High school graduation is upon us and, if statistics ring true, then a majority of teenagers who currently claim to be Christians will abandon their faith sometime after the tassel is turned.
I wasn't invited to The National Day of Prayer Observance in Washington, D.C. I decided to just walk in and see what would happen
Instead of another Bible lesson, tackle a tough, culturally relevant question. Then let the conversations begin.
After 25 years of working with teenagers I'm convinced that suicidal thoughts among young people are NOT uncommon.
I have encountered countless suicidal teenagers who think they have lost their reason(s) to live. A small percentage of these teenagers have attempted suicide. A handful of them have succeeded. Every time I hear about a teenager who has ended his or her life, my heart breaks.
The average teenager has well over 400 online and face-to-face friends. Teenagers can trigger Gospel conversations with scores of other teenagers in an instant. And, if they are trained to navigate these conversations in a loving, intelligent way, then they can powerfully accelerate the spread of the Gospel with their peers.
The bullhorn or the mirror...these are your two choices. You will either use one or the other when you realize your youth ministry has stalled spiritually and/or numerically.
Many youth leaders are struggling with "youth group drama." A hyper-sensitive clique of girls is mad at a insensitive clique of sarcastic boys (or vice-verse or mix-n-match.) Sides are taken. Words are spoken. Words are hurled. Feelings are hurt.
1. Refuse to let your kids participate in the "pagan" practice of collecting dyed Easter eggs. Instead lecture them on the dangers of syncretism.
I'm an evangelist, an author and a movie buff. I love Jesus, the Gospel and a really good movie.
We've all read the scary statistics of teenagers who evacuate their Christian faith after they graduate from high school.
Getting your teenagers to share their faith can be a challenge. These ideas will help to spark them to action.
Okay, I know this is a powderkeg subject. There are two very divergent views when it comes to this question.
Because the post-election coverage made it pretty clear that a big contributor to the Trump win was the evangelical vote, many young people, already cynical of Christians, may harden their views of believers and the Gospel. They may view evangelicals as even more narrow-minded, racist and callous than ever before.
1. The greeting team looks like they've been baptized in lemon juice.
1. Ask God to open the door for you to share the Gospel today (Colossians 4:3.)
First of all thank you. Thank you for your investment in current and soon-to-be youth leaders. Your investment in these young and spiritually potent lives could result in the radical transformation of the next generation.
There is no justice without Jesus.
Ask the typical church member what words come to mind when they hear the words "youth ministry" and most will probably use words like "games" or "fun" as part of their description. Youth ministry is known for its ability to entertain teenagers. But it's also recognized for helping teenagers know and grow in Christ.
Dear Worship Leader, I have a confession to make. It's hard to type these words but here it goes ... I've vastly underestimated the power and importance of what you do.
If I gave you the choice between drinking a muddy glass of water or a clear one, of course, you'd choose the clear one. Nobody wants their water mixed with dirt and sediment. The clearer the better.
We live in a society where tolerance is elevated to a high virtue and theological certainty is viewed as angry, narrow-minded dogmatism.
I talk to youth leaders across the country, many of whom feel like their pastors are not fully behind their youth ministry efforts. Speaking as a former church planter and preaching pastor, here are a few tips that will help get your Sr. Pastor on board with you and your youth ministry:
I had parenting all figured out before I had kids. I watched the videos, read the books and even preached a few sermons on it. Then my wife and I had children and all but a handful of key principles blew away like dust (from the top of a teen boy's desk) in the wind.
During this time I have had several gut-level conversations with youth leaders and have noticed a pattern in the majority of youth ministries that are headed for trouble. There are at least 4 clear warning signs.