Helping the Student Who Self-Injures

Self-injury (sometimes called "cutting") is the intentional infliction of injury to self without the aid of another person for the purpose of venting anger or self-justification. The intent is typically not suicidal. The self-injurer wants to live, but is simply trying to cope with extreme self-hate or anger. Although cutting the skin is the most … Continue reading Helping the Student Who Self-Injures

Dealing with Sexual Abuse in the Life of a Teenager

The harm caused by sexual abuse is well documented. Victims of sexual abuse deal with a kind of violation that will stay with them for the rest of their lives. And what makes this kind of abuse so complex is that it’s often perpetrated by a family member or an acquaintance. Sexual abuse dramatically impacts … Continue reading Dealing with Sexual Abuse in the Life of a Teenager

Teenagers, Sexual Brokenness & the Gospel

Students are broken over pornography, voyeurism, oral sex, sexting, “hooking-up,” sexploitation, sexual abuse, sexual pressure, sexual addiction, same-sex attraction, date rape, virtual sex, masturbation, etc. How sad it is that so many kids are broken over something that God created to be good, and beautiful and guiltless. The good news is that Christ came to … Continue reading Teenagers, Sexual Brokenness & the Gospel

OMG: A Youth Ministry Handbook, ed. by Kenda Creasy Dean

Those of us who are connected with adolescents on Facebook know exactly what OMG means to them. As Kenda Creasy Dean mentions in the introduction to OMG: A Youth Ministry Handbook, her objective in giving this book that name was not to profane the name of God, but rather to redeem that phrase for those … Continue reading OMG: A Youth Ministry Handbook, ed. by Kenda Creasy Dean

Reinventing Youth Ministry (Again), by Wayne Rice

Every youth worker, senior pastor, youth pastor, or family pastor with an interest in where youth ministry has been over the last half-century and where youth ministry is headed, should read this book. Written by Wayne Rice, Reinventing Youth Ministry (Again): From Bells and Whistles to Flesh and Blood, is Rice's memoir of his almost … Continue reading Reinventing Youth Ministry (Again), by Wayne Rice

Sustainable Youth Ministry, by Mark Devries

Sustainable Youth Ministry: Why Most Youth Ministry Doesn't Last and What You Can Do About It is the in-the-weeds, how-to resource on youth ministry architecture that many youth pastors, youth workers and church youth committees have been hoping would be written for some time.  And clearly the most qualified youth ministry veteran to pen a … Continue reading Sustainable Youth Ministry, by Mark Devries

Relationships Unfiltered, by Andrew Root

Author Andrew Root describes Relationships Unfiltered: Help for Youth Workers, Volunteers, and Parents on Creating Authentic Relationships as a "condensed, concentrated" version of his first book Revisiting Relational Youth Ministry: From a Strategy of Influence to a Theology of Incarnation.  "It's sweeter and more palatable - not in the sense of being better, but in … Continue reading Relationships Unfiltered, by Andrew Root

Youth Ministry Essentials: 6 Steps to Helping Hurting Students

You probably didn’t get into youth ministry to help teens deal with abuse, addiction, parental divorce, abandonment, premarital sex, cutting, suicidal thoughts, anger issues, and other painful life situations. But it doesn’t take long to learn that crises come with the territory. As you build deep relationships with the students and families in your church … Continue reading Youth Ministry Essentials: 6 Steps to Helping Hurting Students

Revisiting Relational Youth Ministry, by Andrew Root

When I started in youth ministry, the primary approach to youth ministry in the local church was an approach borrowed from the successful parachurch ministry Young Life.  Young Life founder Jim Rayburn drew upon the incarnational ministry of Christ as the biblical/theological foundation of what became "relational youth ministry."  I am a product of it. … Continue reading Revisiting Relational Youth Ministry, by Andrew Root

Unlocking the Potential of Volunteers

Adult volunteers are the backbone of any healthy student ministry.  In my work with both church and parachurch student ministries, I have found that there are three keys to unlocking the potential of the volunteers in your ministry.  Volunteers need to see that their role is manageable, one that they feel competent to perform, and … Continue reading Unlocking the Potential of Volunteers