Monday, September 27, 2010

Almost Christian Study Guide...Ch 2

The study guide questions for chapter two are posted on Kenda Dean's blog!!!
Click the book to go to a link to buy the book.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Almost Christian...Study Guide

So with all the questions about Kenda Dean's Book Almost Christian she has started to develop a study guide both for adults and/or youth to help work through the ideas in the book!!!  I am really excited about this!

Here is a link to her blog and the Chapter 1 study guide!   Once again Click the Book Cover to go to a place to buy the book!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Organizing Meals...The Easy Way

If you are like me, I have parents help cook meals for our youth group time.  Each week, we have different parents provide the meal.  The problem is that I am not very gifted in organization and would forget to remind parents or even have them sign up at all.

Then I found out about this free resource. This is a free website originally designed to help people organize meals when a family has surgery or something, but I have taken it to help organize our Youth Group meals.

All you do is go to the site, create a user and then add the information you parents or whoever need to know and the dates you need people.  Then all they have to do is know the login and password and they can sign up for whatever is available.  It will even send them and you a reminder email the day before!!!

If you want to look at how we use it let me know and I will send you our login so you can see how it can work.

Just wanted to share good resources!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Roundtable: Impacting Kids to Impact the World |

Great article, Paul Bonner sent me from Youth

Roundtable: Impacting Kids to Impact the World |

It really makes you think about teens and how ready are they to change the world?
(Please try to ignore the really out of date picture, the article brings up some great stuff to think about)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Almost Christian...and the Big Stir

So it was hard to miss the stir the Kenda Dean's new book "Almost Christian" caused on CNN, Tennessean, and so much more. I do have to say, if you work in a church or a heavily involved in one, you must read this book! All this to say, I have added her blog to the other links bar on the right, and you should definitely check it out!

Here is the link to her blog! Click the book for a link to buy it.

For me, this book was a call to the church to realize that the faith we have been sharing with our kids and teens was not a passionate Christianity, but rather "Moralistic Therapeutic Deism": a feel good, make good choices, and be a nice person faith.

Her point is that it is not that the teens they interviewed were presented with a passionate faith and they rejected it, but rather they are embracing what we are teaching them, and it is something far off from what we see in scripture.

If there was one thing that kept standing out to me it was this idea (which is somewhere in the book almost verbatim, but I can't find it at the moment):
Do our ministries with young people teach them to be good people, who are nice, socially acceptable, and overall God is not really involved that much, other than to keep them in a moral check; or does our ministry with young people teach and demonstrate a faith that seeks justice, loves mercy, and walks humbly with our God (Micah 6:8)?

How would you answer this about the church you are working with?

Friday, September 10, 2010

Sharing...Heals, Encourages, Challenges

For me, I think that as being a youth pastor for over 6 years now, one thing that I have found that is lost in the church and among believers is the loss of sharing.
Sharing our lives together, sharing our stories of pain and joy, sharing well...everything.
There is something that happens when people share: they learn they are not alone, they no longer hold something in and a weight is lifted, they can encourage others, they can challenge others.
YPA is a place for this for youth pastors.  As place of sharing where in it encouragement happens, challenge happens, life together happens, and ultimately healing happens because we are united together in life through Christ. 
Whats your story?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Youth Pastors Anonymous...The Beginning

Last year, several youth pastors in the the Nashville, TN area decided it would be helpful to get together and share about all things youth ministry.

From there, several more have joined in, and now we meet monthly for a few hours and discuss topics related to youth ministry.  We have found that when you get a bunch of youth ministers in the same room with no guidance, not much productive happens, not that we feel we have to get things done, but it is nice to at least have something guiding us.  So each time we meet, we discuss a different topic that one or several of our group want to have discussed.

We had a great first gathering last week!  Amazing stories shared about how we all ended up finding our calling in Youth Ministry!  The Youth Pastors Anonymous came about out of a joke of it feeling like an AA meeting.  "Hi I am Chris and....I am a Youth Pastor," "HI CHRIS"  but it is fun and somewhat true so we'll go with it.

Something amazing happens when youth pastors gather together and learn they are not alone in this crazy, awesome, draining, filling, and everything else calling.

Remember each time we will have a topic of sorts to guide our gathering, if you have ideas on what some of these should be let me know and I will add it to the list, it could be anything relating to youth ministry.

For our October Meeting our topic to ponder and come ready to discuss is "Spiritual Self Care".
We all know that the church is amazing place, but for those in ministry often our own spiritual care is put aside.  Come with your struggles with this and ideas and ways you have found to help work against this. If you have any resources that help you bring those to for show and tell.  For each of us, this will look different in our own journey, but seeing other ideas always helps.  If you feel that you are drained but have no ideas, then you should definitely come!

We meet the first Wednesday of every month.  If you would like more information please email Chris Cummings at