Youth

  1. What Youth Really Need

    What Youth Really Need

    Some of the most unusual church experiences I’ve ever encountered took place within the context of youth ministry—wacky games and activities, students playing foosball during the Sunday school hour, edgy (but shallow) teaching, sleep-deprived retreats (with no parents allowed), and more. All done in the hope of being “relevant and fun” so youth would want to keep coming back. Yes, some students kept coming back, but many grew up and left the church—untouched by true saving faith and maturity—when the fun stopped. That is why I found a recent article by 19-year-old Sara Barratt so refreshing. Here is her observation:

    Instead of undiluted biblical truths and concrete theology, many [teens] are fed a watered-down message. They’re entertained at youth group and isolated from older, wiser Christ-followers. They’re drawn in with pizza parties, games, and programs, but leave with the burning issues of their hearts still unanswered. She points to four core topics teens need to hear: ... More

  2. Helping Children to Interact Redemptively with the Culture

    Helping Children to Interact Redemptively with the Culture

    Our children and youth are going to interact and engage in the world in which they livea world increasingly hostile to anything remotely “Christian.” So, the question becomes: How will they interact?  ... More

  3. Help Your Teens Get Wisdom

    Help Your Teens Get Wisdom

    What if you were to ask your teen the following questions:

    • What does the Bible have to say about using Facebook?
    • Are you honoring Jesus as you participate in sports?
    • Do you have a biblical view of doing your homework? 
    • Are you wise in the friends you choose? 
    • Why are the answers to these questions important for your life?
    ... More

  4. Help for Turbulent Teens

    It’s a problem that affects millions of teenagers; likely someone you know in your own church or family. What is it? Interior angst. Loneliness. Depression. Fear. Despair. All these and more are part of the emotional roller coaster that goes with the changes and development of adolescence. This is an age-old problem that should lead to maturity and growth. But teens today are missing key supports that made it less volatile for generations past. ... More

  5. Ordinary Means, Extraordinary Fruit

    As a Sunday school teacher, I have always approached the last weeks of the school year with mixed emotions. Was I faithful week to week in teaching God’s Word? Did my students “get it”? Do they give evidence of faith in Jesus? Have I seen any spiritual fruit? What about that child who seemed bored all year? What about the one who was often disrespectful in class? What should I have done differently?... The list of questions goes on and on. At times, it’s easy to lose heart when I don’t see spiritual fruit coming about in the manner I expect. Parents often struggle with these same questions and emotions regarding their children’s spiritual condition. ... More

  6. Inspiring Youth to Be Fruitful

    Children Desiring God Blog // Inspiring Youth to Be Fruitful

    Parents and Teachers

    Here are some great quotes to read and discuss with the young adults in your life:

    Be careful young people that you don't postpone the burden and blessing of fruitfulness in your life because you use the excuse, "I am only a youth." God said to Jeremiah, "Do not say, 'I am only a youth'; for to all to whom I send you, you shall go." There are some younger than you that you can lead, and there are some older than you that you can serve. But do not say, "I am only a youth," as though the only thing you are good for is watching videos and playing games, as though there in no ministry for you to do.

    ... More

  7. What Are They Reading, Watching and Listening to?

    What Are They Reading, Watching and Listening To? Here is a simple checklist from the Teacher's Guide for the Your Word is Truth youth curriculum with questions based on Philippians 4:8. These questions can serve as a guide in helping you discuss and evaluate books, television, movies, and music with your children and students. ... More

  8. Round-Up: Encouragement for Teachers and Parents of Youth

    Youth Ministry Here is a collection of our favorite articles written in the past few years to encourage youth pastors, mentors and parents. Check out the links below for advice on partnering with parents, developing a vision for your ministry, fighting the fight of faith and planting roots of faith that will last beyond the teen years. Youth Ministry as a Bridge What Will Win Your Youth? Centering Youth on the Word A Genuine Parent and Youth Ministry Partnership ... More

  9. Small Group Leading 101

    Small Group Leading 101 The first few weeks of a new Sunday school year can seem overwhelming, but I found several things that have helped me over the years to be well prepared and have a smooth running Sunday morning.

    At the Beginning of the Year

    I read the curriculum introduction and found very practical suggestions. I checked out the appendices that provided even more help. And I printed out the scope and sequence of the curriculum so that I could see where the curriculum was heading. As I prepared for my role as small group leader it was good to remember that my job was not to re-teach the lesson that the teacher teaches but to:
    1. Guide the children
    ... More

  10. Already Relevant

    ID-100103880 Our young people—especially teenagers—are looking for answers. As they grow and mature, they increasingly have big questions and big concerns. They are searching for answers that make sense for both the world outside their door and their day-to-day lives. As Christian parents and teachers, we need to carefully direct them to the Bible. But there is a right way and wrong way to go about this. Consider these words by Pastor Eric McKiddie in his post “Stop Trying to Make the Bible Relevant to Teenagers”:

    It’s easy to feel pressure to make the Bible seem cool and relevant to teenagers…

    In my years in youth ministry, though, I’ve seen unhelpful and even harmful methods of trying to make Scripture relevant. ... More

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