Rooted’s Top Ten of October 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 Ministry

We Need to Reset the Rules of Cultural Engagement by Darrell Bock (Christianity Today)

The challenge is how do we follow the great commandment to love our neighbor as ourselves when our neighbor thinks so differently than we do? How do we love our “enemies,” or even now in many cases our own brothers and sisters in Christ? Loving those who oppose you certainly is a distinctive challenge given to us by Jesus. Maybe a place to start is not to see those on the other sideas enemies at all.

Gen Z Apologetics in a “You Be You” World: Live Webinar with Trevin Wax (TGC)

How do those ministering in an age of anxiety tell a better story than what the world offers? How can we encourage todays teenagers and young adults to rethink todays most common mantras, such as you do you,” “you are enough,and follow your heart? How do we reach the next generation with the gospel? These are some of the questions church leaders are wrestling with today.

Partnering with Parents

The Hardest Fight to Have With Your Teen by Jessica Grose (New York Times)

So in fairness to teens in 2020, this is a particularly difficult time to be young. Pandemic conditions are at cross currents with normal adolescent development,said Lisa Damour, Ph.D, a clinical psychologist and the author of The New York TimesAdolescence column. The most powerful forces driving development for middle and high schoolers are increased independence over time, along with being with ones peers, Dr. Damour said, and the virus curtails both of those things.

Eat, Pray, Love: How Families Grow Stronger During the Pandemic by Joe Carter (TGC)
The pandemic has been deeply destructive and has forced many Americans to radically change the way they live, often for the worse. Yet despite enduring extended periods of hardship, many families are drawing closer together and developing positive patterns of behavior.

4 Things I Want My Daughters to Know by Heidi Johnston (TGC)
No matter what my daughters face in life and wherever their journey takes them, I want them to know that the truth of who God is, who they are in Christ, and the Story they belong to is their shelter, their protection, their identity, and their home.

Youth Culture

The Ultimate Guide to TikTok Slang 2020 by Axis
Gen Zers have created an entirely new culture on TikTok with slang words. And for anyone whos not a Gen Zer, it can be pretty confusing! Not to worry, were here to enlighten you on Gen Z slang. Check out this list of TikTok slang words, emojis, and more so you can stay in-the-know.

Meet the TikTok Generation of Televangelists by Rachel Seo (Christiantiy Today)
While much of TikTok is devoted to less-than-youth-group-friendly contentlike dances to Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallions “WAP” and videos of users walking into rooms naked to film their partnersreactionsPoirot’s content rests in a subgenre known as “Christian TikTok” (or, as rapper Kanye West suggested, “Jesus Tok). Christian TikTok influencers publish sermonettes, cleaned-up versions of trending dance challenges, best Bible study practices, and even tutorials on how to stretch without participating in the Hindu elements of yoga. And many of the young content creators are on a mission: to spark revival among Generation Zthose born in the late 1990s through the early 2010s.

Ministry Skills

Surviving Doubt: Six Videos Providing Answers to Difficult Questions about the Christian Faith by Michael Kruger (Canon Fodder)
Ever had a moment in your life where you doubted what you believe? I mean, really doubted? I can still remember when that happened in my life. It was my freshman year at UNC-Chapel Hill as I was sitting in a religion class on the New Testament. The professor was bright, funny, and persuasive. And he was arguing that the New Testament was chocked full of mistakes and contradictions.

JesusPolitically Diverse Disciples by Scott Sauls (

The truth is, it is not possible to be a wholesale follower of the Bible and Jesus and be a wholesale follower of any political party. God created government, but people created politics, and people are sinful so our political systems will also contain elements of sin and blindness in them. As such, wholesale followers of Jesus will carry with them a both/and and a neither/nor posture concerning political parties and platforms.

Justin Biebers Loneliness Is Our Teachable Ministry Moment by Walt Mueller (CPYU)
If you havent already seen it, Justin Biebers Lonely is worth a watch. . . or two or three. And, it is offering us a golden opportunity for discussion with our kids. To help you in that process, weve put together one of our 3(D) discussion guides on the song. In the guide, Ive listed a variety of ways you can embrace the teachable moment handed to us by Lonely.

Rooteds Two Most-Read of October

Quick Tips for Contact Work with Teenagers by Charlotte Getz

When your students feel pursued by you, when they trust you, when they come to love and feel loved by you, this is when they are open to hearing you. If the goal is that our students would come to believe the gospel of Jesus that they are known and loved by the King of the Universe they first need to feel known and loved by us.

Three Reminders for Youth Ministers in Light of the Allegations Against Ravi Zacharias by Davis Lacey

The gospel offers us hope. Before Jesus requires us to do anything for him, he does everything necessary for us to abide in him. He took on human flesh, lived a life of perfect holiness, died gruesomely on our behalf, and rose from the grave not to add to our already heavy burdens, but to give us yokes that are ever-shared with him, and that are therefore easy and light (Matthew 11:28-30).

In Case You Missed It (Rooteds October Honorable Mention)

The Role of Youth Workers Enfolding Youth With Disabilities Into the Life of the Church by Katie Flores

Welcoming youth with disabilities into your ministry will display the works of God. We can all remember together that it is what the Lord has done for us and not what we have done for the Lord. We are all beggars at the same feast. We all have equal standing at the foot of the cross. God has accepted us fully because we are joined to Jesus, not because of anything weve done to prove ourselves worthy.

Advancing Grace-Driven Youth Ministry

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