Blog

The Sakkos, Art, and Youth Ministry

Nearly a thousand years ago, liturgical art made dynastic dreams real. In reality, an empire faced dissolution... [A]s youth ministers negotiate sharing the gifts of God—love, forgiveness, exponential family, and more—within what appears to be the deterioration of U.S. politics and church life as we formerly knew it, how will it become possible to set conditions for young people to demonstrate liturgical beauty as a cultural strength no matter what is going on?

Let Them Question

Perhaps our best approach when educating our youth is to advocate that skepticism is not our religion’s greatest enemy, but rather shockingly perhaps, one of its greatest friends, capable of enriching each of us on our paths toward self-discovery and spiritual renewal.

Modeling Good Ministry

What I find shocking is not only the fact that most of my colleagues are working seven days a week—but that they are proud of it. They view it as a sign of their commitment to their call, devotion to their community, and proof of their value to the church.

The Days After Easter: What the Times Declare about Leadership, Youth, and the Church

Thus, in these “days after Easter,” may our leadership steps be like those of Jesus and the two travelers. Marked by our willingness to accompany young people, space to express their confusion, in-depth exposure to scripture, and a tangible example of a life lived in faith. Young people are hungry to see Jesus is risen, not only in our words, but in our actions.

Satisfying a Jealous God

The only Being who can bear the weight of our praise without breaking and letting us down is this jealous, possessive God. This One who forbids us from worshipping any other—not out of spite or pettiness, but out of a deep knowledge of who we are.

Making the “Accidental” of Worship Intentional with Teenagers

When we encourage young people to make their “accidentally showing up to worship” intentional, their actions on the Lord’s Day – praising, confessing, lamenting, giving thanks, and dedicating themselves to a lifetime of following Christ in the world – have a significantly increased chance of becoming purposeful and intentional in the ways and places that matter most: in hallway at school, around the family table, on the sports field, or lying in their bed late at night.

Show Up Before the Showdown: Locating the Genuine as a Compass for the Right Cause

Rather than aspiring to the impossible ideal of changing the entire world, the sound of the genuine is a guiding voice towards the incremental changes that align with our gifts and calling… The sound of the genuine within me assures me that my passion for justice need not bind me to every cause.

Healing the Disabled

Just as the man stands up and walks, so the crowd sees that they, too, will be fully healed of all their brokenness. Just as the man goes home to be re-integrated into a society that has wrongfully shunned him, so the crowd sees that the world, too, will become a place of belongingness for everyone. And just as the one who is paralyzed “gets up” to the glory of God, so the crowd sees the One who will rise up, revealing to all the full glory of God, prefiguring the Kingdom of new life for the cosmos.

A Royal Priesthood

When we say we have a priesthood of all believers, it doesn’t mean that at some point we are good enough to become a member and are worthy. It means we belong as we are, blemishes and all.

Trusting Silence

May you trust silence with yourself, your kids, or your ministry this Lenten season. Acting against the frantic movement of a culture addicted to noise.

Intergenerational Ministry: Participating as Partners

If youth are the church of today, does that mean senior adults are the church of yesterday? That is certainly not the case. We, all of us, are part of the body of Christ. Each of us has a part to play and each of us needs the others.

For Such a Time as This

We, as followers of the Christian tradition are called to a path of righteousness. Righteousness as defined by biblical tradition refers to right, just, and balanced relationships. In a moment when so much of life demands immediate and reactionary responses, there is a distinct call for the faithful, the inspired, the artists, the visionaries, and the prophets to transcend the tenor of the current moment and provide the bass line for a new melody.