ICYMI – June 20, 2012
If you are like me you try to read as many articles, blogs and books as possible but just cannot catch all of them. “In Case You Missed It” is my way of pointing out a few “reads” that I think are too good to miss.
5 Common Misreads on Teenagers in Youth Group, Adam McLane
One of the things you learn as you go in youth ministry is that teenagers are experts at sending off false signals that can be difficult to pick-up on.
Here are five common ones I see newbies miss all the time.
- “I’m just hanging out” or “I just thought I’d drop by because I was bored.” If you have a student that stays late or is just hanging around or lingers longer than usual or drops by the office for no real reason– it isn’t an accident. There is always a reason. They want to talk and are waiting for you to take the initiative. And sometimes when they do this you’re going to have to build a little repoire before they share what’s really going on.
When Are We Going to Grow Up? The Juvenilization of American Christianity, Thomas E. Bergler
We need to ditch the false belief that cultural forms are neutral. Every enculturation of Christianity highlights some elements of the faith and obscures others. We must be vigilant and creatively compensate for what gets lost in translation when we use the language of youth culture. For example, if we sing songs that highlight the emotional consolations of the faith, what can we do to help young people also embrace the sufferings that come with following Jesus?
I believe one key is to renew our commitment to the church as an intergenerational family, in which each person has a unique role in helping the others toward our shared goal of maturity in Christ (Titus 2:1-15; Eph. 5:21-6:4; Col. 3:18-4:1; 1 John 2:12-14).
10 Warning Signs of an Inwardly Obsessed Church, Thom Rainer
Any healthy church must have some level of inward focus. Those in the church should be discipled. Hurting members need genuine concern and ministry. Healthy fellowship among the members is a good sign for a congregation.
But churches can lose their outward focus and become preoccupied with the perceived needs and desires of the members. The dollars spent and the time expended can quickly become focused on the demands of those inside the congregation. When that takes place, the church has become inwardly obsessed. It is no longer a Great Commission congregation.
In my research of churches and consultation with churches, I have kept a checklist of potential signs that a church might be moving toward inward obsession. No church is perfect; indeed, most churches will demonstrate one or two of these signs for a season. But the real danger takes place when a church begins to manifest three or more of these warning signs for an extended period of months and even years.