Ministry Newsletter A Youth Minister‘s Confession...
Inside this issue: Confession continued
Media Use by Teens Links
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Song of the Month
Book of the Month
Online Resources Upcoming Events
Upcoming Message Series 4
Fun Facebook Facts: Facebook has over 350 million active users. It would be the 5th most populated country in the world! More than 2.5 BILLION pictures are uploaded each month A recent survey of the Top 500 colleges found that 10% of admissions personnel admitted to looking at social media such as Facebook to evaluate applicants. 38% of those evaluated what they saw on Facebook as negative toward the applicant.
―Bye-bye church. We’re busy.‖ That’s how a recent USA Today article on teen involvement in church and youth group begins by describing the general attitude of teenagers today. Faced with increasingly busy schedules—packed full of sports, music, drama, and college-prep classes—many teenagers are finding little time (or need) for the church. While youth group and youth retreat attendance skyrocketed in the late 1990s, many youth pastors are now finding that students are ―not even coming for the pizza anymore.‖ Maybe the pizza was part of the problem to begin with.
feel threatened. Could our gross-out food games and acoustic guitars compete with special effects, wild parties . . . and YouTube? Deep down, we knew they couldn’t, but we tried hard. We wooed them with louder music. We promised wild fun. We built youth ―warehouses‖ filled with pool tables and Wii’s. And perhaps we gave them the exact opposite of what they really needed. I’ve been a high school pastor for about eight months now; I certainly have much to learn! In just those eight months, though, I have formed a few convictions from which, by God’s grace, I will not soon depart:
Somewhere along the line—as entertainment, social networking, and media technology took off in our culture—we youth pastors began to
Where did Youth Ministry go wrong?
Some youth pastors can keep up much better than I can. Still, even the savviest, coolest, most-in-touch youth pastor around will find himself unable to entertain students in a way that will keep them coming to his youth group. The competition is simply too stiff.
I cannot compete with my students’ culture in the area of entertainment.
I can offer high school students the real gospel of Jesus Christ— and they can handle it. (continued on next page)
October 30th is YOUTH SUNDAY Yep. It’s here again! As you may or may not already know, every month with five Sundays is a Youth Sunday! Every student in ONEWAY Student Ministry is invited to participate in way or another. There are spots in Praise Team (vocalists and band members), Praise Sing-
ers (the choir of vocalists just behind the front stage vocalists), Communion Servers, Sound, Lighting, and Presentation Techs, Greeters, and more. If your student has a hidden talent, or you think they just might simply need an invite to participate, just let me
k n o w email@example.com.
This is a great way for the church as a whole to see the students serving and active! We have a GREAT group of s t u d e n t s . . . P R AI SE T H E LORD!!! And that STARTS with GREAT PARENTS!!! Way to go Parents!
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Cont‘. Confession The gospel—the objective reality that ―Christ died for our sins in
accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures,‖ which
is received by faith alone—is what high school students really crave. The amazing (and constantly humbling) thing about continually offering the gospel to students is the response it brings. The response is not: ―Wow, Jon, you’re cool,‖ or ―That music was off the hook!‖ It’s actually a much more biblical response: repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. Students crave the real, true, life-changing, not-watered-down gospel of Jesus Christ. Woe to us if we give them anything less.
Growth happens not by e n t e r t a in i n g , b u t b y equipping. We in youth ministry have been chasing down the wrong ―e‖ word. For a time, especially during the peak years in the 1990s, we were able to draw huge numbers of students by entertaining them. According to Barna, it’s just not working anymore . . . and maybe that’s a good thing. It is time that youth pastors return to a surprisingly ancient concept. God gave pastors and teachers to the church to ―equip the saints for the work of the ministry‖ (Eph. 5). Chris Palmer, a youth pastor quoted in the USA Today article, was on to something when he described his new approach to youth ministry: beginning to teach that following Jesus is ―hard 2
work,‖ as well as ―radical and exciting.‖ If high school students crave the true gospel of Jesus Christ, they desire to see lives (including their own) that are radically and genuinely affected by a relationship with Jesus Christ. They spot hypocrisy better than most of us adults. Youth pastors need to embrace a ministry of gospel proclamation and gospel equipping. We preach the gospel, we make disciples, and then we train those disciples to do the same. We get the students to the point where they say of our gospel work: ―Hey, I can do that!‖ That is more exciting than Wii. The growth that comes through this is called ―gospel growth.‖ And that’s better than kids coming just for the pizza.
Jon Nielson is the senior high pastor at College Church in Wheaton, Illinois. He blogs at Something More
Teens are ―Connected‖ More than Ever...So Why do So Many of Them Feel Lonely or That it is So Hard to Make Friends?
Media Use by Teens Today These titles are hyperlinked to the online articles. Just hover over the link and click the “Ctrl” key while clicking on the link with your mouse. It will take you directly to the online content!
Why Doctors Are Concerned About Teen's Social Media Use by Brad Griffin
The Truth Behind the Numbers How Much Time Are Young People Really Soaking-in Media? by Jonathan McKee and David R. Smith.
Just a pretty cool website about Media & Pop Culture’s influence on World View.
5 Ways Technology Influences Families by Lauren Hunter
Students consume 7.5 hours of music and media daily. 7.5 EVERY DAY is more time than your students spend in class It's definitely more time than they spend at church. Consider the impact of 7.5 EVERY DAY
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Love God. Love People. Change the World.
