The Top Ten: August 2016

Each month we compile a Top 10 List of articles for the Rooted community (made up of both parents and youth leaders). This list is made up of articles from all over the internet – articles that 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.

These are presented by category, not in order of which we deem most valuable.

Gospel-Centered Ministry

Why Youth Workers Should Read Theology by Wes Ellis (Princeton Institute for Youth Ministry)

“…by teaching young people theology through theologians like Paul Tillich, we risk answering questions they aren’t asking—perhaps even implicitly suggesting the questions they are asking are less valid. By dwelling on theological thought unanchored in the experience of young people, we risk communicating that the church is not for people with the “mundane concerns” they have.”

A 4-Minute Crash Course in How to Share the Gospel by Greg Stier (Dare 2 Share)

“How do you share the Gospel with those around you in a clear and compelling way? This four-minute crash course will give you all of the basic tools you need to begin.”

Pursuing the Next Generation by Benjamin Kerns (Orange Leaders Blog)

“But the good news for us is that the gospel of Jesus Christ has proven to be good news to every culture, in every context, in every era, and this current cultural context is no exception.”

Youth Culture

Top 10 Findings on Teens and the Bible (Barna Research Group)

“The 2016 Teen State of the Bible research, commissioned by American Bible Society and conducted by Barna, examines teens’ perceptions of the Bible, the role they believe it should play in American public life and their level of personal engagement with it. The research tells us that teens have a deep respect for the Bible and care about its relevance to the world in which they inhabit.”

What Do Young People Really Want in a Church? by Jake Mulder (Fuller Youth Institute)

“Contrary to popular thinking that young people today want it easy, many told us they love their churches because their churches inspire them to act. This inspiration flows from leaders who model authenticity and humility and extend the challenge of following Jesus not from a place of superiority or power, but out of an invitation to pursue the way of Jesus together.”

Sports As Mission by J.T. Young (Princeton Institute for Youth Ministry)

“If we tell the kids in our small groups that church programs are more important than soccer games and football practice, then we risk communicating to them that God can only be found within a church—therefore anything or anyone who doesn’t fit into our ecclesial bubble cannot be serving God. Conversely, when we communicate that it’s okay for families to be absent from church functions in favor of other obligations, we risk communicating to the youth in our congregation that the church’s community life is insignificant.”

The VMAs, Youth Culture, and Monday-Morning Grieving by Walt Mueller (Center for Parent/Youth Understanding)

“The emerging generations are crying out for redemption. Kanye told the audience in his speech (immediately before introducing “Fade”) that ‘we are undeniably the influencers, the thought leaders.’ If that’s the case. . . and I think it is. . . then these voices are leading young lemmings on a march to certain destruction.”

Ministry Skills

Welcoming Children with Special Needs On Any Given Sunday by Meaghan Wall (Orange Leaders Blog)

“…every church should be prepared to serve anyone who might come through our doors. If you don’t have a designated special needs ministry or special needs volunteer, take a deep breath. Welcoming children and students with special needs is really not that different than welcoming everyone else in your church.”

Small Group Leaders’ Biggest Mistake by Doug Franklin (LeaderTreks)

“Often times I find adult leaders make the mistake of not pushing to go deeper in learning. Maybe they think students won’t like them or they are not sure if the student can answer the question? Maybe we desire correctness over learning. Whatever the case, we as teachers have to ask ourselves, ‘what is our priority?’ Is it for the student to learn or is it for us to feel good about ourselves?”

Hitting the Ministry Reset Button: Preparing Yourself for the New Ministry Year by Frank Newburn (LeaderTreks)

“For those of us in youth ministry, the start of a new ministry year can be filled with excitement and possibilities, or dread and exhaustion. So how can we effectively prepare ourselves for the ministry year to come? Here are a few simple suggestions.”

The Two Most-Read Articles of August on the Rooted Blog

Three Things to Learn from Olympians David Boudia and Steele Johnson by Davis Lacey (Rooted)
“Had it not been for a multiplicative disciple-making process, Boudia and Johnson’s post-event interview may never have been a reality. But as He’s been pleased to do throughout His people’s history, God advanced the gospel message through the faithful investment of ‘older’ generations of believers into ‘younger’ generations.”

Hope this Helps: “A Letter to My Sons About Porn” featuring Robert Cunningham (Rooted)
“Both parents and student leaders should take a moment to read this raw and poignant letter – a letter that reorients our flawed and wandering hearts to the only One who can bring the satisfaction was so desperately long for.”

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

Are You A Scoundrel: The Deceptive Longing for the Inner Ring by Seth Stewart (Rooted)
“As a leader in the church and a contributor to this widely read blog, I feel even more susceptible to this sin. Every time I am invited to preach, or asked to demonstrate my expertise, it can feel (if I’m being honest) like an invitation to a pagan temple consecrated for, and adorned with my idols. I do not believe I’m alone in this. Inner rings ruin ministries weekly, and will continue to do so. We must do the hard work of uprooting our desires for inner rings.”

We want to thank Rev. Mike McGarry and his team of excellent volunteers who compile this list of exciting and thought-provoking articles each month.

Advancing Grace-Driven Youth Ministry

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