The Top 10: November 2017

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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 Reasons Why Far Too Many Youth Ministries Aren’t Thriving Like They Could (and should) Be by Greg Stier (Dare 2 Share)

“…there are a lot of youth ministries out there that are not making the eternal impact they could (and should) be. And there are reasons why. Here are 7 reasons why many youth ministries aren’t thriving.”

How to Become a Good Christian: A Letter to Teenagers in Good Churches by Bryan Elliff (For the Church)
“I couldn’t figure out how to become a Christian. Yes, I knew that you had to repent and believe, that the Holy Spirit had to work in you to give you new life, and that you couldn’t just pray a prayer to “get saved.” But when it came down to the actual logistics of the thing, I was in a bit of a fog.”

No Epidural Strong Enough for Pain in Parenting by Nancy Guthrie (The Gospel Coalition)

If we really believe the gospel, we’ll put our faith in God rather than in our personal example, our manipulation tactics, or our ability to worry our kids into the kingdom. We’ll trust God to call, woo, convict, regenerate, save, and sanctify. We’ll recognize that these things aren’t up to us, and simply aren’t in our power. And when we really believe that, we’ll be saved from being crushed by a mountain of guilt and regret when we don’t see these things happening in our children’s lives.

Partnering with Parents

The Fragile Generation by Lenore Skenazy & Jonathan Haidt (Reason)
“We’ve had the best of intentions, of course. But efforts to protect our children may be backfiring. When we raise kids unaccustomed to facing anything on their own, including risk, failure, and hurt feelings, our society and even our economy are threatened. Yet modern child-rearing practices and laws seem all but designed to cultivate this lack of preparedness.”

Why Your Grumpy Teenager Doesn’t Want to Talk to You by Lisa Damour (NY Times)
But when adolescents hold their cards close to their chests, they often have a good reason. To better ease our own minds and be more useful to our teenagers we can consider some of the ordinary, if often overlooked, explanations for their reticence.

Youth Culture

Matt Lauer… Teachable Moments… and Theologizing About Sexual Sin… by Walt Mueller (Center for Parent/Youth Understanding)
“What is that you do with news like this? I think that there’s great value in self-evaluating how each of us evaluates and responds to these kinds of stories. In other words, before getting on with the rest of our day, it’s a good thing to theologize about, to learn from, and to think about how to process these stories with our own selves and with the kids we know and love.”

3 Ingredients Catalyzing the Spike in Teen Depression by Jonathan McKee (The Source for Parents)
“If you’ve even glanced at a newspaper in the last few months, you’ve seen countless articles about the rise in teen anxiety, depression and suicide. In fact, the suicide rate for teen girls just hit a 40-year high. The question everyone is wondering is why?”

Ministry Skills

What Do They Know About Risk? by Doug Franklin (LeaderTreks)
“Students are watching us, and they learn a lot about being a Christ follower from what we do. And that concerns me, because I don’t see many Christian students taking risks.”

The Importance of Hospitality in Youth Ministry by Denny Burda (Youth Specialties)
We are called to invite people in, make them feel comfortable, and loved. I am sure there are those out there who might see it as a waste, or an excess or say that the money could have been better spent polishing the church organ, but for me I think the best returns are the investments we make in others. Even if it is just a bag of Doritos.

Does The Vision Of Your Ministry Line Up With Your Senior Pastor? by Justin Knowles (Download Youth Ministry)
“I love the fact that many people have a vision for their ministry, I know I have one for mine, but I am shocked to hear so many youth workers who allow their vision for their ministry to stray from the overall vision of the senior pastor and church as a whole. Yes, having our own vision for our ministry is amazing but not at the expense of diverting from the vision and the direction of your senior leader.”

Rooted’s Two Most-Read Articles of November

The Flawed History of Youth Ministry in Less than 400 Words by Cameron Cole (Rooted)

“Some surveys estimate that as many as seventy-percent of young people left the church after high school. However, youth ministry has learned a great deal in the last decade, and continues to move forward. Looking back at the flawed history of youth ministry can help us avoid past mistakes and cultivate our vision and practice for the future.”

Let Them See You Sweat: Humbling Yourself In Front of Your Kids by Anna Harris (Rooted)

“Our children need to see us sin and make mistakes because they are watching how we, as parents, respond when we do. If we hide our failure, or blow up in anger, or deny wrongdoing, then our kids will do the same. But if we humble ourselves in front of our families and demonstrate our trust in God’s grace to cover our sins, our kids will find their own security in our heavenly Father.”

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

When Ministry Becomes a Mistress by Ben Sciacca (Rooted)

“We need to be incredibly mindful that if we are having great public ministry success but neglecting our spouse and our children, then we are neglecting our primary calling and ministry.”

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