The Lazy, Hazy and Hopefully Not Crazy Days of Summer

Originally published June 2003.

I was asked a very good question from a youth worker.  A very good question. And I quote:   “Why do nearly all students bail out on Jesus in the summer time?”  

I remember that frustration and sadness from my days as a youth pastor over this very question.  Whether it was a youth on a leadership team that went “wild” over the summer or the loss of momentum that was being built in your youth ministry that gets slowed because of summer.  This is a true frustration.  But does this question truly reflect what is going on over the summer or does it express more of our frustration and sadness?

The End of the Weekly Youth Meeting?

Originally published November 2002.

Back in 1992, Mark Senter wrote a revolutionary book called The Coming Revolution in Youth Ministry.  In the book, Senter discovered a 50-year cycle of youth ministry.  In the 1990s the latest 50-year cycle came to an end.  This is the Young Life/Youth For Christ movement that began in the 1940s and revolutionized how churches viewed youth ministry.  Because of this revolution, we now have the youth ministry jobs we do have as well as the youth ministry sub-subculture we live in.

In 1994, Mark Senter wrote an article for Youthworker Journal calling for the end of the “trickle-down strategies.”  In short, that strategy is that if leaders of a student body could be reached for Christ they would become the instruments for reaching an entire high school population with the gospel. 

X Faith in a Gravity World

Originally published August 15, 2002.

This is the cliche of the ‘00s--Let's have an extreme faith!  Overused word of the ‘00s- -extreme.  I will try not to use or overuse either of those but I have some reflections of what I learned on my "summer vacation."  I was able to have media passes to the X Games and the Gravity Games.  I was able to have an up close view to a very hot part of the youth culture and did not have to wait in the multitude of lines to see what I saw. 

There were crowds, lots of crowds.  The crowds made the largest impression on me.  It was not just the crowd size but the makeup of the crowds.