The Top 10: June 2018

Top Ten – June ‘18

Here are the top ten articles from the past month that can be of benefit to youth workers and parents in their ministry to teenagers. Some of these give explicit instruction on gospel-centered ministry, while others are included because there is a message of common grace that can help us in our ministry. If you find an article that could benefit the Rooted community, please share it in the comment section below.

Gospel Centered Ministry

Why Youth Ministry Shouldn’t Be The Greatest Show On Earth by Walt Mueller (CPYU)

“It’s ironic that one of the marks of today’s emerging generations is a deep need for community and connectedness, and yet we plan and program in ways that cut them off from experiencing community and connectedness with people who aren’t their own age.”

8 Things to Remember When Teaching Kids Theology by Melanie Lacy (Crossway)

“Theology, done well, must inevitably result in doxology, and we shouldn’t be satisfied with less just because we’re teaching children. As they grow in theological understanding, we should pray that the children around us an example of what it means to thank, praise, and worship of the living God.”

4 Simple Ways To Help You Read the Bible Better by Jonathan Morrow

“I am convinced–by evidence and experience–that Christianity is true and God has spoken in the Bible. If that is the case, then we can know what God wants us to do, why we are here, and how to live. Discovering that is worth the effort don’t you think?”

Partnering with Parents

Parenting and the Cultural Pressure to Conform by Albert Mohler (Ligonier)

“The cultural pressure to conform is not a symptom of America, uniquely, in our time. It’s a symptom of the cosmos inhabited by human beings after Genesis 3.”

The Dangers of Distracted Parenting by Erika Christakis (The Atlantic)

“Emerging research suggests that a key problem remains underappreciated. It involves kids’ development, but it’s probably not what you think. More than screen-obsessed young children, we should be concerned about tuned-out parents.”

Youth Culture

Teens On Edge: The Causes of Growing Anxiety in Today’s Kids by David R. Smith (Youth Culture Window)

“Unfortunately, kids’ lives are filled with anxiety-causing moments, decisions, and relationships. But they don’t have to be crippled by worry, fear, and doubt. Use the trust and love you’ve cultivated over time to jump into the mix with them so they know they’re not alone.”

NEW RESEARCH: 5 Stats on How Teens Use Technology by Chris Martin (Lifeway Social)

“Just last week, Pew Research Center published a new study on how teenagers are using technology. It is a gold mine. How teenagers use technology has massive effects on how adults will be using technology in the near future.”

Americans are Depressed and Suicidal Because Something is Wrong With Our Culture by Kirsten Powers (USA Today)

“I decided to share my story after interviewing John Draper, director of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, who happens to be my future brother-in-law. ‘What people don’t really know is that there is research that shows the media can reduce suicide,’ Draper told me. ‘What creates a contagion effect is when the media focus mostly on the suicide and the way the person killed themselves. If people are more open about talking about coping through suicidal experiences, and the media highlight those stories, the evidence is very clear that this has a very positive effect on getting people through a suicidal crisis.’”

Ministry Skills

Six Tips for Talking With Teenage Girls by Brad Griffin (Fuller Youth Institute)

“Conflict, struggles, and relationship ruptures are bound to happen with teenage girls, in particular as they work toward gaining autonomy from their parents. We can help girls grow in emotional intelligence in the midst of these strained relational moments by helping them learn to step outside themselves and take the perspective of the other person. This is a brain-growth task of adolescence, and our part in this work comes by modeling perspective-taking.”

Sex Offenders Groom Churches Too by Kimberly Harris (Christianity Today)

“This true account was shared in Anna C. Salter’s 1991 book, Predators, Pedophiles, Rapists, And Other Sex Offenders. As a psychologist who has spent over 20 years working with and studying victims and sexual offenders, Salter says that ‘many offenders report that religious people are even easier to fool than most people.’”

Rooted’s Two Most-Read of June

Helping Young People Navigate through “Church Hurt” by Anonymous (Rooted)

“Our church is not the first congregation to experience a transition like this, and most likely will not be the last. Throughout this difficult season, I have had conversations with many of my young students as they navigate and process this unforeseen event as a part of the church body. Although we are still walking this road as a community, here is how we are helping students process.”

Youth Pastors Should be the Weakest People on Staff by Seth Stewart (Rooted)

“Slowly we will become less concerned that others see our strength and realize that Christ was our strength the entire time. Slowly we will realize that any ministry success or leadership acumen was a gift from a strong God. Slowly we realize that if we were to take pride in those things it would be plagiarism; if we were to demand recognition, it would be theft.”

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

New to Youth Ministry: Discipleship First as a Disciple by Liz Edrington (Rooted)

As youth leaders, we are first and foremost disciples ourselves. We are, as Henri Nouwen calls us, “not the healers, we are not the reconcilers, we are not the givers of life. We are sinful, broken, vulnerable people who need as much care as anyone we care for.” This means that we are beggars sharing bread, not people who have all the answers, or who have had amazing spiritual experiences.

Advancing Grace-Driven Youth Ministry

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