I invited Tom Bergler of Huntington University to stop by and talk about his book, The Juvenilization of American Christianity. We aired this video as the third in the series for Youth Specialties, though we shot it first. Tom talks about his latest book, which created a lot of press and discussion (links to Jesus Creed blog by Scot McKnight), while giving youth workers a lot to think about. If you haven’t read the book, this video will introduce you to its main points.
This past week most of America has been watching “March Madness,” the final basketball tournament for large universities and upstart Florida Gulf Coast University has stolen the spotlight. Only in their second year of eligibility to make the tournament, they have upset two better known teams to make the final 16 (out of 64) after being ranked as one of the worst 8 teams in the tourney.
The most striking feature of their play though is ….. THEY ARE HAVING FUN! They are [passing (what? a pass in basketball?) dunking, laughing, dancing, and enjoying every moment along the way. And making fans, including me. It’s reminded me of Magic Johnson and Larry Bird playing for the title when team play, passing, and loving the game of basketball drove their will to win.
One problem with theological litmus tests is that they’re binary. You’re either one thing or another. Sure categories and stereotypes provide quick summaries about where people stand, but I generally find that people use them to push others to the side – what we quickly term “right”or “left,” conservative or liberal.
This past week Seth Godin wrote that real-time news is neither. He said, “Go watch an hour of cable news from a year ago… what were they yelling about that we actually care about today?”
It made me think about my field of youth ministry and the books that we clamor for and trumpet each year. Some received a LOT of press when they came out but today are rarely mentioned or discussed. Others have seemed timeless and continue to inform the field. Others may not have sold as many copies, but have a devoted following.
This week I asked readers how many hours a youth pastor should spend with teens. We drew from the comments, well Jayson did the random drawing from little scrunched up papers in my hand… and CASEY HASSELKUS (from Wisconsin) is the winner. She gets to pick one of my paperback books (and who wouldn’t want one of those, eh?) as her prize and we’ll get that to her as soon as possible.
Congrats and stay tuned for another book giveaway next week!
Most of my week is spent coaching and teaching people who lead, coordinate, teach, or manage various groups. I consult with people ages 18 to 83 who hold positions in youth ministries, nonprofits, local public schools, educational administration, publishing, and even a few CEOs of global corporations.
All are trying to keep up with change, the new constant of our culture.