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The world is changing. 

Stay up to date on the latest research, resources, and reflections exploring how to cultivate Christian faith in the 21st century. 

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Jul. 26, 2011

Dispelling Cultural Myths by Tim Coltvet

In Disconnected: Parenting Teens in a MySpace World, Chap and Dee Clark take on a popular cultural myth that, sadly, most of us in youth ministry buy hook, line, and sinker: simply, that teenage youth do not want to spend time with their parents. We often run into the smokescreen when recruitment for small groups comes around. We think, “I
Jul. 26, 2011

The Dangers of the EYM: Fad, Fiction, or Future? by Jerry Watts

I was talking to a friend this week who wondered if all the hype about Exemplary Youth Ministry wasn’t just that. He was not discounting all the good stuff we’ve been blogging about but he did wonder if we were just moving on to the next new thing, the latest fad, the buzz in youth ministry these days. He wondered
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Jul. 26, 2011

Life Teams Part IV by Jerry Watts

Moving into a youth ministry marked by mature faith markers is slow work sometimes.  But living in Jesus’ promise in Matthew 28 to be with us always to the end of the age strengthens us for the upward call of discipleship and evangelism that comes with the promise. For me the picture below is one of those God sightings. Sitting
Jul. 26, 2011

Life Teams Part III by Jerry Watts

I thought I was just going to dinner with my wife and kids at the Chili’s by my house one night. As the hostess seated us, we walked past a table, and there sat an adult and a student from our church — one of our Life Teams. There they were, just having dinner, catching up, getting to know each
Jul. 26, 2011

Life Teams by Jerry Watts

For years I have struggled to move beyond the “if we build it they will come” programmatic formula for youth ministry. In my quest for fidelity to the great commission I’ve asked if counting heads in our programs is not bearing fruit (as both my experience and studies like Christian Smith’s Soul Searching tell us)…then what do I aim at
Jul. 26, 2011

Leadership Insights: Leading EYM Style by Nancy Lee Gauche

Recently, I was asked, “If you were to go back and do youth ministry again, how would what you know now change what you would do?” I had quite a few things on my list, (hindsight is amazing!) and here are two of them that are directly related to the Exemplary Youth Ministry study results. So, if I were leading youth
Jul. 26, 2011

Life Teams Part II by Jerry Watts

We started our Life Teams by recruiting current & former confirmation, mission trip, and Sunday School teachers to agree to join the Life Team that already exists (i.e., parents,  godparents, grandparents, confirmation mentors, etc.) in a youth’s life as intentional cheerleader in the faith on behalf of the congregation. We centered our ministry around these informal relationships that would begin
Jul. 18, 2011

First Third Dialogues: Ministering to Children of Divorce

In September 2010, Luther Seminary’s Center for First Third Ministry, hosted a First Third Dialogue on the topic of Children of Divorce. This conference was for those on the front-lines of ministry with children and youth who know the realities of divorce. Participants shared their own powerful experiences of divorce and heard from experts in the field about the impact
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Jul. 11, 2011

Children of Divorce: The Loss of Family as the Loss of Being

The Children of Divorce is Root’s fourth and most recent publication. It is a book with great personal significance to Root and draws on his own experience of becoming a child of divorce in his early twenties. The book argues, in Root’s own words, “that divorce leaves an indelible mark on children, and such a mark that it strikes those
Jul. 11, 2011

Between Two Worlds: The Inner Lives of Children of Divorce

Elizabeth Marquardt invites us into the strange and complicated experience of traveling between two homes, two parents and two families as a result of divorce. Marquardt asserts that couples are responsible for navigating the differences of their worlds and the conflict that comes when the rough edges of those worlds begin to come up against one another. However, when parents