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Theological Matters

Theological Insights from Southwestern

Youth Ministry

Top 10 Questions about Your Church’s Ministry with Teenagers


If I were a senior pastor I would print the following list of questions, and I would take it to staff meeting for discussion. I would expect discussion to involve everyone. For example, I would expect those in ministry with children to consider how 12 years in their program will address question #1. I would expect those in adult ministry to have much to say about questions #7-9. I would expect those who lead senior adult ministry to address question #10 with creativity. And of course, I would keep the youth pastor at the heart of all the conversations. Read More »

Consummation, Adultery, and Second Honeymoon


My Beloved created me for the display of His glory through a relationship with me. He created me in love, He redeemed me in love, and He pursued me in love. Because He first loved me, I loved Him. Our relationship was consummated. He “knew” me the same way Adam “knew” Eve. For a time I was moving toward loving Him with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength.  Read More »

The Senior Pastor and Transformational Student Ministry


Pastor, you can decide to support youth ministry for one of two reasons. First, you can decide to support youth ministry because you ought to—in the same way you ought to support every ministry of the church. On the other hand, you can decide to support youth ministry because you see it as a strategic and powerful way to fulfill the vision you have for your church and for the coming of Christ’s kingdom on earth. Read More »

Homosexuality and the Gospel: A Crucial Distinction

The Bible is perfectly clear both that the offer of the Gospel is nondiscriminating and that homosexuality is morally wrong. That is, our Gospel outreach should never be limited in its scope, but there are lifestyles and behaviors that are condemned, and an active homosexual lifestyle is among these. In fact, any sexual activity outside of marriage (clearly understood in the Bible as being exclusively between a man and woman) is condemned, according to the straightforward teaching of Scripture. Now I realize that all of these claims are highly controversial in much of today’s society. However, I won’t in this article be arguing for any of them because I want to say something to those who already hold these as truths. Read More »

Guiding Teenagers to Love the Church


Just use your imagination. One of your teenagers has graduated and has just started his freshman year at college. It is the first Sunday morning. Asleep in the dorm, he hears his phone alarm go off at 7:00 am. Will he get up and find a new church or roll over and sleep until noon? Read More »

Who Spiritually Deepens the Adults who Lead Teenagers?


Even if you and I have never met, I know some things about you. You long to see teenagers love God with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength—and to love others as they love themselves. You long to see them value the glory of God above all things. You long to see them ready to live or die as they join majestic Christ in bringing His kingdom on earth. Read More »

Teenagers Who Declare Their Intention to Live in Purity


Spiritual transformation has many different facets. One of those facets is a life of sexual purity. God created the wonder and beauty of sex for several reasons. He designed the sexual union in part to give husbands and wives a way to express a closeness that cannot be put into words. But He also created the sexual union to express the depth of intimacy the Bridegroom will share with the bride (the church) in heaven. Christ is inviting us into more of that closeness here on earth. Read More »

Teenagers, Revival, and the American Church


Is an awakening to Christ possible in your church and youth ministry? Absolutely. That is exactly what the Father has been orchestrating among believers down through the centuries and today.

Awakening is a church saturated with the supremacy of Christ by the Spirit of Christ. God floods His church with fresh hope, passion, prayer, and mission by refocusing believers on Christ for all He really is. The awakening then spills into the community and cannot be stopped. Read More »

Sending Out Recent High School Graduates to the Nations

Missions is evangelism and compassionate ministry in the name of Christ. Both here and there and to the uttermost parts of the earth. It flows from passion for Christ’s renown and an insatiable thirst to see the multiplication of worshippers before His throne for all of eternity. On earth the goal is not making converts but making disciples. Or better yet, making disciple makers. Read More »