Category Archive: Theory of Youth Ministry

May 21

Leaving Myself to Reach Teens

It’s so easy to put up a wall and hide. We can easily present our perfect face. It feels good to be in control and to appear that we aren’t affected by the little problems of the day. Who doesn’t want to seem like the good guy? Yet, if we are like this, are we …

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May 06

Jesus or a Moral Code?

“Make sure Johnny learns how to respect his parents.” “Suzie needs to know about chastity since I worry about her.” “I don’t care what you do as long as Bobby is good boy.” How often do we get these phrases from parents in youth ministry? Are morals the goal of youth ministry, then? It seems …

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Apr 29

Why We’ll See Homosexual Scoutmasters (and What That Says)

As the date of the Next Boy Scouts National Council meeting approaches on May 20th, everyone is wondering if they will accept homosexual scoutmasters. Officially the resolution only talks about teens, “No youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts of America on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone,” yet I wonder if …

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Apr 15

Is Heaven Temporary?

When I was a kid I understood heaven as sitting on a cloud listening to an eternal harp concert. I wasn’t sure if it would be me who sat there or just some ghostly version of myself. I would have rather played Lego, won sports, or eaten mom’s home cooking than listen to harps. It’s better …

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Mar 11

Boys in the Girls’ Room – Beyond Uncomfortable Curiosity

Massachusetts recently passed a law that boys who thought they were girls or girls who thought they were boys could use the other restroom. There is a mountain of practical problems: most teenage boys at some base level want to enter the girls’ room, yet most teenage girls would feel extremely uncomfortable with this. Many …

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Jan 16

It Hurts but It Isn’t Painful (Hurt 2.0 reviewed)

When I finished Hurt 2.0, I felt disappointed. I had bought a book on youth ministry expecting at least some kind of solution, some kind of resolution. Then I read the cover again: the subtitle is Inside the World of Today’s Teenagers and that is exactly what it had provided. In the end, I would …

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Dec 29

Catholicism Is NOT a Philosophy… Why Do We Teach It as One?

  Enter most CCD classes and what do you see. Heads bobbing, boredom, abstract ideas, memorizing the Ten Commandments, lists of Old Testament figures, and a tons of don’ts. But what is our faith? A living relationship with Jesus Christ! Pope Benedict has insisted on this time and time again. Jesus did not say “follow …

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Dec 13

Spice up the Youth Mass… With Latin!

One of the deepest needs teens have is to belong to something bigger than themselves. A soccer team is bigger than any individual member but it doesn’t last. They want to be part of the Church! This is one of the greatest things we can offer them: it both fulfills their needs and leads them heavenward. …

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Nov 24

Who Am I?

Who am I? When I started with youth ministry I asked, “What do I do?” However as I spend more time doing it, that seems inadequate. There are many things to do but is that all? Is it enough to run activities, speak to teens one-on-one, and tell them about Christ? Maybe not. Will this …

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Nov 21

Experiences that Change the Heart

Teens are searching for something to fill their heart. As I continue at the ECyD Advisor’s course in Madrid, Wednesday was dedicated to this question. What can fill a teen’s heart? Or better, who can? The first thing we realize is that something can’t, only someone can. In this sense, the experiences we want are …

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Nov 20

How do we look at teens?

binoculars

This week I have the grace of being part of the ECyD Advisors’ Course in Madrid. The first two days have been dedicated to the way we look at teens. Instead of a program, what we want to do is respond to teens as they are. If we want to help them, we need to …

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