Rob Bell on Youth Ministry

My friend and boss at ChurchLeaders shared an article with me recently where Rob Bell shared his thoughts on Youth Ministry. I'm always intrigued by Rob and what he has to say. Thought you might be too - especially if you are in Youth Ministry. It's an older piece, but its a good read.

Read the full article [here]


The Manliest Candle in the World!



5 Glimpses into the Future of Youth Ministry

I've been doing some thinking about the future of Youth Ministry.
The landscape is changing so quickly its unbelievable. Teens need more care and attention, while Youth Pastors as we know it are being fired, laid off, or getting pay cuts. It's absolutely c-r-a-z-y.
I've written down 5 things (5 glimpses, if you will) that I think the landscape of Youth Ministry will look like in the near future:
1) Volunteers will rise - With the economy tanking like it has (and apparently will continue to), I think churches are being "forced" to solicit volunteers and let "paid" youth workers go. A new plan has (and will continue to) emerged to train passionate volunteers to reach today's students... and as painful as it is to say that (from a paid youth worker's mouth, I mean)... this is a VERY good thing.
2) Silos will be abandoned - I don't know when it happened but these segregated congregations (or "silos") became the cool thing to do in the late 90's. Some people think they are still cool... but times are changing. The research is proving that integration of students into the church body is healthy. I think we'll begin to see more silos abandoned as the years go by. In fact, I've been talking with new church planters all across the country and they are not only stating that they want a volunteer-based youth ministry but they want students leading (up-front!) and integrated in their congregations.
3) The Church will accept her calling to reach teens - For the last couple years I've been mulling over how I've done youth ministry all wrong for years. I use to think that it was "my" calling to run the youth ministry (that is what I was paid for, right?) but I've since realized "my" calling is to help equip the church in "her" calling to reach today's teenagers. The two are very different. I think the church will embrace this calling as we move into the future.
4) Authentic Faith will emerge - One of the things that made 2010 such an incredible year for me was the fact that I got to walk through the valley with my students at my side. They saw a very real, practical faith (I hope!) lived out. I tried to be very candid with them each step of the way, often sharing my doubts, fears, anger, hurt, and joys. Teenagers want this. Teenagers need this. They want an authentic, raw faith lived out before them so that they can follow. The epiphany for me came when I realized that it wasn't "my" intent to deliver this authentic, raw faith to my students - it was God's plan being carried out.
5) Social justice will be commonplace - We've seen the rise of social justice in ministry today, but no one is more passionate about bringing equality to the people and making sure felt needs are met like teens. I don't intend to take away any meaning when I use the term "commonplace," but I think in the future of youth ministry there will be radical teenagers living out their faith as Jesus did, meeting the needs of society and showing the love of Christ in such practical ways that it will appear to be commonplace.
I wanted to share my thoughts with you, my readers. I have no real research (or crystal ball) to back most of these up. Observations, conversations, careful thought, and prayer were my only guide. Feel free to chime in with your thoughts on subject.
If these prove true, we have A LOT to be hopeful about.
Also, I'm not the only one thinking about this topic. I'm loving my friend Marko's series on this very subject. He surveyed about 15 of his youth ministry friends (including yours truly) about the future of Youth Ministry and now he's sharing the responses on his blog.
Like this post?
You might like this one too: Who Are the Leading Youth Ministry Voices Today?

Labels: , , , ,

Make sure you [register] and join me in Chicago for one of my highlights of the year -- the Simply Youth Ministry Conference!

I caught myself nodding my head "YES" to everything that was said in this video. This conference is unlike any other I've been to.

I'm still putting my marbles together for flight & hotel to make this happen for me because I don't want to miss out. Trust me... its just that good!

RSS Subscribers: there is video [here]

Labels: ,

Coolest Thing I've Seen on Twitter This Week

Speaking of twitter, this is a clever little online app I ran across that allows you to create a "twitter parade" of all your followers. Go [here]

Labels: , ,

Look What You've Missed!

If you don't follow me on twitter you've missed a few things in recent days. Here's some highlights for you:
Go. Follow. Tweet me. I'll follow you back.

Labels: ,

5 Books I'm Reading

I received a number of books over the holidays that I can't wait to read. Here I'm going to list 5 books that I'm about about dive into:
Radical - I've heard so much buzz about this book it ain't even funny. Even today I heard someone say "people can't get enough of David Platt's new book." I anticipate being rocked by the message of this writing.
The 4-Hour Workweek - I've heard this book suggested by more business execs than church leaders, but I'm so intrigued to work smarter that I want to learn from this book.
Hurt Healer - My good friend Tony Nolan recently released this brand new book. He sent me a copy and I can't wait to read it! Tony has a big heart for hurting people and has certainly been there for me when I needed him.
The Hole in the Gospel - My sister turned me on to this book last year. The church she attends believed in the message of the book so much that they bought copies for all their congregants.
The Tipping Point - Malcolm Gladwell. Nuff said.
What are you reading? Leaders are readers...


