Dress Code


J-Wild had a great blog about Youth Minister wear, thanks J. You can see it here. I have been meaning to post about it. I wanted to bring it up as a general question in regard to how you see digging in to your local culture and opening new doors to unchurched teens you are trying to reach.
I once read something about a youth minister who said that he bought new clothes once a month and that every youth minister should budget to do that so that he she can fit in with teens and the surrounding culture. What do you think?

Are there others pieces to culture - like music and other things that you think we should be familiar (and when I say familiar I mean enough to hold your own in conversation) with? Or do you think that just listening or wearing something to "open doors" makes you fake and non-authentic (word?)?

For instance, I have made it my business to know the buzz about all music which is popular and upcoming new groups. It helps open doors in conversations with teens that I might not other wise have. Share on...

"...for the place you are standing is holy." Joshua 5:15


Experiential Worship borrowed from what we did @ Winterfest SW.

For example, one station was a cross where we read Matthew 27:32-44, and we were to imagine ourself at the scene. What is going through your mind? The sin of all human beings made Jesus go the cross, not the Roman soldiers who arrested and heat him. His love for sinful human beings held him there. He could have answered the taunts by calling the angels of heaven to bring him down, but he didn't, he chose to stay.

Near you are several pieces of paper and pens. Think of a sin in your life, possibly something terrible you have done in the past or something you should have done but didn't, possibly an attitude your heart tells you is disappointing to God. Write it down on a piece of paper.

Fold the paper in half. Pick up a hammer and a nail. Nail your sin to the cross of Jesus. As you nail it, think about how your sins were nailed to the cross that day in history. With each stroke, remember Jesus' words: "It is finished." He bore the pain of the cross os you could be forgiven and set free from slavery to your sin.

Other ways to spend time at the cross: simply praising God, reading, and resting in Scriptures, sitting in silence reflecting, submitting to Christ (Luke 9:23).

lectio divina and your group


Have any of you ever used lectio divina with your group?

Check this out, and give a try and see what your kids think!

At Winterfest this year, we got to go through some contemplative worship experiences.

The adult class participated with lectio divina (prayer meditative reading) -- I have used this practice with my teens in our Tuesday night Bible studies, and they love it.

An Ancient Way of Praying with Scripture
Lectio Divina refers in Latin to the practice of "divine reading." This form of spiritual reading originated in the Benedictine tradition and involves a deeply personal and prayerful encounter with the presence of God through sacred scripture. Lectio invites us to listen to the word of God with our whole being and our longing to be touched, healed and transformed by the Holy Spirit.

In order to practice lectio divina, select a time and place that is peaceful and in which you may be alert and prayerfully attentive. Dispose yourself for prayer in whatever way is natural for you. This may be a spoken prayer to God to open you more fully to the Spirit, a gentle relaxation process that focuses on breathing, singing or chanting, or simply a few minutes of silence to empty yourself of thoughts, images, and emotions.

Reading (lectio) - Slowly begin reading a biblical passage as if it were a long awaited love letter addressed to you. Approach it reverentially and expectantly, in a way that savors each word and phrase. Read the passage until you hear a word or phrase that touches you, resonates, attracts or even disturbs you.

Reflecting (meditatio) - Ponder this word or phrase for a few minutes. Let it sink in slowly and deeply until you are resting in it. Listen for what the word or phrase is saying to you at this moment in your life, what it may be offering to you, what it may be demanding of you.

Expressing (oratio) - When you feel ready, openly and honestly express to God the prayers that arise spontaneously within you from your experience of this word or phrase. These may be prayers of thanksgiving, petition, intercession, lament, or praise.

Resting (contemplatio) - Allow yourself to simply rest silently with God for a time in the stillness of your heart remaining open to the quiet fullness of God's love and peace. This is like the silence of communion between the mother holding her sleeping infant child or between lovers whose communication with each other passes beyond words.

These four movements of lectio divina may not always follow a linear progression. Allow yourself freedom and pray as you can. The aim is to move into the depths of silence and stillness where we can hear the Word spoken to us in love and respond to this Word with our love and our life. This is a gentle invitation into a movement from silence into the Word and back into silence, dwelling there in the presence of God.

How have you fostered community in your youth ministry setting?


Community is no doubt important. God redeemed us to exist in community with other believers. We are the family of God. How have you fostered community in your youth ministry setting? I have have had several kids mention that the family feeling is gone from our group, what suggestions do you have to bring this family feeling back?

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