Tag : Youth Ministry

Written on Sep, 26, 2017 by in | Leave a comment

It’s a new semester and I’m again teaching in St Sophia Ukrainian Orthodox Theology Seminary’s distance education program for youth ministers. This time around, I’m teaching Christian doctrine for youth minister. As I did last semester, I’ll post my class notes here. You are welcome to use them if you’d like. You’re also welcome to ask questions or offer your own thoughts on the material.

Continue Reading...
Written on May, 05, 2017 by in | Leave a comment

Over the last half-century or so, there has been a progressive erosion of what was once a universally understood norm, that human beings are male and female. While many factors have brought about this change, there are several that represent a significant departure from the moral tradition common to both Eastern and Western Christianity.

Continue Reading...
Written on Apr, 04, 2017 by in | Leave a comment

One way to use an examination of conscience is to use the questions as the basis for group discussions. Doing this will not only help young people understand what is and isn’t a sin but also help them have richer, deeper spiritual lives. How? By teaching them to think and talk about what it means to follow Jesus Christ as Orthodox Christians.

Continue Reading...
Written on Mar, 28, 2017 by in | Leave a comment

When we discuss the ascetical life, we’re generally pretty comfortable with prayer and fasting. In fact, not all that uncommon for Orthodox Christians to brag about the length of our services and the strictness of our fasting–even if we, personally, don’t attend the lenten service or keep the fast all that closely! But in the tradition of the Church, asceticism …

Continue Reading...
Written on Mar, 21, 2017 by in | Leave a comment

When I talk with people about their spiritual lives I often come away with the impression that they don’t think praying counts unless it hurts. So many of us think we need to stand at attention to pray; so many of us undermine our own spiritual lives because we act like a soldier on guard duty rather than like a small child on our Father’s lap.

Continue Reading...
Written on Feb, 27, 2017 by in | Leave a comment

We have as Orthodox Christians a rich tradition of personal and liturgical prayer. Often though that tradition is unknown to the majority of adults and so most young people.

Continue Reading...
Written on Feb, 13, 2017 by in | Leave a comment

One of the great advantages churches have is that they are one of the few social institutions that aren’t rigidly segregated by age. This gives young people the opportunity to meet and interact with a wide range of people from different backgrounds and of different ages. We shouldn’t underestimate the importance in young people’s lives of adults who are mature, committed, thoughtful Orthodox Christians. The whole parish has a role to play in the spiritual formation of young people as they make the journey to an adult faith.

Continue Reading...
Written on Feb, 06, 2017 by in | 1 Comment.

Working with young people means working with individuals who are often more or less lost because they find themselves in a place they’ve never been before. And they do what all of us do in similar situations. They look around, they explore, they try to find the boundaries of the situation so they can find their way around.

Continue Reading...
Written on Jan, 31, 2017 by in | 1 Comment.

We know that telling young people about God isn’t enough. They too need to meet, know and love God. What we are talking about is broader and deeper than religious education; we’re concerned with the spiritual formation of young people.

Continue Reading...
Written on Jan, 23, 2017 by in | Leave a comment

But the Gospel is more than this. Being an Orthodox Christian is, or should be, life transforming. If we don’t present it this way, we make the Church boring! For many young people being a Christian doesn’t mean being transformed, or really much at all beyond being nice. But there are lots of nice people in the world who aren’t Christian. If being nice or being a good person is the goal, how is Christianity different from other religions? Or from being an atheist?

Continue Reading...