Author Archives: Kevin Alton

Because Science: Taking the Fear out of Faith for Youth Ministry

Because Science: Taking the Fear out of Faith for Youth Ministry by Kevin Alton “It bothers me that somewhere on the other side of the world there’s a kid pretty much just like me that grew up believing something completely different about God just because of where he was born and who raised him in whatever religion. It bothers me ...

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First Friday in Advent: Going home

First Friday in Advent Luke 1:68-79; Malachi 3:13-18; Philippians 1:18b-26 “I am hard pressed between the two: my desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better; 24 but to remain in the flesh is more necessary for you.” Philippians 1:23 When I was a kid in middle school, there was a old guy I’d see ...

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First Thursday in Advent: Finding hope

First Thursday in Advent Luke 1:68-79; Malachi 3:5-12; Philippians 1:12-18a “…my imprisonment is for Christ.” Philippians 1:13b I doubt I’ll ever have a brush with anything like real persecution. That reality makes it hard for me to fully feel what Paul is expressing here. I’m put off by minor inconveniences. I don’t like it when people drive slowly in front ...

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First Wednesday in Advent: Better to be feared or loved?

First Wednesday in Advent Psalm 90; Isaiah 1:24-31; Luke 11:29-32 I struggle with the Old Testament’s depiction of God as the bad guy in a gangster movie. I understand the sentiment. In pre-scientific culture, the world was enchanted. God was in everything—trees, the earth, animals, even behavior was attributed to God. The only way to make sense of the world ...

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The Limits of God’s Grace

In 2006, the sadly now defunct magazine The Journal of Student Ministries published an article called, “The Limits of God’s Grace: What if We Weren’t Afraid of Hell?” written by Bart Campolo, son of Tony and Peggy Campolo, and a noted speaker and author in his own right. After the article was published, several things then happened: Christianity Today called ...

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3 quick back-to-school reminders

Hooray, school! As we return to another school year together, we wanted to offer 3 quick reminders that will ease the months to come: 1. Download your local school calendars. Most things stay the same, but sometimes things change. Don’t get caught off-guard by a new holiday schedule or snow days padding a president’s birthday. Sports schedules are a good ...

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a youth ministry certification journey

*Updated March 18, 2015 by author by Bradley Alexander I recently went to Perkins School of Theology at SMU in Dallas to begin a journey towards being certified in youth ministry in the United Methodist Church. In the weeks leading up to classes I began to feel very anxious and unworthy of this calling. This feeling has some history in ...

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clearing your mind for ministry

So at the end of December, I walked out of my last youth room as a full-time local church youthworker. Or at least that’s how I’m understanding my call at the moment. (Always a good idea to keep listening.) Starting in January of 2015, I jumped off the cliff called “freelance” and, as yet, have not hit the ground. I ...

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Life-sized Chutes & Ladders

Chutes and Ladders in Youth Ministry

  I know, that does sound awesome. I was having a planning meeting with my youth a few weeks ahead of our back-to-school party. I don’t remember what I said that was misheard, but the rest of the conversation went like this: Youth: “Did you just say ‘life-sized Chutes & Ladders’?” Me: “What?” Youth: “I thought you said ‘life-sized Chutes ...

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Why Purity Rings Don’t Work (and How to Fix It)

Purity Ring and Youth Ministry

Take your pick of teen sex curriculum for churches and you will find a common outcome for the majority of them: a purity pledge often accompanied by a purity ring.  Since this focus has been so widespread and been going on for so long, we have more than what we need for a scientific study on its effectiveness. You probably ...

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