Contemplative Prayer with Youth

Photo by pratanti

In the wake of my news from last week, this past weekend was full of mixed emotions. People continue to affirm both my ministry at Fourth Presbyterian Church and my new call to Union Presbyterian Seminary, but facing youth and parents and talking about this move was difficult. It is a big relief to be […]

Planning Communion with Youth

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This past Sunday was “Youth Sunday” at Fourth Church. Our eighth grade confirmation class planned the liturgy and led the 11:00 service and our high school students led the 9:30 service. While the confirmation class has long planned and led a worship service at Fourth, this is only the second year we have had youth […]

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 […]

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 […]