Archive for Theology

Theo and YM Audio Files

Posted in adolescence, church, Ministry, spiritual disciplines, Teaching, Theology, youth ministry with tags , , , , , on August 19, 2014 by Walter

There are many who have requested the MP3s of the general session and break out sessions from Lipscomb University’s Youth Ministry Conference, “Theology & Youth Ministry.”(Links below)  It was a great day where over 130 youth workers, students, and church leaders gathered to wrestle with the large idea of “Why?” Theology demands that we ask “WHY?” of all we do in our ministry.  Please set aside March 3, 2015 for our next conference—We will give more details soon on this.

It was great getting to hear from the following speakers:

Andrew Root, PhD.

Andrew-Root-BIOPhoto-1Andrew Root, PhD (Princeton Theological Seminary) is the Olson Baalson Associate Professor of Youth and Family Ministry at Luther Seminary. He is the author of The Relational Pastor (IVP, 2013) as well as a four book series with Zondervan called A Theological Journey Through Youth Ministry (titles include Taking Theology to Youth Ministry, Taking the Cross to Youth Ministry, Unpacking Scripture in Youth Ministry, and Unlocking Mission and Eschatology in Youth Ministry).  He is also the author of the 2012 Christianity Today Book of Merit award for The Theological Turn in Youth Ministry (with Kenda Creasy Dean, IVP, 2011).   Andy has worked in congregations, parachurch ministries, and social service programs. He lives in St. Paul with his wife Kara, two children, Owen and Maisy, and their two dogs. When not reading, writing, or teaching, Andy spends far too much time watching TV and movies.

Lauren Smelser White

LaurenLauren holds both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in English from Harding and Abilene Christian Universities (respectively); she also has a master’s degree in Theological Studies from Vanderbilt University, where she is currently a third-year doctoral student in Theological Studies and a Fellow in Theology and Practice. Her work focuses on the intersections of systematic theology and literary theory so as to think critically about the overlap of scriptural interpretation, spiritual formation, and revelation. Practically speaking, she is interested in resourcing the Christian tradition and imagination to aid conservative Christians in developing renewed yet scripturally-faithful understandings of religious pluralism, gender roles, and relations with secular culture. Lauren and her husband Jason are excitedly anticipating the birth of their first child, a girl, in early May.


Chris Gonzalez, PhD @FajitaBoy  

ChrisChris Gonzalez is the husband of one wife, the father of two teens and is a believer in all youth. His career has taken a winding path through teaching 7th grade English in public schools, youth ministry in a local church, and marriage and family therapy in a small non-profit – with the common thread being engagement with youth. He did his doctoral studies in Family Social Science at the University of Minnesota studying Positive Youth Development. His current research project is to study Positive Youth Development with former child slaves in Ghana. His current position is director of the Marriage and Family Therapy masters program at Lipscomb University.

George Goldman, PhD @goldmange

GEGeorge has taught in the College of Bible and Ministry at Lipscomb since 1998 and currently serves as the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Bible. George has a Ph.D. in New Testament from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Chicago, an M.Div. from Harding Graduate School and an M.A. and B.A. from Lipscomb. He is a part-time campus minister at Vanderbilt, and often teaches Bible classes at the Otter Creek Church of Christ. George is married to Wendy and they have two daughters, Shannon (16) and Lauren (14), and one son Nathan (5).





Posted in Life, Theology with tags , , , , on January 22, 2009 by Walter

too tired2.jpgIt seems that this is how we have all been feeling this week in my family. We have been tired. It doesn’t seem possible after the girls had a four-day weekend with a cold day (instead of a snow day on Friday . . . don’t even get me started) and this being a short week due to the MLK holiday. So why are we tired?

My two cents is that these short weeks get us off of our normal rhythms of life. That inhale and exhale pace that our lives seem to need and year for. Perhaps we had a little too much inhaling and not enough exhaling this weekend. Perhaps life starting back last week just caught us off guard and our souls weren’t ready for the regular rigors of work, school, church. Who knows? But what I do know is that we all were dragging our feet this morning and NOT wanting to get out of bed. The girls made it to the bus stop with just 2 seconds to spare, I barely made it to class on time, and who knows how Amy’s day is going so far. I do know that it will be an early night for me tonight.

As I take just a few moments to breathe and read this, I keep having to come back to Isaiah 40, “Those who wait upon the Lord, shall renew their strength. . . They shall run and not grow weary. . . They shall walk and not fail . . . “

So I have been leaning on that passage today when I have a moment to breathe while I simply wait. . .

.::Youth Ministry Food For Thought

Posted in Ministry, Theology with tags , , on December 18, 2008 by Walter

“The history of primarily calling inexperienced and inadequately trained young people to do youth ministry reflects the myth that youth ministry is a beginner’s job that doesn’t require much education, experience or skill.  Nothing could be farther from the truth.  Youth ministry is one of the most demanding minsitries–so demanding and frustrating that many pastors and congregational leaders don’t know what to do.”

–Roland Martinson, professor of youth ministry at Luther Seminary

Martinson here has encapsulated what I have beleived for many years, that youth ministry requires the most gifted of our church community to serve.  I believe it takes the broadest skill set to be successful in youth ministry.  One needs to be an excellent teacher, Bible Scholar, friend, relational being, organizer, administrator, manager, creative, safe driver, cook, artist, worship leader, game developer, computer programmer, marketer, counselor, spiritual director, to be successful.

I hvae offhandedly said, “Anyone can preach, but it takes some really special to be a good youth minister.”  Maybe that is not so true, but as one who has given 16+ years of his life toward the vocation of youth ministry, I have to believe that to some extent.

The question for me then is that why isn’t there more seasoned veterans in the trenches of youth ministry?  Why don’t pulpit ministers think of stepping “UP” in to youth ministry one day?

Why don’t our churches become overwhelmingly over-protective of our youth as they are our most precious natural resources?  Be over protective by perhaps over funding our youth programs and staffing it to the point that says to the congregation and the teens, “No matter what, we are going ot take care of you.”