Pre-Blessed Food! [Video]

I've often joked with my friends that "our food is already blessed" when we sit down for a meal together. Then I came across this video and nearly peed my pants.

RSS Subscribers: there is video [here]
(ht Tim Liu)

Labels: , ,

My Favorite Interviewee of 2010

I enjoy interviewing other leaders. I learn so much from them each time I spend a little time asking them question after question.
In reflecting on the people that I interviewed last year, it was easy for me to choose the one person I enjoyed chatting with most: Leslie Nease.
Leslie is most well known for her stint on the long running reality show, Survivor. She was a contestant on Survivor: China. And boy, was she memorable. In the premiere episode of that season the contestants were asked to march right up to a Buddhist temple for a "ceremony." Jeff Probst, the show's host, told the contestants that they would be participating in a ceremony and then tried to reassure contestants (especially those with different beliefs) that it was not "a worship service." The contestants walked into the temple and were asked to bow before Buddha.
What happened next was remarkable. Leslie walked out of the ceremony [video here]. She was later confronted on camera by Probst as to why she walked out and she stated "I'm sorry, it felt like worship to me... and the only person I will put my face to the floor for is Jesus Christ." WOW!
This past summer I felt led to speak from the book of Daniel, particularly on how you can maintain your faith in a culture filled with sin. When prepping for the message I felt God bringing to my mind this episode of Survivor... and Leslie's example. Within a few hours I was talking with Leslie about her experience and would later include her story in my talk.
I was amazed at Leslie's story as she shared with me. One of the things she shared was how much she wanted to be on the show. In fact, she tried out 11 times! Upon finally getting the attention of producers and being accepted as a contestant, she (along with the other castaways) were informed that they were not to jeopardize CBS' presence in the country. It was difficult for the show to get the opportunity to tape in China and if anyone jeopardized that relationship they would immediately be sent home! So when Leslie walked out of the Buddhist ceremony it was a HUGE deal for her. She just knew she would be sent packing. However, the producers continued to roll tape and include it in the show.
Since being voted off the show, Nease has established a ministry where she travels around the country to share her faith with others. She is one of the most inspiring people I have met in a while and was a huge encouragement to me this past year through my own Daniel experience.
This is why I have named her my favorite interviewee of 2010.
I highly encourage you to use Leslie's story when you are speaking about faith or courage to your audience -- or even book her to speak to your audience for you!
Thank you, Leslie, for your incredible example of faith.
Editors Note: By the way, Leslie & I found out during our chat together that our worlds weren't too far apart after all. We both worked for sister radio stations a few years ago (small world!).

Labels: , , , , ,

The 3 Best Gifts Senior Pastors Can Give Their Youth Pastors

I saw this post on my friend Josh Griffin's blog wanted to share. I totally "ditto" these three.
I was asked by a friend recently what three gifts any youth pastor would want from their senior pastor. First of all, I thought "Huh? I just had Christmas and a birthday and I didn't get ANYTHING from Pastor Rick." Then I remembered that I didn't get him anything either, or have any idea when his birthday was in the first place. Yikes."

After that little rabbit trail, I thought about how good of a question it was, and that I should blog about my responses and ask you to weigh in as well. If my senior pastor could give me 3 things (and it wasn't something like an iPad, because I'd gladly like that, too) I would want these:

More than anything else, I want to be given the leadership of the ministry. I want to be trusted with the vision and the decisions of the ministry. I want a senior pastor who believes in me and trusts me to follow God's Spirit and his\her leadership in accomplishing that vision.

Loyalty equals longevity. If you want me to stay in the trenches for the long run, stick with me. I'll probably need your defense (hey, I'm a youth worker) and covet your partnership and friendship in the heat of the spiritual battle. A quick way to run a youth pastor out of town is to be disloyal.

I hesitate to put this one on the list - but it is a HUGE gift to be well-taken care of as a pastor\family and a HUGE gift to have money for scholarships and programming. I put it last for a reason, but also included it for a reason, too. Take care of your people and they will take care of your people.

Labels: , , ,

 Subscribe to RSS
Add to Technorati Favorites


My Next Stops...

       Subscribe to my RSS Feed

      Powered by Blogger

      © 2009 [] |