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

Blog

Kids Who Cut. . . And A Helpful Handout. . .

As a culture-watcher, I sometimes like to “rewind” as a way to gain perspective on just how much and how fast youth culture has changed. The practice serves to wake me up at times when familiarity with what was once relatively unknown lulls us to sleep because it’s become all-too-common and widespread. That creates huge... more »

Teen Suicide. . . A Prayer. . . And A Helpful Resource. . .

Last week I heard a grandfather ask these questions to a group of other grandparents: “When you were a teenager, did you know anyone who took their own life? When you were a teenager did you know anyone who talked about taking their own life?” The only answer uttered by everyone in the room was... more »

For Parents Of Spiritual Doubters. . . .

Recently I sat with a group of parents concerned. . . and rightly so. . . about the challenges they face in communicating the biblical narrative to their children and teens when the cultural narrative is so loud, so pervasive, and so convincing. The questioning attitude of a teenage child who has been raised and... more »

Thank You Pastor. . .

He’s not going to like this because he’s not one comfortable with drawing attention to himself (which I love about him!). . . but I’m going to do this publicly anyway. . . Today is the last full day of ministry for Michael Rogers. Michael has been our pastor for 24 years. . . faithfully... more »

Kids, Pressures, Priorities, Parents. . . and The Gospel. . .

It’s right there on the front page of our local paper this morning: “Cocalico changes ranking system: Does away with the class rank in favor of percents.” One of our local high schools is doing away with making it possible for students to take Advanced Placement courses in order to pad their class rank. And,... more »

Wow! Top Global Brands Since 2000. . . An Intriguing Video. . .

So. . . this little video popped up a couple of days ago and it’s quite fascinating. Give it a look as it tracks the top 15 best global brands and their ranking since 2000. In fact, you might even want to watch it twice. The first time around, take a look at the bar... more »

Identity. . . Questions And Answers. . .

Youth workers and parents. . . Do you know what the questions are that your students are asking? And, if you know the questions, are you equipped to guide them into understanding biblically-based answers to those questions? Two of the most pressing questions kids are asking from birth up until adulthood are these. . .... more »

Youth Workers As Missionaries. . . Marching Orders From A Kid. . .

We’re creeping up on the evening in April when we celebrate 30 years as a ministry here at CPYU. As I prepare to make my remarks that evening to our assembled army of donors who make our ministry possible, I’m rewinding through the last three decades to recall some of the most significant conversations I’ve... more »

Youth Workers. . . What Kind Of Shepherd Are You? . . .

My friend John Freeman from HarvestUSA is passionate about seeing young and old alike experience what they were made for. Their ministry at HarvestUSA is all about leading people into the path of sexual flourishing. Sadly, what John sometimes encounters in the church is more alarming and discouraging than what John encounters outside the church in... more »

Youth Workers. . . Stay Staked. . .

Youth workers. . . this morning, I kept pondering our need to pray for one another. You for me. Me for you. Here’s what’s urgently nudging at me this morning. . . Without an anchor, we drift along with the prevailing winds of the spirit of the times. Without a stake in the ground we... more »

Zits Gets It Right. . . Something On Kids And Marketing. . . .

Earlier this morning, a couple of us were talking about the price of a Super Bowl Commercial and how it’s skyrocketed since we got started here at CPYU way back in 1989. It was a ridiculously expensive $700,400 during Super Bowl XXIV.  Thirty seconds of commercial airtime during this year’s Super Bowl LIII cost a... more »

Teens And E-Cigs. . . A Helpful Infographic. . .

School teachers and administrators are a gold-mine for information on youth culture trends. That’s why I threw this question at a high school principal friend a couple of weeks ago: “What are you most concerned about with kids these days?” “You want to know what we’re having to deal with more than anything else at... more »

Phones, Addiction, and The Health Of Kids, Families, and Youth Groups. . . A Helpful Video. . .

This weekend I’ll be speaking to youth workers and parents out in Michigan. . . addressing cultural and spiritual issues among our kids including things like anxiety, narcissism, and social media. While thinking about the inter-relationships between the three (think symbiosis along with cause and effect in both directions) I realize that there’s a kind... more »

Pornhub, Heinz, The Super Bowl, and Teaching Kids To Process Ads To The Glory of God. . .

The Super Bowl is about football. . . mostly. . . and millions will be watching on Sunday with great anticipation focusing not only on the game, but on showcased ads. Heinz is best known for making “America’s Favorite Ketchup”. . .  and millions douse the red stuff all over their french fries every day.... more »

Super Bowl Weekend. . . Some Thoughts On Blows To The Head. . .

It’s got a bigger grip on me that it should. I know that. It’s not that it’s a bad thing. It’s just that I put way too much thought and worry into following my favorite pro sports teams. When I say that I’ve “lived and died” with my Philly teams that’s not totally true. .... more »

It Was 50 Years Ago Today. . . Youth Culture, The Beatles, And How Time Flies. . .

I remember my pre-teen self feeling four news-induced punches to the gut during my “wonder years”. Three were assassinations. The TV news bulletins (no Internet back then!) disrupted the normalcy of our days when JFK, RFK, and MLK were each gunned down unexpectedly. The fourth was something I learned about when I got to the... more »

Teen Slang. . . A Helpful Infrographic. . .

TBT. . . most of us older folks are clueless on the latest teen slang. There are new words, acronyms used in texting, and a lexicon that’s sometimes motivated by a desire to continue to keep us in the dark. When there is a POS there’s nothing a kid wants more than to keep that... more »

Who’s Changing Who? Youth Ministry, Culture, and Truth. . .

It’s  been an interesting couple of weeks spent with my good buddy Duffy Robbins. I’ve been poked, prodded, and pushed to think about new things in new ways, and new things in light of old ways. Last week it was facilitating a Symposium on Traditional Biblical Sexuality in a Changing Youth Culture on the Massachusetts... more »

A Streaming Peek Into Today’s Youth Culture. . .

Netflix is now streaming the film “Eighth Grade.” If you’re a parent, grandparent, or youth worker who wants to jump into the world of today’s teens and and learn what it’s like to grow up in today’s youth culture, then this is a film you need to watch. Be forewarned. . . there are a... more »

How To Block Porn On Kid’s Devices. . . .

Whenever I’m speaking to parents and/or youth workers about matters related to our Digital Kids Initiative, I am inevitably asked for recommendations regarding blocking software or technologies that can keep kids from danger and danger from kids. I never know how to answer. I’m not up-to-date on these things as new filters and work-around’s seem... more »