Instead of patiently digesting their doubts with them and helping them pick up the pieces after they’ve made big mistakes, we can let our fears crowd them out of a home for the difficulties of real life.
Three days before the event, we hit a problem. I was on the phone with the City Public Health Director. In less than a week, a serious virus had swept through twenty-five area junior high schools.
Reimagining the Gospel in Relationship, Part 1: What Does the Gospel Mean for Teenagers and Friendship?
Most of us have grown accustomed to a gospel that is a boiled-down series of abstract statements to be “believed.” They are typically colorless statements about God’s love, sin, and Jesus’ death. People must accept their truth in order to go to heaven and live a “good life,” which is described as vaguely as it is variously. This disembodied gospel supposedly positions people to make “a decision for Christ,” and is to be their frame of reference for everything.
What does it mean to be a family, particularly in the disconnected environment of the city? Urban Youth Ministry professor Mary Glenn helps us take steps toward helping young and old find family.
In some ways, students see God like Santa. Santa is good, of course. Santa gives you good things on Christmas. And Santa is omniscient, just like God.
My wife, Meredith, and I welcomed our son into the world last January. Like most parents, we have a lot of hopes for him. We hope he’ll be happy and healthy. We hope he’ll be compassionate and independent. We hope he won’t grow up to be a Yankees fan. The status of the next generation of Christians has been the cause of much hand-wringing, guess-making, and anecdote-peddling for about as long as there has been a next generation to worry about, but only recently has there been much reliable data from which parents and youth workers can learn.
This excerpt from Chapter 3 of April Diaz’ Redefining the Role of the Youth Worker: A Manifesto of Integration highlights the process April’s church went through to describe what they were looking for in a youth ministry leader. Inspired by their participation in our 2010 Sticky Faith Cohort, April’s church took a risk to reshape what it means to embrace teenagers in the life of the congregation. This excerpt is reprinted with permission from the Youth Cartel.