How to Stop Stumbling from One Video Series to the Next & Free Giveaway!

Most of us use a hit or miss approach to teaching in our student ministries. We latch on to the best new video series out there and look for the next before this one runs out. What is the result, after three years of our patchwork teaching? What have our high  school students got as a foundation for life, when we are done with them? Is there a better approach? I think there is!

Photo Credit: Cayusa via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: Cayusa via Compfight cc

The Challenge

I was challenged by my prof, Dr. John Wilkinson, to do better than that. He asked us to compile a list of 100 Characteristics Every Fully Discipled Teen should develop in 3 years under our teaching. I was skeptical that it could be done! Like there are 100 attitudes, behaviors, and truths that every student should have when they left my ministry?! Really?!

Well, I took the challenge. Do you have any idea what I came up with? I am dying to share it with you!

SEX – too little or too big of a deal?

 

If you work with students the topic of sex is bound to come up.  Doug Fields has a joke where he says students want to know about sex and end times and if you can have sex during the end times.

The question I often get is, “What’s the big deal about sex?”  Do we make too big of a deal about it or do we not make enough of a deal about sex?

Unfortunately, I think society and even the church only talk about and address the surface of this issue.  Paul however digs deep into the results that sex actually have in 1 Corinthians 6:12-20.

I think when we address sex, as Paul did, we will be making the proper deal of a subject that is sensitive but extremely important.  Let’s look at what Paul said.

3 Attitudes That Will Create a Successful Short-Term Missions Trip

I just recently returned from a short term missions trip

… in New York City with a team of 30.  It had fun, frustrating, and impacting moments throughout it.  However, I think it was a huge success because there were three attitudes we constantly reminded ourselves of.  I think these three attitudes are the differences between a good and a bad trip.

3 Things Parents can do about Teens, Texting and Intimacy

As you have probably noticed, teens are texting instead of calling. They have on average 300 face book friends but few intimate confidants. The result “is a decline in intimate friendships, Patricia Greenfield a UCLA researcher says. Instead, many young people now derive personal support and affirmation from “likes” and feedback to their postings.

“The whole idea behind intimacy is self-disclosure. Now they’re doing self-disclosure to an audience of hundreds.” says Greenfield 

As I talk to parents of teens, they say, “That’s just the way it is. What can we do about it?” What I am learning is that there is a healthy way to help teens communicate better.

Three Things the Olympics Taught on How to be a Better Youth Worker

Photo Credit: kenyee via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: kenyee via Compfight cc

I won’t lie, I love it when the Olympics are on.  All TV watching rules are thrown out of the window in our house and we consume hours upon hours of watching athletes compete for their country.  It is exciting, patriotic and exhilarating to watch.  The two weeks never seem to be long enough.

This year as I was watching the Winter Olympics I realized these athletes could teach us something on being a better youth worker.

NHL Game Changing Secrets

He Shoots! He Scores!

I love these words. I love the sense of accomplishment and victory! But that big win isn’t pure luck. That thrilling moment is the result of hard work, determination and strategic secrets that we can apply to youth work.

Here’s an example. Right now I am coaching a young youth worker. She feels that she is making all the right moves, but can’t “get the puck in the net.” She is working really hard but no matter how hard she works, it seems that nothing is changing.

I have been there too but I stumbled on to some game changing NHL Secrets that I am sharing with her and would like to share with you.

I don’t claim to know a ton about hockey but there are a few surprising applications to youth work. Here are some that I pointed out to my student who is working with a youth ministry that is kind of stuck.

3 Surprising Teen Brain Discoveries Every Parent Needs to Know About

I know. The jokes are just too tempting… Don’t get me started….But seriously, scans that neuro-scientists are doing on teens while they are awake in an MRI, are coming up with very important findings for anyone who works with teens or has one in their home.

In a functional MRI machine teens are given various tests, for memory, observing facial expressions, decision making, or emotional responses to certain images. The results have been fascinating but more importantly, they give us a better picture of what is going on insider their heads.

A while back, PBS Frontlines, produced a documentary, Inside the Teenage Brain (watch here) outlining crucial information about how teens are changing, thinking, and perceiving. Here are three of their discoveries that I find most useful.