Blog

Beyond an "Either/Or" Christianity

The dialectic "either/or" Christianity hinders the opportunity to question faith in a way that promotes a deeper understanding of God. Allowing faith and science to coexist allows young people to have ample time to ask challenging questions and learn more about God.

Hide and Seek with Jesus: On Youth Ministry and Finding God

One of the most interesting things I’ve noticed is that the conflict isn’t really between all of science and all understanding of God. It generally comes down to a tussle between Scripture and anywhere science appears to conflict with that, especially if it has to do with our humanity, mortality, and eternity... My fear, however, is that if we don’t find ways to involve science in youth ministry, we won’t have anybody bothering to ask us questions at all. The wrestling of science is the point, in a sense, and that translates to theology as well.

I Wonder as I Wander

If the Christian journey of faith seeking understanding is one that begins and ends in wonder, then the Church must be a safe place to ask big questions about God and about God’s expansive universe. For some, the journey that begins with faith seeking understanding includes periods of understanding seeking faith. Faith born of wandering in the wilderness is no less full of wonder, but it’s a sense of wonder and gratitude that rises out of the ashes.

Redeeming Science and Theology Toward Racial Reconciliation

The quest toward the redemption of science and theology (for the purpose of racial reconciliation) begins by establishing points of common ground. Finding common ground between science and theology is important in determining points of commonality that people share with each other—whether biologically, genetically, and in accordance with God's relation to creation... Perhaps science and theology can help redeem each other. The result of this redemptive activity in the context of racial hostility can be forgiveness, repentance, justice work, and love for neighbors with different skin color.

Stump the Pastor: Science for Youth Ministry

How do we help adolescents as they wrestle with new insights, especially concerning science? The Church can be a place to hold space for mystery while embodying Jesus' own teaching style.

To Whom Does My Body Belong?

When embracing embodied theology and embodied pedagogy with teens girls, a key question to ask is, “to whom does your body belong?” After this, ask the follow-up, "What messages do you get about who your body belongs to?" Girls receive very different answers from both the Church and wider culture about who their body belongs to.
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The Eeyore Complex: Miscalculations in Intergenerational Ministry

It is one thing to underestimate ourselves. It is another thing altogether to underestimate ourselves for someone else. Yet, that is precisely what is happening with many of our senior adults. Over and over again senior adults indicated that they did not pursue relationships with youth because of what they believed the youth thought of them. None of their assumptions of how the youth perceived them were flattering, but none of them actually came from the mouths of teenagers either.

Christmas Eve Survival Tips

Stressed about Christmas Eve? Worried about all the details of your service and your celebration? Here are five tips for your survival.

Tripped Up: Mzungu, Youth Ministry, and Short Term Missions

When we are doing it well, friendship will require our very best effort; our time, energy, trust, affection, commitment, attention, honesty, and loyalty… terms that should characterize all of our STM efforts. Yet too often, most have been content to call themselves “donor,” or “giver,” or even “missionary,” terms that by their very definition still make them an outsider, just another layer to Mzungu.

Finding Affinity: Lauryn Hill, Hip Hop, and Bridging Divides in Youth Ministry

How can youth ministry begin rethinking theological formation in ways that takes more seriously the listening practices young people engage through hip-hop and other forms of music? Exploring the formative potential of these resources means first suspending our judgments about how we expect God to show up in the world.

Prayers of the People: All Shall Be Well

Regardless of our political views or the demographics we use to divide the people in our country, it is evident that in this current season many people are feeling anxious, scared, forgotten, and left out. May we, as followers of Jesus, lead the way in creating a world where all shall be well.

Look Ahead to Where You Want to Go

There are countless good ideas out there, infinite causes worth supporting, endless options for how to spend energy, time, and money. But many of these ideas are side streets on the road. They are distractions from the real direction you are headed.