sadly, much of it has spilled from my own lips. Like my brother, I started wrong in a number of areas, until my pulpit swinging was corrected by either bad fruit or good counsel. Some of my mistakes were common to early preachers. Other rookie errors, thankfully, I avoided. Here are seven of the more familiar ones.

Partnering With Parents

How to Help Your Children Read the Bible by David Murray (Desiring God)

The Bible is big and complex enough to intimidate adults. How do we help our children get to know the most important book ever assembled and begin to develop habits of enjoying it daily?

Parents, Take Note of the Spiritual Practices Common to Kids Who Flourish As Adults by Trevin Wax (The Gospel Coalition)

A new LifeWay Research study commissioned by LifeWay Kids surveyed 2,000 Protestant and non-denominational churchgoers who attend church at least once a month and have adult children ages 18 to 30. The goal of the project was to discover what parenting practices were common in the families where young adults remained in the faith. What affected their moral and spiritual development?

Talking to Your Young Athletes About Sex Abuse by Amanda Loudin (ESPN)

As children get older, it’s easy for parents to assume they know enough to ward off offenders. In reality, Natalie said, it’s adolescence that often proves the most vulnerable time.

Youth Culture

Who Are the iGeneration and What Does Research Tell Us? by Eric Geiger

What does research tell us about iGeneration? Jean Twenge’s book, iGen, is a very insightful and thoughtful read, based on extensive research over several years. Instead of simply regurgitating her outline, which is a very helpful framework, I am going to offer twelve observations about iGeneration in the next two blogs.

Why Gen Z Is Not Prepared To Follow Jesus In A Post-Everything World by Jonathan Morrow (Impact 360)

Unfortunately, many Christian teenagers are simply unprepared for the world that is waiting for them. We all know students who have drifted, become disillusioned or just walked away from the faith. Even one heartbreaking story is enough to move us to action. No student should “outgrow” their faith. It doesn’t have to be this way.

Excuse Me; May I Have Your Attention? by David R. Smith (Youth Culture Window)

Without a doubt, the person best qualified to show teenagers how to use – and NOT use – their devices are the adults who own them…. In today’s world, loving adults must spend time helping teenagers establishing safe and healthy boundaries for smartphone use.

Ministry Skills

Solo Sex and the Christian by David White (Harvest USA)

One of the frequently asked questions at a Harvest USA seminar is whether masturbation is a sin. There has been a lot of debate on this issue in Christian circles, largely because it’s a behavior without a condemning, biblical proof text. Although I can’t point you to a specific chapter and verse forbidding this behavior, God’s design for sexuality makes it clear that there is no room for masturbation in the life of a Christian.

Teen Suicide… Warning Signs (Part 1) by Walt Mueller (Center for Parent/Youth Understanding)

Teenagers who attempt suicide give signs. It is estimated that about 80 percent of those who take their life communicate their intention to someone prior to the act. While they may not always communicate their pain and intentions with verbal clarity, the signs are there. But they may never be heard unless we know what to watch for.

Rooted’s Two Most-Read Articles of January

Sex Education Curriculum for Families and Parent Conversation Guide (Rooted)

In a world where we no longer give kids “the book” and send them to their rooms, this couple recommended that we make an audio sex education curriculum that a kid could listen to on a mobile device or a tablet. This way the child could receive instruction about God’s design for sexuality in a private manner through a technological medium through which they are comfortable. Furthermore, the parents could listen to the same content and in the end they could come together to discuss.

Reconsidering “Professional” Youth Ministry by Mike McGarry (Rooted)

Maybe it’s my own baggage from this internship, but I get concerned whenever I hear calls for “excellence” and “professionalism” in ministry. I appreciate the exhortation to offer the best we have as an act of service to God and to others. I am also aware that expecting excellence in all things will keep some people from offering anything at all. I have seen faithful volunteers step aside after such urgings, their confidence shaken by the implication that they don’t measure up.

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

Church Planting As Youth Ministry: The Two Most Disconnected Statistics in the Modern-Day Church by Davis Lacey (Rooted)

Think about it. Youth can convince their peers to risk their lives in order to find acceptance. Why not expect that they can also influence their peers to lose their lives for the gospel, in order that they may experience the abundant life of the One who accepts them already?

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