Rooted’s Top Ten of November 2022

november 2022

Welcome to Rooted’s Top Ten, a curated reading list for youth ministers. Each month we find ten articles, and sometimes videos or podcasts, from various sources that we believe will encourage you in your ministry to teenagers 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.) For more articles to share with the parents in your ministry, make sure to check out our Parent Top Ten, which runs every-other month.

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

Gospel-Centered Ministry

Just as Jesus was a particular person sent to a particular people at a particular time in a particular place with a particular mission/message, there is a God-ordained particularity to the unique calling we each have. Our culture (and youth ministry culture), especially in todays world will try to get you to grab for more, but settle where youve been set. Seasons of difficulty will ramp this up. . . so, be careful.

Teaching Christology and the Incarnation at Christmas by Mike McGarry (Youth Pastor Theologian)

In a culture where the majority of people self-identify as Christians, it’s important for youth workers (and all Christians, in general) to double-down on a commitment to Christology – which asks two big questions, “Who is Jesus” and “What did Jesus accomplish?” It’s far more common for youth workers to talk about the second element of Christology (the Work of Christ) while neglecting the first (the Person of Christ). A renewed commitment to teaching biblical Christology is absolutely essential for youth workers who want to make lifelong disciples in their student ministries.

Kruger’s recommendations of prevention, accountability, and protection aren’t earthshaking or groundbreaking. They’re simple suggestions that require time, effort, and vigilance to implement. But they’re also deeply biblical responses to the problem of spiritual abuse. Here and throughout Bully Pulpit, one of the strengths of the book is its simplicity. Kruger is a scholar, yet he’s managed to produce a book that’s brief and straightforward, peppered with references to Harry Potter, Star Wars, and The Lord of the Rings. A layperson can easily pick up this book and read it in a couple of days.

Partnering with Parents

A Major Blow to Parental Rights by Josh Hershberger (World)

The Court of Appeals of Indiana recently affirmed a trial court decision removing a 16-year-old child from the custody of his parents because they could not, in good conscience, affirm his transgender ideology. Here is the headline message of the case: if a child claims that he or she is transgender and Christian parents decline to affirm that childs transgender ideology, that child can be removed from their custody and placed in a foster home that teaches principles contrary to their beliefs. This is, of course, a startling and chilling legal development.

The Questions We Dont Ask Our Families but Should by Elizabeth Keating (The Atlantic)

Specificity is key, so after asking a relative about the home they grew up in, follow up with requests for details: What did their windows look out onto? What did they hear when they woke up in the morning? When you ask for descriptions of an elders childhood home and the neighborhoods they roamed around, youll hear stories that place you in a rich sensory world you knew little about. So ask what family dinners were like and what your relatives were taught about expressing emotion. Ask about their worst first dates and where they bought their clothes. And remember that the most important questions can also be the plainest. One of my favorites is just What do you wish people knew about you?”

Youth Culture

Gen Z Evangelicals Vote More than Millennials or Gen X Did by Kathryn Watson (Christianity Today)

Lydia Franklin says the leaders of her church dont talk much about politics. But they do talk about Jesus, his commands to love your neighbors, and the importance of Christians helping others. So when the 18-year-old went to the polls for the first time this election, those are the values she took with her into the voting booth.

Rebecca McLaughlin: Responding to Cultures Pressing Moral Issues Video Interview (Center for Faith and Culture)

How should Christians respond to our societys pressing moral issues? Rebecca Mclaughlin joined us on September 16 for a Library Talk at the Library at Southeastern.

Ministry Skills

Pursue a Talent-Without-End Discipleship Strategy by Brandon Cooper (TGC)

Our purpose as a church is to make disciples—to shepherd people from unbelief to equipped maturity. This is the standard Paul sets forth in 2 Timothy 2:2 (NIV): “And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.”

The good news is that our church can make up for whats missing or flawed in the family thats raising us. One (from a long list) of the reasons that its good to be in Christ-centered community is because the church can become our functional family.

Missionaries are often on the lookout for the latest tool that will unlock the secret to effective disciple making. But before we trust ourselves to a particular method, we must look to the power of Gods Spirit to accomplish what only he can. The apostle Paul provides missionaries with a model for Spirit-empowered disciple making, regularly requesting that churches pray for his ministry (Eph. 6:19–20; Col. 4:2–4; 2 Thess. 3:1), as well as intentionally downplaying his own wisdom and ingenuity (1 Cor. 2:1–5).

Rooteds Two Most-Read of November

Welcoming the Anxious Student to Youth Group by Liz Edrington

The anxious parts of us are the very parts the Lord welcomes and loves. And we get to offer this same welcome to our anxious students. Our primary hope is not that our students would stop having anxiety (although that is a good hope!), but that the glorious grace of Jesus and the beauty offered by his kingdom would become louder than the disruptive buzz of their anxiety. We pray they will come to know the One who experienced deep anguish and distress in his own body (Luke 22:44), just as they do—that they might find abundant life in him.


Every Wind of Doctrine: A Biblical Response to Kanye West  by Tucker Fleming

The God of the Bible is a God of justice, and he is not pleased or glorified by false and unjust comments like these. God’s character is to care for the orphan, the widow, and victims of injustice. The gospel of Jesus Christ is for all who will believe in him—people from every tribe, tongue, and nation, including Jewish people and African-American people. As we walk with the Lord Jesus, may we also acknowledge the inherent worth and dignity of all humans by virtue of their being made in God’s image.

In Case You Missed It (Rooteds November Honorable Mention)

Prayers for a Teenager With a Difficult Family Life by Kendal Connor

God, you are our Father and Christ, you are our Brother; help us to live as the family you have created us to be for one another—and especially for this student. May she not fear, knowing you are with her; may she not be dismayed, knowing you are her God. Strengthen her and help her, as you uphold her with your righteous right hand (Isaiah 41:10).