Posts Tagged ‘students’

Faith in Student Ministry

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. ~Hebrews 11:1~

In student ministry, we have the difficult blessing of striving to teach adolescents – who are develoing (but haven’t mastered) the ability to think abstractly – to act upon something which they cannot see.

If you figure out how to do this, let me know. Actually, let everyone know because it is pretty obvious that we’re not getting it. There are a million different theories, methods, values, and ideas about how to make that happen.

coolness or closeness

Take this situation. I walk into a place filled with students. Let’s say a basketball game (or we could say sunday morning church). I see a ton of students. Tons. I go and chat with the ones I know. As I’m doing that, I notice some other students. I feel like I should go say, “hey” to them, but I don’t want to be that lame person, so I don’t.

I choose coolness over closeness.

That is a mistake that I regularly make. Soon enough, I think I’ll grow to take myself a little less seriously and start jumping into students’ lives like I know I should/can, but for now I seem to dread being “uncool.”

I don’t know what it is about me or what it is about the nature of my profession but – for some reason – i seem to value people thinking I’m cool..

This is pointless and a hinderance to my ministry. By choosing “cool,” I’m also choosing to remain distant. And being distant from those I’m ministering to/with/among has no place in my life.

Books you should read

I think I’ve made a list similar to this in the past, but I’m going to do it again. Buy these books. Read them. Eat them. Absorb the nutrients, discard the waste….. OK. That’s enough.

-these books are important to me:

  • The Secret Message of Jesus – Some people think McLaren is a heretic, some don’t. Who cares, I think this book rocks. Changed my faith.
  • How People Grow – Cloud and Townsend are golden. They write great stuff that is SO applicable if your ministry is about helping people grow. Every minister and small group leader ought to read this gem.
  • Youth Ministry 3.0 – Marko writes a manifesto for the future of youth ministry. Sign me up.
  • Sex God – Rob Bell sets the framework for sexuality and relationships.
  • The Great Emergence – Phyllis Tickle paints the past in giant brushstrokes and shows us how faith and culture emerge and change.
  • Revisiting Relational Youth Ministry – If you work for Young Life or Youth for Christ, don’t read it. You’ll either quit your job or hate the entire book.
  • Wild at Heart – Some people hate this book. I loved it. Read it 3 times.
  • Tribes – Seth Godin is golden. Everyone knows it. Deal with it.
  • Death by Meeting – This book made me rethink what by beliefs about the “norms” of office life.
  • Cradle to Cradle – Every government in the world should make this book a law. Would solve all the environment problems in one swoop. Heaven will look like the cities described in this book.
  • Contemplative Youth Ministry – Read this book twice. I wish my ministry looked more like this.
  • Your Money or Your Life – A foundational book about understanding money and resources.
  • The Total Money Makeover – Dave Ramsey is an icon i look to for so many reasons.

Youth Ministry Teaching Pool – Open Invitation

This is an open invitation to anyone who is interested in exploring the usefullness of a “teaching pool” for youth mininstry.

Here are some ideas of what I think this’ll look like, but it can morph into whatever works best. If you’re interested, comment below, or drop an email to adamlames (at) gmail (dot) com.

The Teaching Pool will:

  • study scripture in online community
  • share notes, stories, and ideas about possible message implications for students
  • share notes as we prepare throughout the week

**Each individual will have his or her own lesson developed, these won’t be identicle lessons. We will be helping one another develop lessons.

**This first teaching pool will begin in a 4 week trial. After 4 weeks, we’ll re-evaluate our methods and evaluate whether or not the teaching pool is working.

*contact me if you’re interested.