Going Deeper in Youth Ministry

empty churchThere’s a thought among some church leaders that a majority of teens leave the church after they go off to college. Some believe this decline in attendance stems from a desire to go deeper and be real about life and faith, a desire that is not being met in church. Rachel Held Evans recently addressed this topic, expressing that “what millennials really want from the church is not a change in style but a change in substance” (CNN Belief Blog). Over the next few weeks, we’ll take a look at different ways youth leaders can go deeper in their youth ministry.

What happens when the Bible doesn’t say I can’t? Dr. Nijay Gupta, professor of biblical theology and exegesis at NES, will tackle the dynamic of the Christian’s desire for a Bible passage to tell them what to do or not to do with their bodies, like “flee sexual immorality.” He’ll also address a responsible way for applying what it means to be human and to reflect God’s image.

Doug Milne (M.Div. ’10), adjunct professor at RWC and pastor at Grace Church of the Nazarene in North Chili, N.Y. , will take a look at the question: what does spiritual formation look like for adolescents and for those who provide leadership for them? He will provide some ways to cultivate the readiness and engagement that allows formation to flourish.

Larry Petry (M.Div. ’14), youth pastor at Gerry Free Methodist Church in Gerry, N.Y. will unpack the tendency to operate according to a one-size-fits-all image that allows us to be accepted and effective. He will also address ways of looking beyond imposed stereotypes for living a life of faith and developing the courage to pursue authenticity and accept it in others.

youth leader with teensPeter Englert, director of admissions at Northeastern will share valuable lessons he learned from youth pastors in his own life. As we transition from the summer, NES grads and students will take a look at successful strategies for starting off a new school year.

We’ll also keep the conversation going at our Twitter and Facebook sites. Follow along with the hashtag #youthmin.  If you’re looking for more resources, a few we recommend are:

What other resources would you add to this list?

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