Tag Archives: Parents

6 Critical Questions Parents & Teens Should Ask Today

As a former teacher-turned-youth director, I can attest to the power of sharing ideas among trusted co-workers. Why re-invent the wheel when you can “steal” great ideas from others and apply them to your own situation?  I had the opportunity to do just that recently when I sought ways to improve communication between my high school youth and their parents, ...

Read More »

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 ...

Read More »

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 ...

Read More »

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 ...

Read More »

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 ...

Read More »

Healthy YM geography exercise: choosing the right hill to die upon

A quote from Perkins School of Youth Ministry in January has stuck with me all year (voiced by our own Charles Harrison, no less): “I’m sick and tired of youth ministers getting fired for the wrong reasons.” He was talking about all of the idiotic, careless, & wholly avoidable reasons that good youthworkers often exit the profession: poor boundaries, questionable ...

Read More »

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 ...

Read More »

Real Ministry Never Shows Up on Your Resume.

On average, youthworkers can probably be most easily summed up as “the person that drove the van to Six Flags.” It’s an average; there’s a lot of good, smart work being done on one side of that median description and a lot of inept efforts that lost the church credit card and forgot to buy the day passes on the ...

Read More »

Getting By – Does “C” Still Mean “Average”?

Last night our youth did another night of 3 Questions, a conversational family program I started this year. (If you’re unfamiliar with the format for 3 Questions, you can read about it [HERE].) One of the questions asked by the dads in the room was, “What about life is too hard for teens and what is too easy?” Nice and ...

Read More »

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 ...

Read More »