Youth Ministry Top Ten – June 2020
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. (The opinions presented in these articles do not necessarily reflect the position of Rooted.) If you find an article that could speak to the Rooted community, please share it in the comment section below.
Gospel-Centered Youth Ministry
Want to be Faithful? Think Like a Farmer by Glenna Marshall (TGC)
In a world that values instant results, believers sometimes expect spiritual growth with minimal investment. We desire long-term faithfulness to Christ but aren’t always practicing the God-ordained means of perseverance. We’d like Christian maturity to be quick and effortless. But that’s not how growth works.
How to Pursue Meaningful Mentoring Relationships by Melissa Kruger (Crossway)
Melissa B. Kruger, author of Growing Together: Taking Mentoring beyond Small Talk and Prayer Requests, discusses the importance of mentoring relationships for all Christians. She reflects on her own experiences learning life-changing lessons from older women, highlights some of the core aspects that should be in place in every mentoring relationship, and shares advice for overcoming the imposter syndrome that so many of us feel when it comes to helping others follow Christ.
Partnering With Parents
Boys Should Be Boys: Raising Future Men and Women by Marty Machowski (desiringgod.org)
As with men, the unique role of a woman was established in creation, cursed in the fall, and affirmed in the New Testament (Genesis 2:18; 3:16; Titus 2:4). We wanted our daughters to delight in their femaleness and celebrate God’s choice of their sex and grow in the desire to walk in the good of God’s design for their biblical calling.
Why Intergenerational Relationships Matter for Men: A Q&A With Robert Lewis by George Barna (Barna)
One-third of Christian men report experiencing real feelings of loneliness. We’ve got a whole generation that has come up through broken homes, with absent dads and so on. I think that has left a huge void in the lives of many men.
Proud to be in Junior High Ministry by Doug Franklin (LeaderTreks)
It’s no secret that we work with an age group that is a mixture of hormone engulfing, boy-crazy, unsympathetic, highly energetic, and (let’s be honest) sometimes smelly kids. But these same students that seem to be embracing all the technology and social media platforms that come their way also tend to have the 101 best questions about Jesus and life.
Who is the Fairest in the Land? Lessons for Young Men on Attraction by Greg Morse (desiringgod.org)
“Instead of only inquiring about a woman’s spiritual character after we are attracted physically, intentionally search out the inner beauty in the Christian women around you, ask God for help to love what he loves, and then see if they do not become more and more attractive to you.”
The Toll That Isolation Takes on Kids During the Coronavirus Era by Andrea Peterson (WSJ)
Of all age groups, this virus is probably more socially devastating to teens than any other group. They are bored and they are lonely,” says Joseph P. Allen, a professor of psychology at the University of Virginia…[he] points to the rising rates of anxiety and depression among teens in recent years. Studies have also found that teens and young adults report more feelings of loneliness than any other age group. Social isolation may make these problems worse, Dr. Allen says.
How to Pick the Right Sunday School Curriculum for Youth Ministry by Andy Blanks (YM360)
First, and most importantly, is it biblically-centered and biblically sound? You want a curriculum that starts with Scripture and pulls its themes and emphasis from the Bible. What you don’t want is a curriculum that starts with culture or trends and then tries to see what the Bible says about it. You also want to make sure it teaches the Bible well. Is it theologically sound? Does it equip you to dig deep into God’s Word?
4 Spiritual Practices for the Journey Towards Anti-Racism by Lisa Nopachai and Kat Armas (Fuller Youth Institute)
“Wherever we are in the journey, it’s important that we center ourselves in spiritual practices to help us engage in the pursuit of Christ-centered anti-racism. Research shows that young people are more likely to exhibit positive, responsible behavior when they have parents and other adults in their lives who model positive, responsible behavior. And as leaders, we are better equipped to help young people on their journey towards anti-racism when we are engaging in our own transformative journey.”
If your teen is struggling with questions or doubts, he/she is joining a great cloud of witnesses who’ve been on the same journey. From John the Baptist, “Doubting Thomas,” Martin Luther, C. S. Lewis, and Mother Teresa, Christianity is filled with individuals who intellectually and spiritually struggled to believe, but through their authentic struggle, they came to a place of deep trust and reliance upon God.
Though many states have begun the process of opening back up, the world is still largely running in quarantine. If your youth group is still meeting online, it might be getting tougher and tougher to get conversation going on Zoom.
Rooted’s Two Most-Read of June
Justice in the Name of Jesus: Teaching White Teens to Be Anti-Racist by Kendal Conner and Seth Stewart
“We have a rising generation of young people who love justice. We will waste that or see it misdirected if we don’t teach them to be anti- what Christ nailed to the cross. The dividing wall of hostility between unlike people was torn down when Christ was torn from the grave.”
Father’s Day Comfort for the Fatherless by Frances Conner and Mac Harris
“The trust I had in my earthly father to protect me, guide me, and provide for me, I strive to put in an eternal father I cannot see with my eyes. The death of my dad challenged my faith in God and even called me to question his existence, but ultimately resulted in the most important relationship in my life.”
In Case You Missed It (Rooted’s June Honorable Mention)
Starting at the Beginning: Studying Genesis As We Reopen by Skyler Flowers
“We can confidently speak into the pain and confusion of our students with the truth that the state of the world now is not the state that it will forever be. We can show them that not only does our God hate injustice and hate suffering, but he has acted and continues to act to end its power in this world. We can show that the answers the world offers to these situations is insufficient, and it is only in our God that this world has any hope of justice and life reigning in this world.”