Archive - Urban Youth Ministry RSS Feed

Faith Ownership In Students: Part 3 – Helping Unchurched Students

As we sat in small group, James was asking amazing questions about how to truly follow the Lord.  I could tell this discussion on, “Belonging to Christ,” had caught his attention.  Here’s an interesting fact, he is an “unchurched” student with NOT ONE family member or friend  outside of our group who knows Christ much less knows the Lord.   This week he and I had a conversation on exactly what the Bible is,  who wrote it,  why there is an Old and New Testament,  and why the Word of God is important.    This was vital before we could get into the “meat” of anything else.  He has no foundational point of view, no base knowledge of concepts.

Teenager Youth Ministry

I hear more and more conversations about “raising the bar,” for our students.  An abundance of articles and talks seem to be surfacing that talk about teaching them to be leaders of the faith.  Part of this is to become what we call, a “self-feeder.”  They must grow in wisdom, stature,  and favor with God and man.   A main step in this process is that they learn the “Word” is living and active and where we can go when we have no clue what God is saying. Continue Reading…

5 Steps To Move Teenagers From Apathy To Service

Coming around the corner at the grocery store an audible groan escaped my lips.  Seriously, there were three lanes open in a store that called for 15?   As you can imagine each line swayed and wrapped back far.  Looking at the frozen food in my cart I hoped we would make it home intact.

About 10 minutes into the wait a woman from another line started huffing and puffing throughout each line complaining loudly at how awful the service was.  Just then another register opened,  but I couldn’t get there fast enough.  Finally another 5 minutes and the manager pointed to me, and said,  “C’mon over!”  Noticing a gentleman with fewer groceries trying to make his way over, I could see his obvious frustration that my bulging cart would jump to the forefront.   Thinking I was being “Christian,” I invited him to go first; as I knew he had been waiting awhile as well.   “Would you mind if we let this woman be in front?”  he inquired,  “She has been waiting a long time too.”  “Of course I responded.”  My thought was,  “What a nice guy, he gets offered the first slot and gives it away.”  I believed he would then take his place right behind me.  Instead he made space for the woman and then himself. I admit, I was annoyed.  My offer was for one not two people with full carts to skip me.   Looking at my face the guy let out a half- hearted,  “Is this all right?”   Mumbling under my breath I sputtered,  “Well I would have stayed in my own line if it was going to be like this.” Continue Reading…

Dealing with Tough Stuff

At first glance the article seemed amazing…   I opened it expectantly as it addressed a topic so close to my heart: Girls understanding their identity in Christ.   It began well with the realization that just “telling”  a  teen girl  that they are “pretty” enough will not solve the problem.  Yet, as I read on my frustrations rose.

If I share the piece you will most likely wonder what I am getting so uptight about.  It made great points about how the issue is that young women today need to see themselves through the eyes of Christ.  The “dilemma” is that we are looking at ourselves at all.  All eyes should be on Jesus and Jesus alone.  Again these are great points.

Here is what frustrated me.  It was one more piece about  “what” should happen.   In the end there was not answer to “how,” to help this generation with this quandary. I am tired of reading articles on “what” is wrong with no answer on how to help.   We have come to believe that if we merely talk about the problem then that brings about a solution.

We have come to believe there are certain problems that “just won’t” go away.  That means we should just talk about it. So we hold a sermon series, small group discussions or have a passing conversation on these “hard hitting topics,”  (like self-image.) Then we move on to the next one.  All the while our kids remain in a place of hurting or apathy.   We want to see them change, but we don’t know how to “make” it happen.  That is why we write posts about the problems and solutions with no answers.  In my opinion we need to stop this cycle and start addressing what we “can” do more than what we “can’t.”  Stop writing out hopeful words and start explaining what we can do.

So how do we deal with these tough topics? Continue Reading…

Introducing Two New Contributors!

Today I am excited to announce two new contributors to this youth ministry blog! Here’s some info about them:

John and Leneita Fix have been in some form of youth ministry for almost 20 years. In the early years John volunteered and spent his days as a High School science teacher,  while Leneita was the one considered “full time.”  That all changed about 16 years ago when they both came on staff with an urban youth ministry.  They have always approached ministry with a shared vision to see the next generation grow from survival to thriving in Christ.  With the changing landscape of “urban” ministry their heart is for unchurched families.  Together they bring a unique perspective of ministering in  a variety of  settings   from running ministries,  to programming,  teaching,  speaking and simply enjoying their marriage while raising 4  children.  All the while they do this by living in the inner city learning to be a neighbor to those who are there with them.