It’s Already Here

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I preached this sermon yesterday at the afternoon jazz worship service at Fourth Presbyterian Church. The scripture text was Matthew 25:31-46. You can hear an audio recording of the sermon here: Its Already Here (11.23.2014) On the liturgical calendar—first developed through the centuries by the Roman Catholic Church and now also followed by many mainline […]

Tales of Two Cities

Dissonance

I preached this sermon at the assembly of the Presbytery of Chicago this past Saturday. Okay, before I say what I’m going to say, I want you to do something. We’re going to start this sermon with a bit of congregational participation, which I know makes most Presbyterians freak out. But here’s what I want […]

What the Church Needs to Learn from U2

u2-songs of innocence

I woke up this morning with an email from U2 announcing that they are giving away copies of their new studio album to every iTunes user—that’s half a billion people in 119 countries. The album doesn’t go on sale in digital or physical form for another month. And while this is heavily subsidized by Apple […]

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 […]