Lessons from Samuel and the Sons of Eli

The book of 1 Samuel is a study in contrasts.  In it, Israel's last two judges (Eli, a failure, and Samuel, a success) and first two kings (Saul, a failure, and David, a success) are presented.  I know, and have known, a lot of Samuels; I've never met a Hophni or a Phinehas.  Now, there … Continue reading Lessons from Samuel and the Sons of Eli

Moralistic Therapeutic Deism: A Book Review of Soul Searching, by Christian Smith

Christian Smith is a sociologist of religion and culture, Professor of Sociology at the University of Notre Dame, Director of the Center for Sociology of Religion and Society, and Principal Investigator of the National Study of Youth and Religion.  His unique and extensive landmark study of the religious and spiritual lives of American adolescents was … Continue reading Moralistic Therapeutic Deism: A Book Review of Soul Searching, by Christian Smith

A Generation Who Did Not Know The Lord

"And all that generation also were gathered to their fathers. And there arose another generation after them who did not know the Lord or the work that he had done for Israel."  Judges 2:10 Joshua had led Israel through the conquest of Canaan, and now they possessed the land.  While Joshua's generation lived, the memory of God's … Continue reading A Generation Who Did Not Know The Lord

Young People & Happiness Study by Associated Press/MTV

A couple of years ago, the Associated Press and MTV teamed up to conduct an in-depth, seven-month study into young people and happiness.  The study revealed some interesting results from a youth ministry perspective, to be sure.  The study found that "religion and spirituality are an integral part of happiness for most American young people."  It … Continue reading Young People & Happiness Study by Associated Press/MTV

Book Review: Hurt, by Chap Clark

Chap Clark has been one of the most respected and well-known voices in the world of youth and family ministry for my entire youth ministry career.  So, the youth ministry world took note when this veteran youth worker and teacher took a sabbatical to substitute teach in a high school to gain additional insight into … Continue reading Book Review: Hurt, by Chap Clark

What Your Teen Thinks About…

Over the years I have had many opportunities to chat with teenagers about a lot of topics.  Often those chats reveal thoughts, feelings and attitudes that I wish their parents knew.  So I was excited when the North American Mission Board gave me the opportunity to publish these roundtable interviews because it gave me the opportunity … Continue reading What Your Teen Thinks About…

No Greater Joy (Part Two)

"I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth." (3 John 1:4) In my previous post, I discussed the importance of modeling an authentic biblical faith for our children.  But "lifestyle evangelism" will not take our children very far at all.  We also have to know and teach … Continue reading No Greater Joy (Part Two)

No Greater Joy (Part One)

"I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth."  (3 John 1:4) I have spent over 20 years serving as a volunteer youth worker, youth pastor, and parent.  Whether we think of our own biological, adopted or foster children when we read the words of the apostle John, … Continue reading No Greater Joy (Part One)