The Top 10: June 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

Reaching the Next Generation by Alvin Reid (Christianity Today)

“When it comes to the next generation, I’m sure of two things: 1) We aren’t too effective today at reaching (or keeping) the next generation. 2) The Gospel still works powerfully in any generation. How do we share Christ effectively to a generation not impressed by the Church today? Here are five ideas.”

Partnering With Parents

No, Your Teen Doesn’t Hate You. It’s Just Summer. by Lisa Damour (New York Times)

“As summer gets underway, teenagers may be home more often, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll see more of them. If they retreat to their rooms for hours or seem cagey about their plans, don’t take it personally. Following are four truths about teens that may help you and your adolescent coexist.”

My 3 Big Fears in Parenting Teenagers by Trevin Wax (The Gospel Coalition)

“From the moment we became parents, my wife and I have felt inadequate and unequipped to be parents. Now, at the threshold of a new stage of life, I am reminded that, just as we’ve had to do at every point until now, we must entrust our children to the Lord’s care. King Jesus promises to finish what He has begun. And so, I take these fears to the loving and wise Father who entrusted these children to us, and I pray for His strength to be made perfect in our weakness.”

Youth Culture

The True Essence of Adolescence by Daniel J. Siegel, M.D.  (US News & World Report)

“Adolescents are our hope for the future, and, believe it or not, have an essence that is our best hope for a full, healthy life as we age. But it’s imperative that we take a more nuanced view of the emotional ups and downs they go through as their brains change during this pivotal development period. In fact, we might have something to learn from the essence of these changes.”

What is “Brain Hacking?”  Tech Insiders on Why You Should Care by Anderson Cooper (CBS News)

“Most tech companies say their priority is improving user experience, something they call “engagement.”  But they remain secretive about what they do to keep people glued to their screens.  So we went to Venice, California, where the body builders on the beach are being muscled out by small companies that specialize in what Ramsay Brown calls “brain hacking.'”

Top 10 Things to Consider as you START Doing Generation Z Ministry by Dan Istvanik (Youth Specialties)

“There is a shift that needs to happen, almost immediately. We need to stop talking about, obsessing about and shaping our youth ministries around Millennials. Especially those of us working with students in the ‘middle years.'”  

Ministry Skills

Youth Ministry Hazard: Emotional Affairs by Walt Mueller (Center for Parent/Youth Understanding)

“Defining an emotional affair seems rather easy. Identifying it in our own lives is a little more difficult, so difficult in fact, that we often don’t see an emotional affair for what it is until it’s too late. We lie to ourselves when we call an emotional affair a “friendship,” and justify it as such because after all, isn’t an affair something sexual?”

Navigating a Tragedy by Anonymous (Youth Specialties)

“My hope is that you never have to experience tragedy to this extent in your ministry. Sadly, it is highly likely that in the course of your ministry you’ll experience more than one of these type of traumatic events. Providing care for the affected family is vitally important. … What I’d like to offer you as you read this, is a guide, or a few insights at least into how you can navigate tragedy and not destroy yourself in the meantime.”

Your Summer Ministry Checklist by Andy Lawrenson (LeaderTreks)

“Welcome to summer, everyone! For most of us, summer is a super busy season filled with camps, mission trips, amusement park days, retreats, service projects….the list goes on. We love these events, but they require a huge time investment on top of our normal planning and weekly programming. With all the busyness that comes with this wonderful season of sunshine and pool parties, let’s make sure we don’t forget what’s most important.”

How to Set a Solid Calendar for the Year by Christopher Wesley (Download Youth Ministry)

“There will be disagreements when it comes to what events and programs should go where, and that’s okay. To move through those disagreements and decide what belongs and what is eliminated their needs, to be honest, and open communication.”

Rooted’s Two Most Read Articles or Podcasts of June

Ministry to Students Who Are Atheist, Podcast (Rooted)

“Listen into this wonderful and thoughtful conversation about how we as parents and youth leaders can have more productive and loving conversations with kids who identify as atheist.”

Six Books for Your First Year in Student Ministry, Davis Lacey (Rooted)

“As you seek to build a ministry to students upon the sure foundation of Christ’s finished work, I would recommend the following six books to anyone beginning a new chapter in the context of student ministry.”

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

Your Heart is a Lousy Compass, Anna Meade Harris (Rooted)

“There are a number of reasons why “follow your heart” is not helpful advice, but Scripture tells us why it is downright dangerous: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9).”

Advancing Grace-Driven Youth Ministry

More From This Author