Less Programming, More Networking

YM Network

Several years ago Mark Oestreicher called for a shift in youth ministry from program-based approaches to what he called Youth Ministry 3.0, grounded in affinity groups, contextualization, and missional engagement (read my short review of his book here.) Marko’s suggestions have provided a foundation for my thinking about youth ministry in recent years. One of […]

Post-Christendom Youth Ministry Blues

Post-Christendom Blues

Like youth workers around the country, I’m busy making final plans for the beginning of a new youth ministry program year: recruiting volunteers, putting together calendars, planning curricula. This will be my fourteenth year of youth ministry, and it gets harder every year. Youth and adults keep getting busier. Each year there are more and […]

Go Big or Go Home?

go BIG or go home

As a way to introduce our congregation to the new Glory to God Presbyterian hymnal, the Daily Devotions at Fourth Presbyterian Church are currently based on hymn lyrics. I wrote the following devotion based on a stanza of George Croly’s “Spirit of God, Descend upon My Heart.” I ask no dream, no prophet ecstasies, no […]



I preached this sermon yesterday at the 8:00 worship service at Fourth Presbyterian Church. The scripture readings were Isaiah 56:1, 6-8 and Matthew 15:21-28. You can listen to an audio recording of the sermon here: ¬†Outsiders (8.17.2014) Fifty-one years ago, in 1963, at the height of the African American civil rights movement, the eyes of […]

How is Our Brand Doing?


Last Friday there was a nice synchronicity between two of the blogs I read on a daily basis. Seth Godin mused about logos and branding: The original reason for brands was to let the buyer know the source of the goods. “We made this,” says the organization we trust when we buy something. Over time, […]