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Song of the Month: Blessed Be Your Name You know...sitting here in my office getting ready to celebrate the life of one of the saints here at East Win, this song is an appropriate one for this month.
loses all of his livestock, all but four of his servants, and all of his children...and still...in the midst of all of this loss, Job says this in Job 1:2022:
You see, within the last week, a student and her family rejoiced as God performed a miracle in her body. Yet two other students mourn the loss of a grandfather. They celebrate the fact they will see their grandfathers again in Heaven, but will miss them in the here and now on this Earth.
We all know the story of Job. He
At this Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship 21 and said: ―Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away. May the name of the Lord be praised.‖
In all of this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.‖ Could you say the same thing? I honestly don’t know how I would react. To lose ALL of that...could I still fall to my knees in worship. Could your students do this? Ask them how they would respond to such loss. And then remind them that hope is found in Christ and in Christ alone. With Him, we can lose loved ones in the here and now, but see them again in Heaven one day.
―You give and take away. My heart will choose to say, Lord, Blessed Be Your Name!‖
Book of the Month Jonathan McKee’s book, Candid Confessions of an Imperfect Parent: Building
Relationships, Buying Breakfasts, and Other Secrets for Connecting with Your Teenager is a tremendous practical resource for parents. His insight through his own parenting experience, input from other parents, and his wealth of knowledge in Youth Ministry makes this a fantastic read, regardless of where you are in your parenting journey. He uses humor and Scripture to guide you through topics such as: parental influence, discernment, discipline and follow-through, and last-minute efforts. Jonathan is the creator of The Source for Youth Ministry and The Source for Parents two resources that I use often in ONEWAY Student Ministry! I have a copy of this book in my office if you’d like to read it...or you can get a copy from The Source for Parents site or Amazon.com or your favorite place to shop for books!
‗Tools of the Trade‘—Online Parent Resources Simply hover over the Gold-colored link and follow the instructions that come up and it will take you to the Online Parent Resource. HomeWord Center for Youth and Family This site has a regular Culture Blog that is a great resource. You will have to create a free account to access it.
Center for Youth/Parent Understanding
The Source for Parents
CPYU offers a FREE! weekly e-mail resource that provides subscribers with the latest youth culture news, research, trends and more.
Great online resource for articles, blogs and other advice from parents to parents.
SPLINK A FREE weekly email with ideas to help you connect your family! Distributed by D6family.com
Now THAT‘S my kind of toolkit!
Love God. Love People. Change the World.
Save the Dates: October 7th CONCERT: Lecrae featuring Trip Lee and C-Lite at Minglewood Hall—Cost is $20 October 28th—All Church trip to ―Our Family Farm‖ for Hayride and Cornmaze. Cost is $10 October 30th—YOUTH SUNDAY November 4th-5th—ONEWAY Campout at Shannon McGee‘s Co-op Hunt Club in Near Sardis, MS & $50 Deposit Due for Dare2Share Conference (March) November 20th—Rock & Worship Roadshow featuring MercyMe, Jars of Clay, Hawk Nelson, Disciple, Group 1 Crew, Matt Maher, and Trip Lee. It’s at the FedEx Forum. Cost is $10 cash at the door! January 6th—Back to School Lock-in (7pm to 7am) & $75 Deposit due for Summer in the Son March 16th-18th—Dare2Share Conference in St. Louis. Cost is $150 (includes conference, hotel, & food) June 17th-22nd—Summer in the Son (going INTO 9th—Just Graduated H.S.) at Kentucky Christian University Cost is $290 (includes Conference registration, t-shirt, housing, and food) July 8th-12th—Summer in the Son (going INTO 6th—8th Grades) at Kentucky Christian University Cost is $290 (includes Conference registration, t-shirt, housing, and food)
Upcoming ONEWAY Message Series...hang on to your hats!!! Here’s the tentative series arc for a new series called
How to Raise Your Parents. If there is one topic that I hear Have you ever wished you could come up REPEATEDLY in just help your students conversations understand you better? with many of you, it is ―can I want to help... you speak to the students on…‖. And the topic is generally on respect, contentment, or another topic relating to some kind of understanding of the role or the parent/student relationship. This is still a work in progress in addressing this felt need, but I like the direction so far: Week 1 – Trust Busters & Builders Communication is absolutely critical in a healthy relationship between you and your students. Communication builds trust, but
trust can be lost in a moment. It takes years to build, and moments to lose – think about if you stayed out past curfew when you were their age if you need a reminder of that fact. Respect, honor and obedience will be the themes of this message – doing so will build trust – which is the gateway to a healthy relationship that pleases God. Week 2 – Great Expectations Living in a world of peer pressure is bad enough – what do students do when they feel you as parents have great expectations too. Sports, academics, admission to college – they all add up to a life filled with responsibilities and potential strain and pain. Communication is again going to be taught and stressed in this message. Weeks 3-5—To Be Determined Any and all suggestions would be greatly
appreciated! Week 5 or 6 – Parent Panel This weekend we’re doing something pretty unique – there won’t be a typical message like a normal Wednesday. We’re going to have a parent panel where students can text in their questions to be answered live on stage with a moderator keeping things moving.
I really feel like this series will be a HUGE blessing to both students and parents alike! Students will learn how to effectively communicate their needs to you. At the same time, they will begin to understand their role in the family and that the way they honor, respect, and obey you and other figures in authority directly reflects on how they view God and desire to honor, respect, and obey Him. Keep an eye out for details coming soon!!!
Love God. Love People. Change the World.