Research

It Takes a Lifetime to Learn

  “So, it seems like you read a lot of books?!”  Yeah, I get that often.  My college-aged son says he was raised at “the library” and he means our home not a publicly funded book depository.  And this photo below shows you what is on my reading pile for today.  What is wrong with me anyway that rehab for ...

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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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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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United Methodists Garner Highest Favorability Score

December 8, 2011 Press Release from umcom.org: About 62% of adult Americans have a favorable impression of United Methodists. That’s according to a  new survey from LifeWay Research  that looks at perceptions of faith groups among adults in the U.S. United Methodists had the highest percentage of favorable impressions among the faith groups included in the survey – Roman Catholics, Southern Baptists, ...

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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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“A Faith of Their Own” Sociologists Melinda Denton and Lisa Pearce

    Our own Amy Valdez Barker had the opportunity to sit down with sociologists of youth ministry, Lisa Pearce and Melinda Denton, to discuss their recent youth ministry findings.  You might recognize Denton and Pearce’s names from the books “Soul Searching”,”Souls in Transition”, and now “A Faith of Their Own.” During the interview, Pearce and Denton share their journeys ...

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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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Thinking About The Call to Action

Dr. Ed Trimmer Executive Director of the Cal Turner, Jr. Center for Church Leadership at Martin Methodist College There is a NEW report entitled Call To Action that you may be hearing about if you have not heard about it already.  The Report based on research which was approved by the Bishops may attempt to guide “our” church for the ...

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Generational Shift Can Lead to Missional Drift

Recently, I’ve heard a few things said about “what needs to be done in Youth Ministry” that cause me to say “Oh really?” in my best sincere and slightly sarcastic tone.  In case you didn’t know, sarcasm is definitely a fatal flaw in Youthwork so it should be used sparingly unless you are a Jedi level Sarcastinator. Statement #1- “We ...

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Worship Continues to Evolve

  Worship Continues To Evolve   Any close reading of the Old Testament and New Testament affirms the understanding that corporate worship has always been evolving and changing.  Moses never came down from Mt. Sinai and said, thus sayeth the Lord, “this is how all people will worship from now until God comes again.”   There are a few Christian ...

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