Contemplative Youth Ministry: God is Not an Idea

"Find the Idea" by Khalid Albaih

As I have been studying contemplative prayer for my own spiritual development, I have been experimenting with incorporating contemplative practices into my work with youth and in worship services. In a worship service for our youth and in our afternoon jazz service I used a version of the examen in place of a traditional prayer […]

Confirmation Questions

Photo by Derek Bruff

Each year I begin our youth confirmation experience by asking our eighth grade students to write down the questions they have about God, faith, and the church. The questions they (and their adult leaders) come up with are always illuminating. Here are the questions our youth are asking this year, in no particular order but […]

Confirmation for All Ages

Life Stages

Lately I’ve been thinking about faith formation for people of all ages and pondering how to conceive of an inter-generational approach that is truly integrated and holistic. I keep coming back to an almost 20-year-old book by Robert L. Browning and Roy A. Reed called Models of Confirmation and Baptismal Affirmation. They¬†argue that what happens […]

Post-Christendom Youth Ministry

AWC Sketchnote

I’m WAY overdue sharing some of the highlights from my DMin thesis, “Post-Christendom Confirmation.” I presented some of it in my talk at the Progressive Youth Ministry Conference back in March with the more expansive title “Post-Christendom Youth Ministry.” Here are my slides from that talk: Post-Christendom Youth Ministry (PYM14) from johnvest I also really […]

Proclaiming the Unknown God

Preaching on Confirmation Sunday (4.27.2014)

The following is the sermon I preached for Confirmation Sunday at Fourth Presbyterian Church on April 27, 2014. The scripture readings were John 20:19-31 and Acts 17:16-34. You can listen to an audio recording of the sermon here: Proclaiming the Unknown God (4.27.2014) This week I as I prepared for this sermon and for Confirmation […]