An Integrated Spiritual Life

Youth today are busy, engaged in academics, sports, clubs, scouts, drama, band, etc and have busy social and family lives. And often their priority of attending Sunday morning worship and mid-week youth groups falls somewhere between having their wisdom teeth pulled and watching the next episode of Games of Thrones. For many youth the summer [Read More…]

Suicide and Mental Illness: Subvert the Shame

I just recently spoke to a group of our high school and middle school parents about teen suicide. This is an important topic that affects many people, and it’s a topic that is not often discussed. The age range we are addressing is roughly between the ages of 10-24—essentially the years of adolescent development, although [Read More…]

What I Learned Working at a Fast Food Restaurant

We’ve all visited fast food restaurants. When you pull into the window a person will take your order through an intercom and within minutes your food is ready. Many of us might know young people who work at fast food restaurants, or we may have worked at a fast food restaurant ourselves. One day I decided to work [Read More…]

Let’s Repent

When I was growing up, I remember being taught about repentance. In fact, as I recall, repentance seemed to find its way into just about every youth group lesson my youth pastor gave. Repentance was what Christianity was all about in my conservative evangelical context. And it wasn’t just that we should repent because it’d [Read More…]

Locker Room Talk Is a Thing, but It’s No Excuse

Despite what some athletes are claiming in the wake of Donald Trump’s defense of this past weekend’s bombshell release of a misogynistic exchange between him and Billy Bush from 11 years ago, locker room talk is a real thing. Playing football in middle school and high school, I definitely remember certain guys who were always [Read More…]

The Sarick Effect in Youth Ministry

I’m listening to Originals by Adam Grant, and I’m riveted by the part about the “Sarick Effect.” It’s making me wonder if I shouldn’t start changing my approach to adolescent faith formation, like, now. The Sarick Effect is Grant’s playful name for the idea that pessimism and doubt can be effective tools for leadership. It rests heavily [Read More…]

Denise Anderson to Preach at #PYM17

At the 222nd General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) this past summer, newly elected co-moderator Denise Anderson boldly wore a #BlackLivesMatter t-shirt as she led a predominantly white gathering of an overwhelmingly white denomination. It was a profound moment. We’re thrilled to announce that Denise will join our great lineup of speakers as the closing preacher at [Read More…]

Putting the Lies in Allies

Josh Linton works as an Inclusion and Diversity Program Coordinator at ONE Gas, Inc. in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He also serves as chair for the Inclusive Leadership Council of the Oklahoma Center for Community and Justice. And when he finds some spare time, he is the Youth Director at Claremore, OK First Christian Church. He writes [Read More…]

What We Can Teach Teens from Last Night’s Debate

Heather Haginduff is the Associate Minister for Youth and Families at Trinity United Church of Christ in Canton, OH. When you make a mistake, admit it. Humility is brave. And kinda sexy. There are some people who prepare for an assignment and others who don’t. Always show your work. Don’t let people bully you. You [Read More…]

No One Ever Told Me I Could Be Bisexual

Growing up, I was taught that there were gay and lesbian people in the world and that that was okay.  My parents had gay and lesbian friends. My Sunday School teacher appeared in the church directory with his boyfriend. A large amount of my male high school friends came out to me (some even did [Read More…]