Rooted’s Top Ten of September 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

How Things Have Changed: Reflections of a Millennial Pastor in a Gen Z World by Chris Colquitt (TGC)

Im not particularly interested in judging the relative merits of these two generations of college studentsneither reflects the fullness of biblical truth. But as a pastor, Im greatly concerned to shepherd this generation well, and recognizing this shift is essential. One critical area of need is the development of a pastoral theology of strength.

Racism and the Church: How Should We Respond? by Dennis Hollinger (Pastor Theologians)

So clearly both our nation and the Church are not making adequate progress on racial understandings and issues. But what should the Church, and particularly the White Church do?  I would suggest that the strategy for addressing racism is not monolithic.  There are three distinct, though interrelated areas that need to be addressed:  understanding, reconciliation and justice.  Some quarters of the Christian Church may attend to one or the other of these, but we need a full-orbed approach, with pastors leading the way. 

When Unanimity Is the Enemy of Unity by Tim Challies (Challies)

Where the gospel is best protected and displayed in unity we seem to believe the gospel is best protected and displayed in division. I have often wondered if much of our division stems from a confusion between unity and unanimity. I have often wondered if we demand unanimity where unity would be not only sufficient but also superior. I have often wondered if unanimity is the enemy of Christian unity. Allow me to explain.

Partnering with Parents

Train Up a Teen: Young Evangelicals Mostly Keep Their ParentsFaith by Kate Shellnut (Christianity Today)

But as much as they model their faith, surround them with Christian community, and pray for their kidssalvation, evangelical parents also know their sons and daughtersGod-willing, Spirit-empoweredwill eventually have to come to understand the gospel for themselves. CT asked parents of teenagers how important it is for their teenagersbeliefs to align with theirs and how they approach the childrens faith at this stage. Here are their responses.

The Sex-Positive Movement and Our Kids…Part II by Walt Mueller (Center for Parent-Youth Understanding)

With sex-positivity being taught both implicitly and explicitly as foundational in todays school-based comprehensive sex education, the beliefs our kids hold are being shaped in ways that will yield behavioral evidence, now and for the rest of their lives, that they personally choose sex-positive. And with pop culture reinforcing the sex-positive message, along with elevating the self to a position of final authority on all matters of life, the message is convincing and clear. 

Youth Culture

7 Ways to Biblically Approach Cancel Culture (Axis)

Cancel culture utilizes shame: You are bad when you mess up, you didn’t just do a bad thing…Think about the last time someone changed your mind about something. How did they convince you that you were wrong? By scoffing at you? By putting you down? By flaunting your failure? Probably not. Those tactics rarely work. Paul writes in Romans, “Gods kindness leads us to repentance.

Majority of Young Adults in the U.S. Now Live With Their Parents: Report by Tara Law (Time)

As COVID-19 swept the country this year, millions of young adults retreated to familiar territory: living at home with mom and dad. A majority of young Americans ages 18 to 29 are now living with at least one of their parents, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of Current Population Survey data.

Ministry Skills

How to Run A Good Meeting – And Why It Matters More Than You Think by Michael Kruger (Canon Fodder)
Meetings vary widely in their effectiveness. Some meetings produce real progress and fruit.  Those can be exhilarating, even fun. And other are a tedious and frustrating waste of time. Those can be exhausting and even debilitating. So, how can we make our meetings better?  Here I offer just a few quick thoughts for meeting leaders.

Your Devotional Is Not A Bible by Jen Wilkin (Christianity Today)
The Bible uses the term devotedto mean consecrated, or set apart for special service. As a museum devotes a wing to displaying a particular art form, so God devotes us to display his image. Yet we sometimes mistakenly equate devotion with emotion. Devotion is not mere feeling, but action: It serves and it obeys.

Nietzsche Was Right (Review: Dominion: How the Christian Revolution Remade the Worldby Tom Holland)by Tim Keller (TGC)
The subtitle tells you the basic thesis. He makes a readable and extraordinarily well-documented case that the central values and priorities of modern, Western, secular culture have actually come from Christianity. And even now, when most of the educated classes have abandoned Christianity and when religion is in sharp decline among the populace, Christianity has such an enduring, pervasive influence that we cannot condemn the church for its failures without invoking Christian teaching and beliefs to do so.

Rooteds Two Most-Read of September

Youth Group Games: Our Three Best Tips by Mike McGarry

Have you ever stopped to ask, Why do we play games at youth group?Some youth workers treat games like something you need to do in order to persuade students to show up. Others shun games as shallow expressions of immaturity. Most of us play games at youth group because thats simply what you dobut theres a better and more intentional way to think about the place of fun and games in student ministry. 

A Theology of (School)Work for Teenagers by Taylor Sutton

Now, as a pastor to students, one of my goals is to share with them the biblical vision for work before they start their careers. But how do you make a theology of work clear and compelling to students when they are not yet working themselves? One way is to give a theological account of school itself so that students begin to apply biblical categories to the job they are already doing. Here are five building blocks for a theology of schoolwork.

In Case You Missed It (Rooteds September Honorable Mention)

Five Truths for Teens in Broken Families by Jenny Lisa
Whether our parentsactions and words were careless or intentional, all children of verbal, physical, or emotional abuse have paid a cost. Whether you know it or not, if you work in youth ministry you are likely serving one or more children from broken homes. Here are five truths to encourage your teens in dysfunctional families.





Advancing Grace-Driven Youth Ministry

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