reThink: Decide For Yourself, Is Student Ministry Working?

My friend Randy Stinson sent me this book my Steve Wright and Chris Graves. I’ve only thumbed through it, but it looks to me like this is a very important book. If you’ve wondered how best to shepherd your own children, or how the church should shepherd its young people, you’ll want to consider this book.

There is a spectrum of opinion on the question of youth ministry today. At the one end are the churches that take the kids completely away from their parents and the rest of the church and have their own student worship services. These folks conduct themselves as though they might say to the parents, “Don’t try this youth ministry thing at home. Leave it to us. We’re the professionals.”

At the other end of the spectrum are those “family integrated” churches who speak as though God gave the family as the primary means of advancing the gospel. I’m all for the family, and I am against age-segregation in churches, against the idea that the youth will benefit from their own worship service (while the old fuddyduds do their own thing in “big church”), and I am most certainly for encouraging parents, and especially fathers, to disciple their kids and lead their families in family worship. But I would say that the Church, rather than the family, is the means God has given to us for advancing the gospel.

In this regard, reThink seems to offer a helpfully balancing perspective. I appreciated in particular three subtitles that I saw in reThink as I thumbed through: “Championing the Family,” “Championing the Church,” and “Co-Championing the Family and the Church.”

If you’re wondering what this looks like, you’ll want to read this book. Here’s the table of contents:

reSearch: Gauging Student Ministry Today

reValue: Shifting the Values of Student Ministry

reModel: A Biblical Framework for Student Ministry

reShape: Beginning a Transition

reSource: Locking Arms with Parents

reDiscover: Spiritual Formation

reGroup: Facing and Overcoming Obstacles

reVision: A New Perspective

Thanks to Steve Wright and Chris Graves for helping us think through these issues, and may the Lord bless our efforts to transmit the faith to the coming generations.

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