Rooted’s Top Ten of May 2024

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 educate, equip, or encourage the Rooted community, please email the editor at

Gospel-Centered Wisdom for Graduates and College Students

Don’t Fall into Glory-Days Syndrome this Graduation Season by Vince Greenwald (TGC)

During graduation season, it’s tempting to make an idol of past accomplishments and memories, to let them distract you from what’s most important. I call it glory-days syndrome. But the reality is that the glory days for those of us in Christ are ahead of us, not behind us.

Summer Break and the Challenge of Home by Jerry Riendeau (TGC)

When you get home for break, it may not meet your expectations. If so, you’re in good company with the cloud of witnesses in Hebrews 11. May the longing remind you to look to Jesus, your true home.

Partnering with Parents 

5 Prayers for Fighting Perfectionism in Motherhood by Faith Chang (Risen Motherhood)

The good news for the mom struggling with perfectionism is that God knows, and he cares. And in his care, he invites us to bring our burdens to him. Here are five prayers you may find helpful as you come to the Shepherd of your soul.

Fact Is.. Parenting Isn’t Easy by Walt Mueller (CPYU)

Remember, it’s by the grace of God alone that anything good will come out of parenting. And, it’s the grace of God alone that will guide and carry us through our parenting years.

Help Teens Own Their Faith by Steve Eatmon (TGC) 

Our role is to trust God’s power for our own lives first and then for the help we need in guiding our children to him.

Youth Culture

Goodbye Postmodernism, Hello Metamodernism by Benjamin Vincent (Christianity Today)

In response to the moral relativism of postmodern predecessors, the metamodernist generation first seeks to be grounded in certain essential ethical principles and then selects the best ideological framework to match those ethics. It’s a “cart before the horse” generation, in the sense that we often base our religious or philosophical positions on prior ethical assumptions rather than the other way around.

You Can’t Outsmart Smartphones with Teenagers by Patrick Miller (Endeavor) 

Stop treating it like a little TV you think you can control. Treat it like what it is: a highly addicting behavior that’s dangerous to teenagers’ mental health.

Ministry Skills

Preaching that Connects with Matt Kim (Youth Pastor Theologian Podcast)

Faithful preaching and teaching does more than deliver biblical content, it takes the audience into account and draws the listeners into the text so they can behold the truth and beauty of God’s Word. Most of us have listened to sermons that were biblically and theologically sound, but they weren’t helpful. In today’s conversation, we want to help youth leaders preach and teach in a way that connects with the youth in your ministry.

The Indispensable Necessity of Doctrinally Rich Young Adult Ministry by Daniel Bouchoc and Zach Hollifield (For the Church)

Young adults need to know the church has sufficient and coherent answers to their theological questions, and we who pastor them should be ready to offer those answers (1 Peter 3:15).

Regulative Discipleship: Why a Full Calendar Doesn’t Necessarily Produce Mature Church Members by Caleb Batchelor (9Marks)

Whether gathered or scattered, we should always let Scripture regulate what we ask the whole church to do. 

Rooted’s Two Most-Read of May

Feed Them Jesus: Why Gospel-Centrality Matters in Youth Ministry by Kristen Hatton 

Without the hope of Jesus’ work and worth on our behalf, we are left enslaved, but the gospel frees us from the need to strive or to prove ourselves.

Helping Teenagers Run the Race Through Theological Depth by Brian Ryu 

While we cannot possibly determine the faith outcomes of our students, we can help create a pathway for discipleship that champions both theological rigor and spiritual growth.

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

Is the New Testament Historically True? (Tough Questions Teenagers Ask) by Andrew Slay 

There are multiple streams of evidence supporting the reliability of the New Testament. As youth ministers, we must respond to questions about biblical reliability with kindness and clarity.