Top Ten for November and December

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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. If you find an article that could speak to the Rooted community, please share it in the comment section below.

Gospel-Centered Ministry

Gospel Fluency Course by Jeff Vanderstelt (TGC)

To become fluent in a new language, you must immerse yourself in it and commit to practicing it, over and over again. You must use it everyday until you actually start to think about life through it. Becoming fluent in the gospel happens the same way—after believing it, we have to intentionally rehearse it (to ourselves and to others) and immerse ourselves in its truths. Only then will we start to see how everything in our lives, from the mundane to the magnificent, is transformed by the hope of the gospel.

Why Your Youth Group Needs Intergenerational Integration by Dave Wright (Crossway)

If a church decides to take seriously the patterns and instructions seen in Gods Word, then the task is to move from segregated or associated into a more integrated model of youth ministry. The process for doing this includes educating, including, and raising expectations.

Partnering with Parents

Parents, Dont Fear the Teenage Years by Russell Moore (russellmoore.com)

Most of us, when our children are small, are nervous about the teenage years, if we think about them at all. Some of that is because we have learned that parenting is harder than we thought, and with the teenage years, the stakes just seem higher. A toddler throwing a temper tantrum is a problem, but a sixteen year-old with a DUI is a crisis. A kindergartener who isnt invited to a classmates birthday party is sad, but a teenager who is pregnant is a tragedy.

Kids, Lets Talk About Sex by Jim Davis, Angela Davis, Lindsey Holcomb, and Justin Holcomb (TGC)

Sex is one the most important topics of conversation parents get to have with their children. But it can sure feel intimidating. How do we bring it up? When do we bring it up? How much do they already know? How in-depth do we get? Have we waited too long?

From two couples who have kids of various ages, here are four tips to steer these conversations from cringeworthy to more comfortable.

7 Skills to Respond to Teenage GirlsStress and Anxiety by Kara Powell (Fuller Youth Institute)

Only when the glitter (the girlsintense emotion) settles a bit is the teenager open to reassurances and suggestions. When we as parents and mentors can hold our advice and encouragement until the girls “glitter” calms down, we communicate that we are not frightened by her feelings, and we give her brain time for the more rational cortex to join the conversation.

Youth Culture

Hey, Christian: Its Not Ok to Say “Ok, Boomer by Stephen McAlpine (stephenmcalpine.com)

To define someone merely generationally is, according to the gospel, a category error.  We are those upon whom the ends of the ages have come, so lets start acting like the new age people we are.

How to Overcome Social Media FOMO (Axis)

While its a natural human tendency to fear being excluded, its unhealthy when we let this fear control our lives. Teen FOMO, or “fear of missing out,” is real and powerful, but with your guidance, it can be seen for what it really is and redeemed.

 Ministry Skills

10 Hymns Youth Groups Should Sing by Joe Deegan (TGC)

I’m not saying we should only sing hymns. There are plenty of incredible modern worship songs out there. But ignoring older hymns altogether is an enormous oversight. Here are 10 hymns I believe youth groups should try to sing.

What Research Tells Us About the ‘Sealof Believers Baptism by Samuel Perry (Christianity Today)

We compared American teenagers who had undergone any of these religious rites of passage with those who had not in order to see whether those who had undergone a rite of passage were (1) more or less religious and (2) more or less likely to remain affiliated with their religious faith by the time they were in their mid-twenties.

No-Sweat Sermons? No Thanks. by Chad Ashby (CT Pastors)

The problem is not the use of resources in sermon preparation. As in any area of the Christian life, the problem lies in the heart. Why am I constantly reaching for the commentary instead of the Bible itself? Why have I become so heavily dependent on the experts? When did my philosophy of sermon preparation become “less time is always better”

Rooteds Two Most-Read of November and December

Christmas Devotional for Teens by Rooted Writers

We are loved by a God who makes promises and keeps promises. Join us, along with your teenagers, for a 16-day Christmas devotional on the Rooted blog (December 2nd-23rd). 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… O Come Let Us Adore Him!

A Narrative of Death and Life in the Age of School Shootings by Kendal Connor

Death, by its very existence, is a curse. It is an ever-present reminder to humanity that sin has broken Gods intended design and it serves as a signpost of what is to be restored. We are told in the Scriptures that death is not merely a fact of life, but an enemy to it (1 Cor. 15:26).

In Case You Missed It (Rooteds November/December Honorable Mention)

Psalm 77: A Psalm for the Burdened by Tucker Fleming 

The Psalms give expression to every emotional frame that a human being can experience. From ecstatic joy to disappointment so deep we can feel it in our bones, the Psalms give us vocabulary to rejoice, to lament, and even to doubt. An intimate familiarity with this inspired vocabulary allows us and our students to rejoice, lament, and doubt well.

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