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5 mins

Youth Ministry Malpractice: Acting Like Hired Hands, Not Good Shepherds

Medical malpractice is decided by a jury of peers, and in this series of posts I’ve acted as a jury of…one. I’m biased, of course, in my perspective—because I’ve been immersed in the youth ministry world for 30 years. So I have a “seasoned bias.” My four examples of ministry malpractice (including these previous posts: Why Lectures Are a Waste of Words, Why Fun & Games Aren’t to Blame, and Treating Relevance As If It Outranks Intimacy) aren’t a comprehensive list, but rather glaring examples.…

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3 mins

Youth Ministry Malpractice #3: Treating Relevance As If It Outranks Intimacy

It’s important, of course, to pay attention to the “best practices” of youth ministry. It’s equally important to discover and uproot the ministry habits that masquerade as effective but are more like malpractice. Here’s the third installment of my malpractice starter list—I’ll post the final installment next week… Malpractice #3—Treating Relevance As If It Outranks Intimacy Another buzzword in youth ministry that sounds slam-dunk crucial to our effectiveness is relevance.…

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4 mins

Youth Ministry Malpractice #1: Why Lectures Are a Waste of Words

Nobel laureate Professor Carl Wieman raised hackles recently by branding the college lecture—the world’s most popular (and notorious) teaching strategy—as “educational malpractice.” Wieman won his Noble for physics but has made a name for himself as an educational reformer. He’s the teaching equivalent of Don Quixote, tilting at the windmill of one-way communication as a learning strategy.…

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