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The Biggest Challenges in Youth Ministry

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Matthew’s Genealogy Like You’ve Never Heard It Before

In this video performance from The Gospel Coalition’s ‘Songs of Hope’ Advent concert (which premiered Dec. 6, 2020), Poor Bishop Hooper performs their song “Christ”—a beautiful take on the genealogy of Jesus recorded in Matthew’s Gospel (1:1–17). The song is from Poor Bishop Hooper’s Advent project, Firstborn, which includes music, illustrations, videos, and writing—including a 48-page study on the lineage of Jesus. Why is the genealogy in Matthew’s Gospel important? Here’s what Tim Keller said in a 2016 interview with TGC: Matthew’s genealogy of Jesus does a lot of work. First, it roots Jesus in history. The gospel doesn’t begin...

Working in youth ministry you see the first wave of cultural changes. Just five years can make a major difference in how you communicate the good news of Jesus Christ. Where one class takes a keen interest in the individual aspects of salvation in justification and regeneration, a later cohort wants to know more about how God welcomes us together by adopting us into his family by faith.

This new 10-minute video explores several of these challenges in youth ministry. It features insights from David Plant, director of youth ministry at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City; Cameron Cole, director of youth ministries at the Cathedral Church of the Advent in Birmingham, Alabama; and Liz Edrington, who is pursuing her master’s degree in counseling from Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando.

Plant says youth workers need not fear change, because the Scriptures are alive and interesting, and students are curious to learn when they’re taught effectively. Cole speaks from a different geographic context and reveals the fear of telling reckless teenagers that when they believe in Christ and receive his imputed righteousness, they are free to walk in faith, and not even their sin can destroy the covenant bonds. Edrington notes the rapid change in technology and how it alters perceptions of truth and the nature of relationships.

All three serve on the board of advisers for Rooted, which aims to transform student ministry by fostering grace-driven and cross-centered leaders through rich theological and contextual engagement.