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

Blog

Youthworkers. . . A Message To Pass On To Parents. . . .

For 30 years now I’ve been answering questions about the whats, whys, and hows of our work here at CPYU. Our passion is for equipping those who love and lead kids to see themselves as cross-cultural missionaries who need to know both Word and world. We want the church to become like the men of Issachar,... more »

Kids. . . Let Them Suffer! . . .

This week I started re-reading The Coddling of The American Mind with our CPYU Reading/Discussion Group (consider joining us. . . it’s not too late). The book posits that one of the lies we and our kids have been nurtured into believing is that “what doesn’t kill you will make you weaker.” Nothing could be further... more »

What Parents Need To Know About Today’s Peer Pressure. . .

I recently had a grandmother tell me about an uncomfortable conversation she had with her elementary-aged grandson. Prompted by watching a TV news story on the current teen vaping epidemic, the inquisitive boy had asked grandma whether she had ever been a smoker. In an effort to be totally honest, the grandmother told her grandson... more »

Youth Ministry Checkup. . . What Your Teens Need This Year. . .

It was back in 2011 that researcher David Kinnaman told us that “nearly three out of every five young Christians (59%) disconnect permanently or for an extended period of time from church life after age 15” in his book, You Lost Me. More recent research says that 70 percent of teens will stop attending church... more »

A Back-To-School And Everyday Prayer For Our Kids. . . .

One of the great misconceptions about worship is that it’s something that only takes place when a group of people gather for a few minutes or so to sing together. While corporate worship is an important part of the Christian life, the kind of worship God calls us and our children to is a 24/7... more »

When You Recognize The Mug Shot. . . A Sobering Texting Reminder. . .

“Oh my!” That’s what I said shortly after opening this morning’s paper. I recognized the face in the mugshot and knew the name underneath. The headline says, “Police: Texting Key In Fatality: Charge woman with homicide by vehicle after collision with cyclist.” The 60-year-old woman was a beloved teacher of more than one of our... more »

Teen Vaping. . . A Helpful Infographic. . .

This morning I had breakfast with a public school administrator. Since every high school and middle school is a microcosm of our larger global youth culture, it’s helpful to hear what educators are seeing, hearing, and having to deal with in the student population. My friend informed me that they have just purchased a vape... more »

LGBTQ And A Conversation That Brings Some Clarity. . .

Her story is compelling. Two decades ago she was an outspoken lesbian activist, university professor, and a shaper of queer theory. Today, she is a follower of Jesus, a pastor’s wife, and a homeschool mom. When I first read Rosaria Butterfield’s story in her book The Secret Thoughts Of An Unlikely Convert, I was reminded of God’s... more »

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 »

You Won’t Believe This. . . But I Must Show You. . .

You might already be aware that three weeks ago a 90mph overnight police chase ended in. . . yes in. . . our CPYU office. You can go back, read the story, and see some pictures here. As if this isn’t crazy enough, it’s happened twice. The first time was back in August of 2006 and... more »

Pride and Self-Promotion. . . A Warning For Parents, Youth Workers And The Rest Of Us. . .

“My greatest character trait is my humility.” Those words were uttered tongue-in-cheek by a friend back in college and I’ve heard the same thing said by others several times since. Always a joke. But I wonder if we’re predisposed to actually believing it. If so, our ignorance and self-deception is going to kill us. My... more »

Youth Ministry Self-Promotion And The Call To Humility. . .

Recently on a Facebook youth ministry group page, a youth worker posted a question we should all be asking from time to time. It was a question about self-promotion. . . which in our social-media-saturated world is a huge temptation for everyone. Yes, our kids clamor to be YouTube celebrities. Those of us who are... more »

Lightning Has Struck Us Twice! . . . Keep Us In Your Prayers. . . .

Somebody called me yesterday and said to me, “Lightning never strikes twice. Yeah. Right.” I could only laugh. Some of you will remember that early on an August morning 13 years ago a car came crashing through my office wall at 45 miles an hour. Miraculously, I walked out unharmed. CPYU then went through the... more »

Teen Vogue: Inviting Teens Into Legitimizing Sex Work. . .

Teen Vogue magazine is not longer available in print, but it continues to pump out content in its’ free online format. In other words, it’s accessible. The target audience is girls between the ages of twelve to seventeen. Of course, there are those outside of the target (both younger and older) who access the content online.... more »

A Letter To Senior Pastors. . .

Dear Pastor, I’ve asked your youthworker and your students’ parents to forward this letter on to you. It’s about the kids in your congregation and the powerful role that you play as their pastor in their spiritual nurture. I know that you’ve got teenagers sitting in your congregation every week. From your vantage point up... more »

Friday Fodder. . . #keepitinyourfamily. . . #whocares. . .

Her eyes were opened after refocusing them from spending so much time on social media, to focusing on things that really matter. That’s what happened to Tony Reinke’s wife when she chose “social media sobriety.” Reinke shares a powerful statement from his wife in his book, 12 Ways Your Phone Is Changing You. On the... more »

Transgender NCAA Champ. . . And The Soul Of Our Culture. . .

Last weekend, CeCe Telfer was photographed hoisting an NCAA Championship Trophy high in the air. Telfer’s smile is appropriate for such a victory, and one that I would imagine sharing if I had ever garnered a victory of that magnitude. . . which to be honest, is and was completely impossible! Telfer’s victory came in... more »

Inside The Teenage Brain. . . A Helpful Infographic. . .

Everything I’ve learned about the developing teenage brain has been quite liberating for me. It’s been liberating as a journey in self-discovery. You see, if the brain is not fully wired-up until about the age of 25, then that offers me at least some sort of explanation for much of my confusing and now-embarrassing adolescent... more »

The Mystery Of Marriage. . .

Celebrating almost four decades of the mystery of marriage today. . . and I read this in David Brooks’ new book “The Second Mountain”: “An old guy is talking to his daughter about his love for his late wife. He tells her, ‘Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned... more »

Why Youth Workers Must Be Hitched To The Old Testament. . .

In a perfect world, the church would be engaging, confronting, and transforming culture as a path to see what we pray in the Lord’s Prayer (“Thy Kingdom come. . . “) become a greater and greater reality on our broken and fallen earth. We would be committed to pursuing a greater understanding of Scripture so... more »