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REAL Solution. I don’t know about you, but I am tired of books, articles, and social media posts that just surmise an issue with this current generation and the church. I’m tired of reading about the problems, and I was refreshed to read in this book – REAL and REACHABLE solutions to the issues of growing young. A heartfelt thank you to the all the work the writers put into this.
Dedicated Research. This was hard work to put this together. It was a clear dedication of the writers and research team to not leave a stone unturned. They went to the small churches to the megas, and found answers to the growing young question. That is something the reader will appreciate.
REAL Testimonies. These aren’t just ideas. These are real people who have been affected by churches that have intentionally reached out to this generation in their church. The testimonies were not just glossed-over stories from pastors, but from people inside the church who have benefited and lived out the ministry changes and direction.
Nope, nope, nope. There was one quote that made me quote Petrie on Land Before Time and say “Oh, no no no no”. “We wonder if sermon preparation and preaching is an area in which some leaders could invest less time”. While they did give this quote with the caveat of holding God’s Word at the “highest value”, it still is a dangerous statement.
The Random Boxes. This is a minor complaint, but it seemed to break the flow of the chapter when a box of random information was placed in the middle of a chapter. Suggest maybe placing this in the context of the chapter or at the end.
The Grade: A. I tell ya what this book did. Honestly, it gave me great encouragement that my philosophy of ministry was on the right track with this generation. On the flip side, it challenged me immensely in the weakness of my own ministry in reaching this generation. That is what this book will do to you, encourage and challenge you and your ministry.
Some of the lessons I’ve learned along the way in partnering with parents. Hope you find this podcast helpful in your student ministry.
Synopsis: This was one of my all-time favorite series I have done with my students. After all, what are you preparing your teens to do? Face life after high school with a Biblical worldview, a heart for the lost, and a desire to live a life as a servant to the King. This series got down to business of what life will be like after high school. We discussed money, relationships, careers, temptations…we talked about REAL LIFE.
Special Features: We brought in special speakers from programs like “5 Minutes for Life”. Other special speakers included missionaries that spoke on their high school experience and a panel of youth leaders that answered questions about life after high school. At the end, we brought in parents to help us with the “Real Life Experience”, where the students went through a graduation ceremony and went out into the real world. It was all pretend, but we put them through college admission and job interviews, budget training, and even gave them jobs to complete.
This was the exact topic that I wanted to be the foundation of my talks. At the heart of everything we discussed, we kept coming back to the idea of God’s will. What is God’s will in your career? Your relationships? Your future? This book is a basic framework that will help you find footing in this foundation and provide solid Biblical support for your discussion. You will need to supplement and add to the material, but this less-known resource acted as a great resource through this series.
Set up as a devotional for seniors transitioning into adulthood, the table of contents became my best friend with to use this as a curriculum resource. Once I outlined my messages, I was able to take valuable nuggets of information with each small devotional. This book was especially helpful in the conclusion and takeaway of the messages. It provided dynamite discussion questions that added to the final moments of each series topic.
Our ministry context comprises of junior high and high school on Sunday nights. That being said, I needed a resource that would add an element for the younger student. They are not thinking too far ahead, but they should be. This topical resource allows the teacher to engage the student from the youngest age to the oldest. These authors were spot on with the topics that needed discussed with students regarding their future. This was another valuable resource for this series.
Bonus Video Suggestion:
Hard to believe…10 years of Youth Ministry. Praise the Lord for his grace, for the patience of teens and their parents, and the countless times God has brought strength to my weakness.
And get this…my article on the 10 Lessons Learned from 10 Years in Ministry has been published by Youth Specialties. Go check it out and be encouraged.
CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE.