The Top 10: July 2017

Each month we compile a Top 10 list for the Rooted community. This list represents ten articles we believe will encourage and equip you to continue in your ministry to students and their families. If you have an article you’d like to share, please include it as a link in the comment section below.

Gospel Centered Ministry

Teach the Real ‘Personal Relationship With Jesus’ by Cameron Cole (The Gospel Coalition)

“There are several good reasons to make union with Christ your primary way of describing relationship with Jesus to teens…”

4 Super Effective Ways to Motivate Spiritually Apathetic Teenagers by Greg Stier (Dare2Share)

“If you’ve been in youth ministry for any amount of time you’ve encountered apathetic teenagers. Between the rolling eyes and heavy sighs it’s easy to get discouraged when it comes to inspiring young people to know, live, share and own their faith. Over the last 26 years of ministering to teenagers I have discovered 4 super effective ways to motivate spiritually apathetic teenagers.”

Partnering with Parents

One Secret to Make Embarrassing Talks Easier for Kids by Kristen Jenson & Cynthia Sleepy (Protect Young Minds)

“Keeping pornography exposure or use a secret because talking about it is embarrassing almost always leads to more shame and more compulsive use. Whatever we can do to encourage openness and honesty is key to healing and ultimate recovery.”

I Wouldn’t Want to go to Your Parent Meeting by Doug Franklin (LeaderTreks)

“‘Tis the season for parent meetings. Most youth workers see this meeting as a right of passage every fall. We have to have the parent meeting so we can go over the calendar. How else will we get parents involved? The problem is, few parents show up to these meetings—and I wouldn’t either. There’s one major problem with this type of parent meeting: it’s not about the parents. These meetings are about you and your plans for the year.”

Youth Culture

What You Need to Know About Sarahah, the Hot New Anonymous Messaging App by Tom Huddleston, Jr (Fortune)

“The app allows users to search for others who they may know and then send them anonymous messages. True to Sarahah’s origins as a tool for honest employee feedback, the app encourages users to craft “a constructive message” after they select a recipient. Users can apply filters exert some control over who sends them messages, and they can “favorite” the messages that they like—but the app does not allow them to respond to messages.”

Sexy Songs of Summer by Jonathan McKee & David R. Smith (Youth Culture Window)

“Today’s musical artists will do almost anything to own the coveted “song of the summer.” In recent years the key ingredient seems to be racy, sexual, or even explicit messages. This summer is no exception. Here’s a quick look at a few songs in this week’s Top 10 on Billboard’s Hot 100 Chart.”

Ministry Skills

Does Your Family Matter? by Heather Kenney (Orange Leaders)
“We spend all day working to develop our teams and meet the needs of the precious families in our care, but are risking our own families in the process. Ministry demands a lot, and it requires sacrifices. Simply being a follower of Jesus requires sacrifices. How do you follow Jesus and His calling on your life without sacrificing your family?”

3 Steps Towards Breaking Down Ministry Silos by Jake Mulder (Fuller Youth Institute)

“You can bet silos are alive and well in your church when you find yourself battling with other ministry leaders for volunteers (as opposed to thinking through the best fit for that volunteer based on his or her gifts and interests), caring more about weekly attendance numbers in your own ministry than the overall thriving of your congregation, or perhaps praying the worship leader in your church gets a new job offer so you can finally make some updates to music. The list could go on and on.”

Basic Training for New Volunteers by Doug Franklin (LeaderTreks)

“If we want to set our volunteers up for a smooth transition and create a healthy and sustainable team, we’ll need basic training. Basic training is what gets people headed in the right direction at the right time. Take a look at these five basic training ideas…”

3 Ways to Better Screen Your Volunteers by Corey Jones (Youth Specialties)

“There’s no question that we need to screen our volunteers, especially those who work with kids. But how do you properly screen workers on a limited budget with limited time? How can you ensure the safety of those who have been placed in your care when you are also trying to prepare for next Sunday?”

Rooted’s Two Most Read Articles of July

The Number One Lie the World Tells Our Kids Today by Cameron Cole (Rooted)

“If nothing else, we need to help young people understand that the way of Christ – to follow and trust Jesus as our King – contrasts starkly from the world’s exhortations to trust in your self. Christianity tells us to depend on God in all things.”

Student Series: Discovering a Deeply Relational God by Joe Martin (Rooted)

“We find God when we search for HIM, to know HIM, with all our heart. This is the same way we are called to approach our relationships on earth – even though some of those relationships might (and should) push us out of our comfort zone…”

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

Four Plumblines to Parent with Grace by Seth Stewart (Rooted)

“Since Christian parents have been both saved and sanctified by God’s grace, Christ’s work, and the Holy Spirit’s power, we must recognize that it is impossible for us to be our child’s savior and sanctifier. We will never be the ultimate reason why our child is saved or their hearts are softened to delight in God, since we were not the ultimate cause in our own salvation.”

Call for Volunteers: If you are interested in serving on the committee that compiles our Top 10 list each month, please email

Advancing Grace-Driven Youth Ministry

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