Rethinking “Youth” Ministry

What does it mean to “do theology” with youth? or in youth ministry? Andrew Root has been exploring this question for years and he points the way in today’s post by showing how Bonhoeffer was a theological kind youth pastor. Not one who so much taught theological answers but one who introduced youth to thinking [Read More...]

A Critical Need in Every Church’s Ministries

Senior citizens do not have identical fellowship, worship and church expectations that young children have, and teenagers vary dramatically from what 20- or 30somethings expect of a church. As a result (good) churches are constantly listening to the various groups and adjusting ministries to the fellowship. Take youth ministries. Having taught at a college for [Read More...]

Embedded Faith and the Young Adult

If I mention these two things a response will follow: grouping young adults into “generations” that can be generalized as descriptions of an entire swath of people, and (second) claiming young adults have ceased attending churches. The third one comes shortly after the two: What can we do to keep young adults in the church? First [Read More...]

Daily Bible Study

In his study of Christian teenagers, Mike Nappa, The Jesus Survey, probed belief in daily Bible reading and practices of daily Bible reading. It has been said that evangelicals have a problem with bibliolatry, and it can be seen at times (belief that the Bible is God, or something far too close), but there’s another approach [Read More...]

The Holy Spirit in Our Faith

No doctrine strikes some moderns with utter mystification like the Holy Spirit. Some talk about the Holy Spirit as if it were a constant presence while others “believe” in the Spirit but never say a thing … and how do you know if you’ve got the Spirit?  Mike Nappa did a survey of 845 Christian [Read More...]

The Way, but Only One Way?

I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again and now: one of the most pressing issues facing youth ministry and the Christian church, if not the issue, is religious pluralism and universalism. Is there only one way to God, through Jesus, or not? The issue sorts into things like exclusivism (one way), inclusivism (one [Read More...]

Resurrection Faith

Mike Nappa did a survey of 845 Christian teenagers, The Jesus Survey, and asked them if Jesus was raised from the dead, that is, if he came back to life. Once again, Nappa makes statements, provides answers from strongly agree to strongly disagree, and then plots the results. He also seeks to probe the issue [Read More...]

The Deity Question

Mike Nappa did a survey of 845 Christian teenagers, The Jesus Survey, and asked them the deity question — in particular, he asked if they thought Jesus was God. I have some quibbles with his own theological explanation and one of the questions, but the numbers below may surprise some but shouldn’t surprise those who [Read More...]

Teenage Christians and the Bible

Mike Nappa did a survey of 845 Christian teenagers — at least those who think they are Christians and who are involved in a youth group — to find out what they believe. He believes his study reflects Christian teenagers (he says his study has 4.44% margin of error), though I’d slightly modify that to [Read More...]

Saving Civilization

Something happened in the churches of America in the 1930s and 1940s, and that something has changed the church dramatically. It has changed society and our social perceptions. That something is what Thomas Bergler calls the “juvenilization” of the church. In his new book, The Juvenilization of American Christianity, Bergler maps how in the wake [Read More...]


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