Parents and Families

Conversion Aversion Disorder

As Youthworkers, have we really thought about the implications of Conversion?  Have we considered Conversion God’s work?  Have we tried to take God’s place to manipulate young people?  Do we even have a plan for what comes next the day after Conversion? “To have a conversion experience is nothing much.  The real thing is to be able to keep on ...

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Make it Better – Guiding Moral Beacons

“You who live in the shelter of the Most High, who abide in the shadow of the Almighty, will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress; my God, in whom I trust.” Psalm 91:1-2   Once upon a time the church’s responsibility was to raise moral beacons in communities throughout the world.  In fact, Christian Formation in the ...

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when bad things happen to good dogs

I’m having a hellish month of scheduling, which means I’m not able to process life events in real time. For example, last Monday I got to spend breakfast explaining to my 4 & 6 year old boys how mommy was going to go to the doctor because some stuff was broken inside. They needed to understand that mommy wasn’t sick, ...

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On Spiritual Generativity

What does “Spiritual Generativity” mean?  In the simplest terms, it’s the passing on of our faith tradition from one generation to the next.  If youth are always separated from the rest of the life of the church – how will they learn what it means to be the church as adults?  How do we in youth ministry make the connections ...

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The Language of Faith

Sociologist of Youth Ministry – Melinda Denton Last month I asked one of the lead researchers from the National Study on Youth and Religion if theology mattered when it came to differentiating between ‘highly-religious’ teens and ‘not-as-religious’ teens.  Melinda Lundquist Denton’s response was: “Theological particularity is somewhat lost at least on this generation (we don’t have data on the adults.)  But, the ...

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6 Steps to Avoid Youth Ministry Burnout

Thank you to our special guest contributors, Jake and Melissa Kircher from We Love Our Youth Worker for this article.  People who work in youth ministry often struggle with the concept of rest. There’s always kids to Facebook or text, phones buzzing, paperwork to do, trips to plan, parents to calm, meetings to attend, and people to see. These things ...

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“how are the children?”

In African cultures a common greeting between people from a tribe not their own would be “How are the children?” The idea behind that gesture is that if the children are doing well then the village/tribe is reflective of that wellness. We do similar as you meet an old friend or extended family member they, or you, will often say ...

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the death of the buddy youthworker

This article was originally published November 15, 2011. It goes without saying that youth ministry is always changing. (Oops. Well, it would have.) I grew up in the land of the forgotten nightmares of Unsafe Sanctuaries. “Chubby Bunny” was the least of our worries. Our adults were encouraged to take kids off alone; we’d go fishing in the middle of ...

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5 Critical Keys to Losing Your Youth Ministry Job Forever

We spend an awful amount of time focusing on how to avoid conflict and job-related stress and in doing so we’re ignoring a percentage of our audience that clearly wants to get fired. If you’re floundering around getting close to termination but not quite pulling it off, this one is for you. Don’t be too hard on yourself; not everyone ...

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Want to Understand the Teenage Brain?

Gracing the cover of this month’s National Geographic magazine is “The New Science of the Teenage Brain,” a headline the result of years of research on teenage brain development.  It attempts to answer the age-old question about teenage risky behavior, “What on Earth was he doing?” As a person who works with and loves teenagers, what do you need to know ...

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