UYN Newsletter #1

Hello United Youth Network friends and family,

I’ve felt compelled for the last couple of weeks to put together something of a UYN Newsletter.  This email will serve as the first attempt at fulfilling that desire. 

As of late I have become addicted to blogs.  I am subscribed to roughly thirty-something different blogs.  I read them pretty much everyday.  They are really great for helping keep me up to date with what’s going on in the worlds of youth ministry, theology, and other unrelated stuff.  I would like to share with you some of the helpful things that I’ve been finding lately.  In fact, everything that I will share with you in this newsletter will be the result of my blog-browsing activities from this week alone.  As you’ll see, there’s a tremendous wealth of information and free resources available to help us youth leaders out.

Here’s some of the stuff that I found helpful:

1. SEX – Recently my group and I have been doing a several week long series of sermons called, “Student Struggles.”  We have had sermons on purity, identity, acceptance, and…DATING.  Out of all the things that we’ve talked about, Dating has definitely been the most popular.  Last night (Wednesday night), I wrapped up a three-week sermon on dating by answering thirteen questions that my students submitted a few weeks ago.  And then today I read this article:

 

http://www.boundless.org/1999/regulars/office_hours/a0000150.html.  Man, I wish I had read that article before I spent three weeks speaking on dating.  Teenagers usually don’t have any problems understanding that the Bible says “No-sex-before-marriage,” but do they understand why it says that?  The article contained at the link above does one of the better jobs of explaining the “why” question that I’ve ever come across.

 

2. MODESTY – A topic closely related to dating and sex is the subject of modesty.  Pastor and author C. J. Mahaney put together a seven-entry series of blogs that dealt with this very subject.  His ministry has compiled these seven entries into one and included a study guide.  You may view that document here: http://www.sovereigngraceministries.com/Blog/file.axd?file=Worldliness-CJMahaney-Modesty.pdf.  Also, Alex and Brett Harris, authors of the blog, www.therebelution.com, and of the new book, Do Hard Things (which is absolutely fantastic), have also done some work on the subject of modesty.  You may view the results and findings of a monstrous survey concerning teenagers and modesty that they put together at: http://www.therebelution.com/modestysurvey/.

3. SERMONS ON YOUTH MINISTRY – John Piper, esteemed author and Pastor for Vision and Preaching at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, MN, has preached two of the better sermons on youth ministry that I’ve ever heard.  You may listen to them online, download them and burn them to a CD, or print out their written manuscripts for free.  The first is called, “Imparting a Passion: A Challenge to Youth Workers.”  You may listen to it at: http://www.desiringgod.org/ResourceLibrary/MediaPlayer/2648/Audio/.  (You’ll need a Quicktime player for this.  If you don’t already have Quicktime player, you can download a free one at http://www.apple.com/quicktime/download/.)  Another great sermon by him on youth ministry is entitled, “Let No One Despise You For Your Youth.”  He just preached this one a few weeks ago at his church in Minnesota.  You may listen to it at: http://www.desiringgod.org/ResourceLibrary/MediaPlayer/2726/Audio/.

4. GRADUATION – This may come a little bit too late, but with graduation quickly approaching, there may still be a little time left to handle some related youth ministry business.  A lot of churches give gifts to their graduates.  They give a Bible, or a generic book with wise, proverbial statements about life and success, etc.  I’ve even heard of churches giving out $20 to every graduate.  Here are two great gift ideas just for your graduating students.  The first is a grad pack from Interlinc, a ministry to youth ministries.  You can view, read about, and buy it at: http://www.interlinc-online.com/resources/customer/product.php?productid=93&cat=0&page=.  The second is something somewhat similar that has been put together by the folks at Desiring God Ministries.  It has been themed around John Piper’s book, Don’t Waste Your Life.  You can view, read about, and purchase it here: http://www.desiringgod.org/Store/NewReleases/746_DWYL_Grad_Pack/.  A couple of more opportunities that this time of year presents to us youth pastors involves the seniors that are leaving us and the new students that will be promoted up with the new school year.  First, make sure to get those older, wiser, more experienced up in front of your group to share about what God has done in their lives.  Here’s and interesting article that focuses in on how older youth’s testimonies can be a great encouragement to younger students: http://youthministryideas.net/2008/05/08/senior-testimonies-encourage-younger-youth/.  Next, here’s an article that contains ideas for how to make the transition of your new and youngest students as smooth as possible: http://www.interlinc-online.com/news/article_124.html?PHPSESSID=5852187ec921.

Well, that’s all for now.  Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.  Let’s all help each other do youth ministry better!

Thanks, and in Christ,
Deek Dubberly
Youth Pastor
Eastside Baptist Church

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