Camps and youth ministry: a reminder of living now

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Sometimes in the way we talk with young people, we convince them adolescence is a time to survive, a time to move on. We say things like I’ve been there too. Or, Back in High School I went through this. And then of course, the classic You think you have it hard now, well, when I was your age…

Perhaps inadvertently, our language paints adolescents as a season of life to ‘get through’ or ‘survive.’ But God has not created us to merely survive or get from one place to the other. He created us to live fully today. And that includes our teenage years.

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Create Movements, Not Resolutions

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It was G.K. Chesterton who changed my thinking about time and age. I used to think as the years added up and your life ebbed farther away from adolescence it meant you were slowly dying, even though no one wanted to admit it. I viewed life like that creepy hour glass on the Days of Our Lives—it just keeps dropping sand until your out. Chesterton, however, wrote about God having an ‘eternal appetite of infancy,’ that is to say, he doesn’t grow old or tired, but lives each day with the same passion and excitement as when the world was first created. Our Heavenly Father, according to Chesterton, is younger than we are.
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A Theology of Fun

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This past weekend we had one of the most highly anticipated events of our youth ministry calendar—our All-Nighter. The anticipation works two ways: 1) The joy of fun times and a night of random crazy antics coming your way 2) The trepidation that sinks in when you realize you get a night of no sleep. The latter becomes especially obvious the older you get.

But we do all-nighters, just like we do other fun type events, because we believe in the power of fun. Further, we might go as far as to say we believe in developing a theology of fun.

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Youth Ministry as Family (Part 2)

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*This is the second post on viewing Youth Ministry through the lens of family.

Previously I wrote about viewing our youth ministries through the lens of family. The reason for this is we often get caught up in a game of program centered ministry, which is an oxymoron because managing a program isn’t ministry at all.

Ministry is about people.

Our weekly programs play a significant role in that process, but they exist only to strengthen our ministry

One of the more common illustrations of a pastor in the New Testament was a shepherd caring for his flock. Perhaps this is a metaphor that loses its potency in time, but that imagery of protecting, guiding, and nurturing is part of our call to ministry.

Part of being a pastor is, well, being pastoral. When we act like a family, we create a space where leaders are shepherds, seeking to support and care for our young people.

Do we create ministries where multiple shepherds care and guide sheep? If not, what might it look like to head in that direction? I have a few thoughts:

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