What I Learned at Perkins School of Youth Ministry 2014

What I Learned In Certification My First Year

It is that time of year again.  The time where I assess what I got out of my favorite training event for youthworkers.  PSYM has been around for 26 years.  One of the founders, my friend Rev. Walt Marcum still teaches.  I wasn’t there at the start but I got there as soon as I could.  So after 23 years, ...

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Write for the Youthworker Movement

  Make all of your dreams come true! Or one of them, provided that dinner didn’t sit well and you were tossing and turning all night wishing you could mouth off about your opinions about Wesleyan youth ministry. That dream, my friend, is right around the corner. We are deeply interested in developing Wesleyan voices in youth ministry content. If ...

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selling youth ministry & making quota

I was in class last week from Saturday through Thursday, out of town. Because I’m a seasoned traveler, I charged my shaver. Upon arrival at the hotel I discovered that its usefulness had expired. Clickety-click. No lights. No brrrrrrrrzzzzzzz. Crap. Because I am only nominally an adult, I have never learned the art of shaving with a blade. I don’t ...

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The Cliché-ing of American Christianity

Cliche' Youth Ministry

Whether it be the results of a recent election, a national tragedy, or personal epiphany, Christian clichés can often be found on the lips of the faithful (and more specifically on my twitter/facebook feed). Why do Christians often turn to these clichés in times of trial and triumph? What does this say about our culture? What does this say about our faith? ...

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Where is God?

Where's God in Tragedy?

Tragedy causes us to be searching for answers.  Often we reach for easy answers.  Often we are given complicated answers, which do not address our fundamental fears.  Well meaning people give us bumper sticker sayings that often salt wounds further.  People care. I’ve written about the dangers of bad theology here.  Today I just want to openly wrestle with my ...

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Why Bad Theology is Dangerous

This has been a problem for some time, maybe for all time.  But I’ve noticed in the last couple of months an abundance of bad theology being articulated in social media and on the airwaves.  Also, I just finished teaching the Perkins Certification in Youth Ministry Class (this year was Theology and Youth) at so maybe I am just ...

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a final volley in the general direction of The Message

I’m entering 2013 trying to wrap up a couple of arguments in my mind. They’re just between me and me, but I’m defragging and dumping brain-files I don’t want to hang on to anymore. The use of The Message as an authoritative text in Christian teaching is one such brain-file. I’ve driven it from common usage in our youth room, ...

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The Birth of The Messiah

I really like reading the Bible.  I find my faith grows as I read devotionally, as I read in community with others in a study, and as I read while exploring great scholarship so that I can grasp the context and meaning at deeper levels.  During Advent this year I am working with both adults and youth thinking through the ...

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Behind the Scenes with Old Saint Nick

The person known as Santa to us has developed over many years, coming through a merger/acquisition between Sinterklass and Father Christmas inc. in western Europe after Sinterklass’ fame surged as a result of a book highlighting his exploits in the 19th century. There was of course the dark period when Sinterklaas was outlawed in the 16th and 17th century mainly ...

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“Women should be silent.” WHAT?!?

It was bad luck for the Baptist denomination that I happened to join my high school friend for Sunday School on the day they were studying the part of Ephesians that mentions women should be submissive to their husbands.  This was my first impression of what a Baptist church was about, and that word “submissive” did not sit well with ...

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