For the last two and a half decades or so I have been a "youth speaker." God has blessed me with the privilege of speaking at countless camps, retreats, festivals, Christian school chapels and youth group outreaches honing the tricky craft of inspiring, instructing and, hopefully, impacting twitchy teenagers with the message and mission of Jesus.
Dear Youth Leader,
The other night I fast-forwarded through the MTV Video music awards (with heart-breaking, jaw-dropping stops along the way) and I was deeply saddened. Of course much of this sadness erupted from Miley Cyrus’ relentless and unblushing promotion of drugs, immodesty, sex, transgendering, transvestites and transgression.
All this broke my heart. It broke my heart to see Miley, this once wholesome and claim-to-be-Christian Disney star, turn into the ringleader
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It's always a bit intimidating to interact with wicked smart, highly degreed ministry leaders who have a different, slightly different or radically different view of youth ministry than you do. Fernando Arzola Jr., Ron Hunter Jr., Brian Cosby, Chap Clark and yours truly did just that in the #1 New Amazon Release (in the Youth and Christian Ministry Category)... Youth Ministry in the 21st Century: 5 Views.
I'm at SeaTac airport with my family as I type these words. We've all eaten too much, stayed up too long and laughed too hard. We cruised from Seattle to Skagway and stopped several places in between. I've been all over the world but these stops may be some of the most beautiful places on the planet. Suffice it to say that a cruise to Alaska is both awe and "ahh!" inspiring.
As I sit here at our final Lead THE Cause of the summer I can't help but be thankful to God for all that he has done (and is still doing) through this intensive week of training and outreach. After four summers of doing Lead THE Cause (and our first year of partnering with our friends at Sonlife to pull it off) I'm convinced that youth leaders should consider bringing their entire youth group to Lead THE Cause instead of (or maybe in addition to) camp next summer.
"Gospelize" is an old English word for evangelize. It's a cool word with an old flair that engages our postmodern teenagers with the ancient quest of going into all the world to "make disciples" (Matthew 28:19.) If you really want to get your teenagers engaged in telling "the greatest story ever told that's hardly ever told" (to quote my good friend Propaganda) then here are five simple action steps you can take right away in your youth ministry:
What is Evangelism IQ? It is the (super)natural ability of integrating evangelism into your daily pattern of viewing the world and interacting with others. This is the sweet spot in-between relational sensitivity, Gospel fluency and heart-felt urgency.
"For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come." 1 Timothy 4:8
It's been a jaw-droppingly good week but I needed every bit of yesterday (Saturday) to recover. Lead THE Cause is a sun-up-far-passed-sun-down affair with very little time for rest or recovery.