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2 mins

Are Mission Trips the Key to Launching Your Youth Ministry?

Discipleship is the endgame for youth ministry. So how do we help teenagers break free from the gravitational pull of a conventional life? How do we “achieve orbit” in a life defined by a passion for Jesus? Well, I know from three decades of youth ministry experience, and from in-depth research projects, that nothing in our ministry toolbox has more “rocket power” than a mission trip.…

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4 mins

More, Not Less

Yesterday hundreds of thousands of teenagers decided to take a stand by participating in the National School Walkout, a coordinated protest conceived and implemented by student activists from Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. These young leaders, all of them survivors of one of the worst school shootings in American history, have been articulate, determined, and shrewd as they try to leverage an adult-controlled political apparatus into doing something to stop the carnage.…

Beauty Out of Ugly
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5 mins

Beauty Out of Ugly

The heart is the symbol for Valentine’s Day, which makes what happened Wednesday, in a southern Florida high school, all the more shattering—our hearts are broken and broken again by what feels like an endless parade of violence. I was with youth workers and survivors of the Columbine massacre hours after this cycle of copycat destruction was kicked off in our culture, and four years ago I was trying to help my own daughter recover from the trauma she experienced in her own school shooting.…

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2 mins

The Rocket Launcher In Youth Ministry

If discipleship is the endgame for youth ministry, how do we help teenagers break free from the gravitational pull of a conventional life and “achieve orbit” in a life defined by a passion for Jesus? Well, I know from three decades of youth ministry experience, and from in-depth research projects I created to explore what really matters in teenagers’ spiritual growth, that nothing in our ministry toolbox has more “rocket power” than a mission trip.…

Reverse Mentoring
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2 mins

Mentoring in Reverse

Recently my teenage daughter Lucy and three of her friends completed a six-minute documentary exploring the worldwide human-trafficking problem, then submitted it for a school assignment. They designed a full-color trifold brochure as a companion piece and created a stress ball with the word “Enough” printed on it as a “sellable item.” They created the documentary—which included narration, animations, and an embedded “infomercial”—on a Mac laptop.…

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