Learning To Love: Thoughts On Faith Formation In Young People


One of the questions that seems most prevalent in youth ministry circles–outside of “how many students are in your youth group”–is how do you know if a teenager is growing in their faith?

It seems most of us long for some definable or measurable way to record faith formation. And I wonder if this quest, though often rightly motivated and sincere, is missing an invaluable piece of the puzzle.

Because maybe measuring faith isn’t something that is so easy to detect…at least not in the way we want to measure it.

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The Presence In The Absence


Used with permission: http://www.freeimages.com/photo/alone-1492668

Lately, I’ve been acutely aware of both the presence and absence of God. There are days when God feels present in the whole thing, like I couldn’t escape Him if I tried. Other times, however, He seems aloof and nowhere to be found.

It’s like David Crowder once sang, “Sometimes you’re further than the moon; sometimes you’re closer than my skin.” How do we reconcile this feeling of nearness and distance? Partly, I believe, is a recognition that there is a presence even in absence.

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This Election And Its Impact On Students

Used with permission: http://www.freeimages.com/photo/american-flag-1150851

Used with permission: http://www.freeimages.com/photo/american-flag-1150851

I feel like I’m late to the game when it comes to saying something–scratch that–ANYTHING about the upcoming election. This has been intentional on my part, not because I’m worried about anyone disagreeing with me, but because I didn’t know how to approach the subject.

Honestly, and I know I’m not alone here, I’m not a fan of either candidate. I know supporters on both sides and I figured I’d write something from the perspective of what I am–a youth pastor. So, here are some thoughts as a youth pastor on what I’ve heard and observed from my students about this upcoming election.

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