All posts tagged student ministry

7 Powerful Practices for Healthy Families

Brokenness is standard fare for families in today’s culture. Many homes are literally broken apart, while many others are broken from within. In fact, brokenness has become the norm. In today’s American family, strife, contention, anger, and resentment are quite common. Weak marriages, frustrated parents, sin ravaged home environments, argumentative teens, neglected children—this is the…

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What Teens Ask About Their Parents

A couple times a year we host an anonymous question and answer time for teenagers. They respond well. You can read about these in past posts: Getting Teens to Air Their Questions and The Top 15 Questions Christian Teens Ask. We did this Q&A time again recently, and I was surprised how many questions were…

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Becoming an Insightful Parent #2

Part two of an article on discerning Your Child’s Needs and Responding Biblically. You can read part one here. We’re discussing “reading” your children—understanding and interpreting their behavior and needs in the light of biblical wisdom. In our last article we said it begins with understanding God’s Word and asking God for wisdom. Then praying…

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Becoming an Insightful Parent

Becoming an Insightful Parent Discerning Your Child’s Needs and Responding Biblically Ephesians 6:4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Do you understand your children? Do you know how to interpret their behavior? Do you understand warning signs and know how…

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Ministry Idea: 3 Questions

Are you looking for a good way to get to know your students or those to whom you minister? Here’s a quick and simple way to get a glimpse into the heart and cause someone to think more deeply. This past week, in our 12th grade Sunday school class and at our Single Life retreat,…

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Strengthening Spiritual Decisions

As promised, here are a few short thoughts about how to respond to your teenager after teen camp, especially in regards to their spiritual decisions. Begin with the long-term perspective—Our view of spiritual decisions is often just too short. Every good decision of life begins with short-term challenges, but also bears long-term results at a…

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Teen Camp 2010 Recap

Today we completed a wonderful week of teen camp. Here’s a short recap. First, we were able to return to Pine Summit Camp in Big Bear, California. Operationally, this was the best week of camp we’ve ever had. The good team at Pine Summit served our group well with great food, tremendous facilities, and a…

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The Road to Adulthood Gets Longer

New Data on the Growing Distance Between Youth and Adulthood The New York Times ran a fascinating article yesterday entitled “The Long Road to Adulthood Is Growing Even Longer” by Patricia Cohen. The article reinforces a growing body of research, much of which I wrote about in Life Quest: Braving Adulthood with Biblical Passion. The…

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Student Ministry Idea-Gift Planners

Note regarding this post: Part of the purpose of this blog is to share helpful news of resources from Striving Together, and part of the purpose is to share ideas and thoughts on student ministry. This post falls under both of these purposes. Bear with me as this is more than a commercial for a…

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New Data on Church Drop-Outs

USAToday featured an article today that stated 72% of 18-29 year olds say they are more “spiritual” than religious. You can read the original article here, and it’s filled with plenty of discouraging data. But I wanted to draw out two positives that jumped off the page at me. These two things greatly encouraged my…

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Why Young People Stay Faithful

Have you ever wondered what contributes to young people staying faithful to the things of God, while others wander away? What contributes to two kids in the same local church, hearing the same preaching, ultimately going dramatically different directions? Ultimately, it’s free will—everybody makes their own decisions. But what influences those decisions? One of our…

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Do Big Events Really Count?

We just completed two huge events in our ministry—Easter weekend and West Coast Baptist Youth Conference. After many months of diligent prayer and preparation by a large team, God gave us a great week of decisions for Christ and personal life-change. Over the course of both events we had at least 200 people trust Christ…

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Re-Igniting Apathetic Teens

Recently, a youth pastor asked about some thoughts on how to respond if the youth group is apathetic. My first thought was, we live in a spiritually apathetic world—apathy toward spiritual things is rampant, even among Christians. It’s nothing new, and as long as we serve in ministry, we will be fighting apathy. It’s what…

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Great Books for Christian Parents

Frequently someone asks what books I would recommend on youth ministry or parenting. They are generally the same books. While there are some good books on youth ministry, the most helpful to youth ministry are those on the family. Whether you are a parent, a youth pastor, or a pastor, I would urge you to…

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10 Things Your Teen Won’t Tell You (Part 3)

This is the third and final part in this series of articles. Click here to read part one or part two. 7. I’m as confused as you are about my problems. The truth—when you, in frustration, ask—“What wrong with you!?” They honestly don’t know the answer. If you feel like you are confused about what’s…

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10 Things Your Teen Won’t Tell You (Part 2)

This is part two of a three part series. Click here to read the first part of this article. 4. My deepest need is a sincere relationship with you. (I need time with parents.) Not only will they not say this—they won’t even admit to it or understand it. This one resides so deep in our…

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Before You Discipline Your Child…

Discipline is a sacred thing. Too often we parents take discipline too lightly or treat it too flippantly. In the big picture, all discipline is about bringing our children into a right relationship with their Heavenly Father, that He might bless their lives. It’s not about controlling behavior, modifying behavior, or minimizing embarrassment. Pure and…

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Problems with Fun-Focused Youth Ministry

Is your youth ministry Bible-focused or fun-focused? It’s easy to focus more on making the youth group fun than on making it biblical. I’m all for having a good time with students in the right context, but we have a much higher calling. How easy it is to fall into the trap of spending more…

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10 Things Teens Won’t Tell You (Part 1)

Have you noticed that teens are tight lipped? For a myriad of reasons—usually intimidation being the biggest—they really find it difficult to talk to adults at times. This is especially true with parents. In every home, there is a spiritual battle against authentic communication. Let’s face it—the devil doesn’t want parents and teens to truly…

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Survey for Reality-Parenting

Several weeks ago I shared a post called “Reality Parenting—Making the Grade.” This post is a follow-up. A primary goal of every parent should be to model a right relationship with the Heavenly Father, and ultimately to see our children embrace that same relationship. Seeing a father or mother live in love with the Lord—happily…

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