Reviews

The Avengers Body of Christ Discussion Guide

Yet another blockbuster movie has been able to get your students to skip the youth fundraiser and spend their $15 on a ticket.  Of course the main reason you were upset about it was because you were stuck at the church doing yet another fundraiser instead of being where everyone else wanted to be this weekend: The Avengers.  I won’t ...

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Time for the H Word

“So, youth, what do you want to learn about?”  “Revelation, angels, and Satan?  Where do we go when we die?  Okay, sure, we could do that.  Oh wait, look at that shiny thing over there!’ I must confess something I am not very proud of — For years, I have been a professional controversy avoider. It’s sad really.  It’s just ...

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Promise 6: Be Excellent to Each Other

Excellence.  This might be the most important and most difficult to define promise of the We Love Our Youth Worker (WLOYW) covenant.  Here’s what the employer promises to the youth worker: We will strive to be an excellent employer. We believe that it’s important to have clear structures and procedures for recruiting and employing a youth worker, and to provide ...

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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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Frank Schaeffer and the importance of listening well

I met Frank Schaeffer at a planning retreat for the Wild Goose Festival a few weeks ago. His story is a fascinating one–his family established the L’Abri community in Huemoz, Switzerland and became oddly influential in the rise of the Christian Right political movement. After the passing of his father Francis, Frank found himself heir-apparent to that influence–but at 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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YouthWorker Movement Building a Youth Disciple Online Opportunity

  Charles Harrison meets with Bishop and Julia Wilke, authors of Disciple, as design efforts are underway to build a totally online Disciple group experience for youth. The scheduled roll-out of Youth Disciple Online has facilitator training open beginning February 1, 2012, and youth groups starting up when ready after August 1, 2012. Moving Youth Disciple to an online format is a real ReThink Church moment ...

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Owning Up to Your Mistakes

I Blew It. (sky-punch.) Owning your mistakes is a hard, hard business. Depending upon your ministry context, your large and small failures probably have a variation of immediate impact, eventual consequences, or, most mysteriously, the occasional ability to dissolve and vanish completely. “We never did find that 9th grader at Six Flags, but oddly enough no one ever brought it ...

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Articulating Faith

ARTICULATING FAITH: Thoughts on “What do you believe? American Teenagers, Spirituality, and Freedom of Religion,” a video by Sarah Feinbloom Written by Amy Valdez Barker   “A compelling educational peacemaking film without being didactic, sectarian, or doctrinaire. Every public school, congregation and youth program in the country should have a copy of it.”   Rev. Paul Chaffee, Director Interfaith Center ...

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