Developing a Theology of Emotions for Youth Ministry

You’ve maybe heard that emotions can function like a “check engine light” for our bodies and souls. But we also know that as with all things, our emotions have been tainted by sin. As people who experience a myriad of emotions and minister to teenagers who do as well, we hope the following articles and podcasts will equip you to think about you and your student’s emotions from a biblical perspective. Most importantly, we hope they point you to Jesus, who sees, knows, and redeems all our emotions. 


Your Heart is a Lousy Compass by Anna Meade Harris 

Our wayward hearts won’t ever get us to that place of peace, but it is the Spirit’s delight to do just that. May we learn to put our hearts in His capable hands.

Turning Red: Will It Be Okay If I’m Not Good Enough For My Parents? By Connie Nelson 

 I hold securely my Father’s love, a love that is brimming with assurance, a love that is absolutely firm, a love that grips me rather than leaving me wondering and guessing. He is strong enough to handle my feelings. I cannot offend him by being me. Because he already knows all of me, he truly sees me.

Our Teenagers Need to Pray Angry by Seth Stweart 

God invites our students to bring all their emotions and feelings to him. Because God will respond to our vulnerability, to our deaths, with nearness and life

Faith & Feeling: For the Kid Who Doesn’t Feel God by Liz Edrington 

For many of us, faith has come to be associated with emotion, with the sensational experience of something mysterious and evocative.  And there is nothing inherently wrong with the connection between faith and emotion. However, a scriptural picture of faith is so much more robust than a mere emotional experience.


All About Boys with David Thomas: Boys and Emotions 

In this episode, veteran counselor David Thomas talks about the importance of helping boys figure out what they feel (and what to do with those feelings). He talks about the dangers of what can happen when boys don’t develop what he calls “emotional muscles.”

Tish Harrison Warren, “Working, Watching, Weeping”

In this episode of the Rooted Conference Podcast you’ll hear Tish Harrison Warren describing the practices of weeping, watching, and working as ways to help the teenagers you love when they are in a season of grief. Warren also invites us to be joyfully expectant that God is at work, and finally, to consider how we might join him in the work of the Kingdom that he is already doing. 

Dr. Jim Coffield on the Art of Meaningful, Heart-Level Conversations

Parents and youth leaders all want to connect with kids at a deeper level, but we often struggle to get below the surface. This workshop, given by Dr. Jim Coffield at our 2018 conference in Nashville, offers a framework for meaningful, pastoral conversations with teenagers.

In addition to our blog and podcast, our Rooted Reservoir subscribers have access to all of the past training videos we develop for our Rooted Regional Groups. This month we invite subscribers to view Liz Edrington’s video “Theology of Emotions.”  If you’re a subscriber, head on over to the Rooted Reservoir site and you will find it in your library within the Rooted Regional Group Videos.