Time Magazine Article


Good article in Time Magazine on youth ministry. Very well done. Read it here.


Anyone have ideas on how to encourage/challenge students in the spiritual disiplines? Maybe even incorporate some of them into Sunday morning teaching times? I've been looking at Doug Fields' "One Minute Bible" but haven't decided if I like it or not. Any of you use this resource in your ministry?

Apples and Oranges


Gimmicks. (Prior post gave me some thoughts)

It is so easy to fall into the Trap - oh, whoa is me (Almost an Elijah whining session 1 Kings 19:10) I dislike Entertainment Youth Ministry. What you win them with is what you have to keep them with. I dislike the comparison game. Why? Because I feel it does disservice to the Kingdom.

So why not be ourselves? When students see the cool youth ministry down the road, why not ask them, so what are you doing here? Why not involved.

I think comparing churches (And we do it ourselves and as people ..I mean come on ...how many of us compare ourselves to good ole Doug Fields?) is like comparing apples and oranges. Both are fruit. Both are round. Both are very different. Maybe that is what it is about our churches. Both are trying to be the Church. But both come with different contexts and cultures to consider.

So the next time you find yourself wandering and wondering how I can be more like Church X, why not just wonder how you can just be the church and person God called you to be, and not this imitiation.

Otherwise we'd be too loose with the facts ...See these quotes below.

Came across this quote from YWJ:

"Youth Ministry Is in the Spotlight
There was a great story on youth ministry by Austin American-Statesman religion writer Eileen Flynn. And did you see the front-page story on the Friday, Oct. 6, issue of The New York Times? The headline said it all: “Fearing the Loss of Teenagers, Evangelicals Turn Up the Fire.”

“Despite their packed megachurches,” said the article, Christian leaders like Teen Mania’s Ron Luce are sounding an alarm that “their teenagers are abandoning the faith in droves.” The National Association of Evangelicals has even warned about “the epidemic of young people leaving the evangelical church.” But Christian Smith (author of last year’s acclaimed Soul Searching book) thinks people who claim that only four percent of teens are “Bible-believing Christians” are being too “apocalyptic” and too loose with the facts. "

beyond the gimmicks


I live in an area with a multitude of church choices. We have almost every variety. We are a rural/city smack dab in the middle of the Bible Belt. I think we could pass sometimes as the belt buckle.

Our youth group isn’t the largest in town or in our county for that matter. We don’t have the biggest budget or do even the coolest, latest things. I guess I would peg us as middle of the road. I am in many ways a middle of the road kind of guy. I am not overly creative, so I don’t have a fancy youth logo. I am not all that tech-savy so we don’t have cool youth mininstry videos. I am not even that good of a speaker so our attendance is sporadic.

I am sure like many of you, my teens are typcial American teens. And from time to time they go to their friends “churches.” I guess I am confessing. I get a little jealous when our kids aren’t around. I even get to feeling like our youth ministry is boring when our kids tell me what church so and so is doing.

I know in those moments, when I am judging the effectiveness of our ministry on numbers and gimmicks I am looking at the wrong thing. I have allowed the emphasis to fall on numbers and not Christ. In those moments, and I think all youth ministers wrestle with these times, we have to reorient our vision to what God is doing in the world and seeing our selves as partners with Him to further his kingdom. Numbers, cool events and the latest gimmicks aren’t changing the world. Teaching students about their role in the body and life in the kingdom is. Having them catch a sense that they too can partner with what God is doing in the world is.

So, for all of us who sometimes worry about whether or not we are making a difference for the kingdom. Be reassured our impact on just one life is impacting the lives of countless others. Even though we can’t see it, we are changing the world for the good. Even us youth ministers with youth ministries that are mundane and ordinary.


Anyone have any ideas for the walls of a youth group room? I get to completely design a 30x30 room and am looking for some ideas.

something fun from Austin


I got to hear Tony Jones, the national US coordinator for emergent-village share the history of the emergent movement. It was an interesting and informative session with Tony Jones. One of the questions that we were discussing was whether or not all questions could be allowed on the table of discussion. Tony provided an example sighting the difference of opinion he has from others, such as John Piper on penal substitutionary atonement. One woman sitting in the back of the room raised her hand and asked, “yeah does this mean like male domination or something?” You have to keep in mind that this was a room of youth workers, some like myself are probably immature and laugh still at body functions and the like. Hearing the honest question asked by a sincere believer in Jesus, caused quite an eruption of laughter from the room. It was truly hilarious and the funny thing was it is on tape and somehow, Tony Jones kept his composure. I lost it.

I guess you had to be there.

The State of Youth Ministry


The past few days has seen contrasting articles published in newspapers.

1. The Sky is Falling attitude: NY Times Article

2. We're making a DifferenceAustin Statesman Article

Which category are you?

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