Happy Monday Parents,
Happy Monday Parents,
On January 30th, we'll be splitting up.
Ladies will be heading to the Nickason's for a night to themselves (see graphic)
Gentlemen will be staying at the church and sweating it out playing NERF (If you don't have any, come anyways.. we'll have tons.
Permission forms will be needed ( and ready for download tonight) for the ladies (since we'll be off site)
Every week, I want to be able to provide other voices from the youth ministry world. Voices that will help you, teach you, encourage you and hopefully give you insight as you parent your student.
This week, we have an article from Jim Burns. Jim Burns is the President of HomeWord and the Executive Director of the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University. Jim speaks to thousands of people around the world each year. He has close to 2 million resources in print in 30 languages. He primarily writes and speaks on the values of HomeWord which are: Strong Marriages, Confident Parents, Empowered Kids, and Healthy Leaders. Some of his most popular books include: Confident Parenting, The Purity Code, Creating an Intimate Marriage, and Closer. Jim and his wife, Cathy, live in Southern California and have three grown daughters, Christy, Rebecca, and Heidi; two sons-in-law, Steve and Matt; and two grandchildren, James and Charlotte.
In recent years, exposure and awareness regarding the issue of teen dating violence have increased markedly. Sadly, dating violence has become a pervasive adolescent issue. Experts define dating violence as not just physical abuse, but it may also be perpetrated through emotional or psychological abuse. Although not an exhaustive list, dating violence behaviors can include hitting, slapping, pinching, hair-pulling, non-consensual sexual activity, rape, controlling behaviors, stalking, tracking whereabouts, rage, demonstrations of jealousy, yelling, screaming, and name-calling.
In the past, it was more common to frame dating violence in terms of abuse largely committed by males upon females. But recent studies indicate that this is a misunderstanding. Nearly one in five female and male teens say they have been the victims of physical and sexual abuse in dating relationships. And when pinpointing psychological abuse, researchers have found the percentages jump remarkably to more than 60 percent of both female and male teens. Shockingly, the number of female and male teens admitting to being both perpetrators and victims of psychological abuse is also 60 percent!¹
With dating violence occurring both in person and through digital media, it is estimated that twenty-five million teenagers in the United States are victims of abuse and some twenty-three million teenagers are perpetrators of abuse.²
What Parents Can Do About Dating Violence
• Talk with your teen about healthy dating relationships. Be sure to have a discussion with your teen on the importance of respect in a dating relationship, so that she can recognize quickly if she is not being shown the respect she deserves.
• Get to know your teen's date. Use a similar strategy that you employ when getting to know your teen's other friends by being friendly and asking appropriate questions. The more you know about who your teen is dating, the better your perceptions will become about the type of person he or she is. If your teen's date makes you feel uncomfortable, don't overreact, but don't ignore your gut feelings either. Share your concerns with your teen.
• Make your teen aware of behaviors that would indicate dating violence. Some teens may not naturally grasp the nuances of emotional and psychological abuse. Discuss these types of behaviors with your teen.
• Help your teen understand that abuse doesn't get better over time. If physical or psychological violence is not stopped immediately, it will almost always progress to worse forms of abuse over time.
• Consider the possibility that your teen may be a perpetrator of dating violence. No parent wants to believe that their child is an abuser. I understand this instinct. Yet, with teens of both genders saying they are abused in dating relationships, take some time to think through the possibility (as objectively as possible) whether your adolescent has the potential for being an abuser. If she is easily jealous, controlling in her friendships, if she lashes out (verbally or physically) when frustrated or angered, she may be more likely to be abusive in a dating relationship. If she has some of these traits, consider how can you help her address these issues before she enters into dating relationships.
Excerpted from Understanding Your Teen: Shaping Their Character, Facing Their Realities by Jim Burns.
¹NORC at the University of Chicago, Preliminary Results in Landmark National Survey on Teen Dating Violence Finds Disturbingly High Rates of Victimization and Perpetration by Both Girls and Boys. October 23, 2014. Accessed online April 19, 2016 at http://www.norc.org/NewsEventsPublications/PressReleases/Pages/preliminary-results-in- landmark-national-survey-on-teen-dating-violence-finds-disturbingly-high-rates-of- victimization.aspx
Most people believe that a good youth worker must, above all, love teenagers. However, as important as that is, it’s not the main element in a strong ministry to teenagers. Your primary love should be for God.
Maybe this seems obvious and simple, but I’m not referring to any ordinary love here. I’m suggesting a passion-filled love for God that is evident and leaks into the lives of those around you—a genuine love for God that is so strong that students see, sense, and experience him whenever they are around you.
It’s not about your perfection. It’s about presence—God’s presence in your life. In order for the foundation of your youth ministry to be strong, it must be built on the leaders’ spiritual passion and love for God. at means you; you play a significant part in the health of that foundation.
When you’re intimately connected to God regularly, that connection will become apparent in your actions, body language, attitudes, and genuine concern for people. Students are intelligent; they can discern between someone who has a textbook knowledge of God’s love and someone who has an ongoing, daily personal experience with God.
A stable, long-lasting ministry requires leaders who put their spiritual development before their ministry development. is idea isn’t new. Jesus clearly explained the importance of loving God: “ ‘Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?’ Jesus replied: ‘ “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” is is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: “Love your neighbor as yourself ” ’ ” (Matthew 22:36-39).
Note the distinction between these two commandments. Loving the Lord your God is the greatest, and loving others as yourself is the second greatest. Reversing this order can have devastating effects on your spiritual life. Serving in ministry and loving others can even become an excuse for not falling more deeply in love with God.
Failure to see the difference between loving God (focusing on him) and loving others (doing ministry) can result in a ministry-focused life rather than a God-focused life. Please, slow down and reread that last sentence. Does the distinction make sense to you? Your service in youth ministry should never come at the expense of your personal passion and depth for God.
Many volunteers start off with a passion for God and a genuine love for students but then allow the busyness and the pace of the ministry to rob them of their spiritual depth. If you work hard to do great ministry to teenagers instead of nurturing your love for God, you’ll end up in the wrong place. ere’s nothing wrong with hard work in ministry; it’s probably motivated by a genuine concern. However, it’s nowhere near as important as genuinely wanting to follow Jesus, love him, and reveal that love by loving others.
“He answered: ‘ “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind”; and, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”’” —Luke 10:27
• How are you currently living out what’s most important?
• How are you not?
• In what ways does your ministry to teenagers reflect your love for God?