Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Better than a book review, it's selected snippets. Enjoy.

downloads on leadership in youth ministry

Mark 10 provides an incredible example of grace and truth leadership. A rich young man approaches Jesus and asks, "What should I do to get eternal life?" Jesus directs him to the Commandments, and the man replies that he has kept them all since he was a child. That's when, in verse 21, we see the incredible balance: "Jesus felt a genuine love for this man as he looked at him. "You lack only one thing," he told him. "Go and sell all you have and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." The man left sad, and notice that Jesus never chased after him. He lovingly and simply extended the invitation (the transcendent call) and opened up a pathway to this man, but he wouldn't compromise the call itself.
For many believers today, Jesus could have been a bit more cunning. He could have invited the man to travel with the group and then convinced him of the truth as they walked. He could have drawn the man in with a game or icebreaker and gotten to the part about total commitment at some later date. But Jesus did not do these things. He led boldly, yet lovingly and openly, never compromising the truth, but never failing to apply grace.


But there is a question that begs to be asked. How well are we doing at discipleship?...Last year, I decided to open up one of mt talks with Bible Trivia. First, I told the students that Jesus had two half brothers that became believers and wrote New Testament books. I then asked if anyone could name just one of them. The answer, without any hesitation, was Elijah. I also asked if anyone knew how many books were in the New Testament. I received no answer. I explained that there are 27 books in the New Testament, and that Poul wrote a majority of those books. I asked if anyone knew how many books Paul wrote. The immediate answer form a student was 39. You do the math!
Now remember, these students confessed to be Christ-followers. While you many be thinking, "What's the big deal--you proved that kids don't know how to play Bible trivia," I don't believe that's what was proven at all. What was proven during that month as I traveled around teaching is that Christian students do not know or read their Bibles!...
One night, a representative from this church made it clear to me that this was a solid group that needed deeper Bible teaching. So, the next week I asked students to lift their Bible if they had one with them. Out of 60 students, only 3 had brought a Bible. I found it odd that a group that was supposed to be committed to deeper Bible study would shop up at church without their Bibles. Bottom line: I think many have overestimated how much our students know and love their Bible.
...How are we really doing in discipleship? I am not referring to how many people are involved in small groups or how solid the curriculum is. I want to know how fruitful we are in teaching students how to study the Bibles for themselves. Are students reading and studying their Bible everyday on their own? Are we encouraging them to do so?

Humility is a character quality rarely seen in leaders today, whether inside or outside the church. One reason I believe this is true is because many of the leadership resources we use give us the feeling that leadership is all about us. We read that "everything rises and falls on leadership" and "the buck stops here." What's more, traditional leadership training tells us to focus on our abilities to successfully lead others.
If, however, we open the pages of Scripture, we begin to see a different attitude toward leadership. Jesus' style was one that began with humility. He lowered himself in order to empower others to accomplish great things, always with a single purpose--to glorify the Father. This is a frightening way to lead because when others lead well, we might not be needed any more.


Teens may need the Bible's direction and discernment, but they don't necessarily want it. Where I live in the Northeast, the majority of teens are unchurched and immersed in the culture's postmodern worldview and it's morals. One of the chief tenets of culture's morals today is "tolerance" and "judge not lest you also be judged." Calling something right or wrong for religious reasons is considered intolerant and the ultimate evil. In fact, many teens in this generation think evangelical Christianity, which lays out specific moral direction in many areas of life, is a substandard morality. Translated, this means these teens think evangelicals are "dumb and mean" and are not as loving and kind as other politically correct views.

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