Learning my lines . . .
. . . discovering what it means to follow Jesus, seeing my story swept up into his . . .

Blog

Youth Workers. . . Nurturing Parents Into Nurturing Their Kids. . .

Youth workers. . . three realities about life and youth ministry. . . and one response. . . Reality 1) Jesus calls us to “come and follow me” in every nook and cranny of life. Discipleship training must touch every square inch of a student’s life. Reality 2) Marketing is a nook and cranny usually... more »

Transgender Kids. . . And Rapid-Onset Gender Dysphoria. . .

I’m not sure that there’s anything these days that’s created a greater cultural buzz in our youth groups and churches than the issue of transgenderism. For those of us who are older, the long-view of life offers a perspective that leads us to conclude that at least to this point, nothing has jumped on to... more »

A Message To Moms About Their Influence On Body Image. . . .

Several years ago I embarked on a little journey into the world of advertising to get a better sense of how marketing has shaped body image pressures and expectations for our girls. I began by looking at marketing efforts to women who were a part of my grandmothers’ generation. . . those born at the... more »

Youth Ministry, Parenting, and the Need To Teach Kids To Embrace Suffering. . .

We should be struck by the stark contrast between the kind of easy life we seek in the church today, and the kind of life sought by the Puritans. Yep. . . I just mentioned the Puritans. . . perhaps the most misunderstood and most falsely stereotyped group of saints. We want the easy life,... more »

Kids and Vaping. . . Some New Info. . .

This is the week for re-launching what’s one of our most helpful, up-to-date, and timely resources here at CPYU. . . our daily Youth Culture Today radio show. It’s the same good content that’s got a new look. And, we recommend that youth workers send this on to parents each and every day. Today’s 1-minute show... more »

Re-Birth Of A Daily Dose Of Youth Culture. . .

Today’s a big day at CPYU! We’re re-launching and re-booting our daily 1-minute radio spot, Youth Culture Today, with a re-branded look and a host of new options for daily delivery in ways that make it easier for you to listen in and pass it on to the parents in your youth ministry. If you aren’t... more »

Our Kids. . . Wise Or Foolish? . . . .

What story will our kids choose to live in? That’s a necessary question every parent and youth worker must ask. If our calling is to lead kids to find their place in God’s story (the biblical narrative and way), we need to help them see the foolish dead-end that results in living according to the... more »

Friday Fodder. . . How Men View Women. . . etc. . .

Here’s something to think about and talk about with each other and with your kids. It comes from Tim Keller and his devotional book, God’s Wisdom for Navigating Life: A Year of Daily Devotions in the Book of Proverbs. If you spend any time at all paying attention to and deconstructing today’s culture, Keller’s words are... more »

Fred Rogers, Pop Culture, and Youth Ministry. . .

Have you seen it yet? If not, you should. The last film I viewed was the documentary biopic of Fred Rogers, Won’t You Be My Neighbor?  Lisa asked me how it was. “Slow,” I said. “Just like his long-time show.” When I said it that way, it wasn’t a criticism, but a compliment. And just like millions... more »

Friday Fodder. . . Marriage Matters For Teens. . .

I’m not sure he’d get away with it in today’s cultural climate, but Flip Wilson had a generation of us middle school kids laughing awfully doggone hard back when he was transforming himself into his in-your-face female character,  Geraldine, on his Flip Wilson Show.  Regardless of what you think of Wilson’s Geraldine, there was something “she”... more »

Youth Ministry Focus. . . A Quick Thought. . .

A youth worker friend asked me a provocative question regarding how those of us in our youth ministry world spend our time. He was wondering if we are spending too much time on things that don’t matter, as opposed to the much-needed time on the things that do matter. Good question. So here’s something to... more »

Friday Fodder. . . Storm Warnings. . .

Hurricane Florence has me thinking about something an old friend told me over 30 years ago. I was living in Miami and the Director of the National Hurricane Center became a friend. When a storm was on it’s way or pummeling the coastline, Dr. Neil Frank was a mainstay all over the television networks, keeping... more »

Teens and Social Media. . . A Helpful Infographic. . .

Our friends over at Common Sense Media have released a new report on teens and social media: “Social Media, Social Life: Teens Reveal Their Experience.” It’s worth checking out. Take a look at the infographic below, and be sure to pass this on to parents and youth workers. . . more »

Friday Fodder: Kids, Work, and Some Grocery Store Theology. . .

“Everybody’s working for the weekend. . . !” At least that’s what the band Loverboy had us singing way back in 1981. The sentiment captured a philosophy of life that existed long before the band sang it out, and it exists as a passionate commitment among so many in today’s world. Somehow, work has become... more »

Parents, A New School Year, Extra-Curricular Busyness, and Prioritizing Faith. . .

This week, we released the September edition of our CPYU Monthly Parent Page. . . a subscription-based resource that hundreds of youth workers and churches provide to their parents as a tool to equip them to parent better by understanding how the Gospel speaks to parenting in today’s rapidly changing youth culture. (A subscription costs... more »

Youth Ministry and Winging It. . . .

A youth worker posted this yesterday in a youth min group we are both part of on Facebook. . . “Visited a church while out of town this weekend. The Pastor expressed how glad he was that the Holy Spirit was allowed to move in that church. Then he said and I quote, ‘I can’t... more »

Friday Fodder. . . Truth Or No Truth? What Are You Teaching? . . .

The contrast I encountered this morning was overwhelming and discouraging. On the one hand, I read today’s entry in J.I. Packer’s daily devotional Knowing God Through The Year.  Then, shortly thereafter, I logged on to Facebook and a post from a high profile and influential pastor popped up in my feed. The difference was stifling. .... more »

Willow Creek. . . Be Soberly Reminded. . .

There are lessons to be learned here. This is not a time to simply shake our heads in disapproval. Disapproval is certainly warranted and necessary. But disapproval must be cloaked in a healthy and realistic understanding that, yes, there but for the grace of God go I. Nobody, I believe, sets out to pursue the... more »

Friday Fodder. . . An Old Word To The Young. . .

Someone once wisely told me that “leaders are readers and readers are leaders.” I believe it. The wisest and most effective leaders I know are women and men who read regularly, passionately, and widely. In this age filled with technological distraction, it’s especially important that parents, pastors, and youth workers are unplugging and reading. .... more »

Pornography And Kids. . .

One of the most difficult and humbling things I get to do is talk to kids about the cultural scourge of pornography. That’s what I’ll be doing tomorrow morning with a group of 300 kids at a camp in Massachusetts. For several days now I’ve been asking the Lord to give me knowledge, words, wisdom,... more »