Rooted’s Top Ten of January 2022

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 Ministry 

Essentials of a Biblical Youth Ministry by Mike McGarry (Youth Pastor Theologian)

The biblical drive of youth ministry is not to make teenagers Christians. Instead, the goal of youth ministry is to make adult disciples whose faith took root in their teen years. This happens through proclaiming and applying the gospel in everything we do.

Your church will not grow larger with the oldest generation. Older members provide stability, wisdom, and important resources, but for churches to grow and remain healthy, they must also reach, enfold, and retain younger generations…Embracing children means at least six things.

Why Did God Make Her Like This? by Laura Wifler (TGC)

The Bible isnt silent on this topic. Here are four theological truths Ive shared with my children to help them understand Gods design in allowing one of their siblings to have special needs.

Partnering with Parents

COVID Parenting Has Passed the Point of Absurdity by Melinda Wenner Moyer (The Atlantic)

Parents were defeated long before Omicron. Now we’ve reached a stage of the pandemic where finding the right words to describe our lot is simply an exercise in absurdity. We are broken. We have nothing left in us but screams of anger and pain.

Worried about your teenagersmental health? by Kara Powell (Fuller Youth Institute)

We want to be a safe place for our kids to celebrate or commiserate. Yet we might unknowingly have two big blind spots as we try to respond to the stress and anxiety of the young people closest to us.

Youth Culture

Cultural intelligence in youth ministry looks like bringing the understanding that the body of Christ is made up of many different parts, but are still all part of one body (1 Cor. 12:12). That means recognizing that though we are all one in Christ, image bearers of the same Lord, we also all bear uniquely different images. Ultimately, a question we should be asking across the breadth of youth ministries across the body of Christ is, Are we valuing unity over uniformity, or are we expecting everyone to look and act the same way once they enter our doors?”

Is this an overestimation? Hyperenthusiasm? Or a true shift in the opportunities and priorities for adults coming of age today? Its likely a combination of factors driving this seeming giftedness-boom, which ultimately relates to respondentsstage of life; younger generations—currently making their way through school, work and the early stages of building their adult lives and families—are more likely than older adults to have gift development at the front of their minds.

Ministry Skills

Gender Questions Should Send Us to Scripture by Thomas Schreiner (Christianity Today)

There is always a danger that we have reacted to or imitated the society around us. We are all influenced by culture and should receive any critique that returns us to scriptural witness in good faith. We should listen charitably to brothers and sisters who view things differently—and none of us should be above reforming and nuancing our views.

So the question I have is: how does a list of very ordinary human activities go from obvious and unspoken, to vital expressions of self-care? Heres one hypothesis: Most self-care techniques are simply routine activities that most people did before they gave that time to being online.

EditorsNote: We encourage you to check out our recent Ask Rooted” post on caring for your soul as a youth minister, including some of our top recommended resources on this topic. We pray you will take heart and rest in the finished work of Jesus, friends!

6 Lessons for Tending Your Time by Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra (TGC)

When you schedule your tasks, meetings, and appointments one after another, leaving just enough time to get from one to the next, youre harvesting your day right up to the edges. If youve done this, you know how stressful it can be and how impatient you can become with anybody who slows you down.

Rooteds Two Most-Read of January

Like the blind man in John 9, we huddle on the same corner each day because it was what we know and its where we feel secure and known. And from that space, if we arent careful, we can begin to criticize, compartmentalize, and even condemn others from a position of blindness. We must remember that Jesus urged all of us to take heed and worry far more about the planks in our own eyes before we concerned ourselves with the speck of dust in our neighbors (Matt. 7:3).

I hesitate to even use the word purity” when I speak or write about sex and sexuality because of how loaded it has become. I hear the echoes of many conversations Ive had with friends whove been deeply wounded by purity culture. However, Welcher boldly tackles the word, sharing the damage of her former understanding of purity and placing the Christian understanding of purity back where it belongs. Marriage is not the goal of purity. Family is not the goal. Sex is not the goal. God and his glory are the goal. Practicing purity is a form of worship, another way we get to praise God through obedience with our bodies, hearts, and thoughts” (80).

In Case You Missed It (Rooteds January Honorable Mention)
A Priest in the Order of Shang-Chi,Teenagers, and the Priesthood of Jesus by Parker Hudson

The rest of the Bible is the story of the Holy reestablishing relationship with the unholy until, in glorious entry, the Second Person of the Trinity enters into our world in the form of a baby. Jesus the true High Priest came to live a sinless life and to die a propitiatory death so that upon faith in his merit and not our own, the curse of Eden may be reversed.

Advancing Grace-Driven Youth Ministry

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