Rank #1: Episode 93: "Christian Teens and Sexual Practices" with David Ayers
If there’s one thing I’ve learned about Christian parents and youth workers over the years, it’s that they want the best for their kids. One area where many of us have struggled to teach God’s best is in the area of God’s grand and glorious gift of sex and sexuality. That struggle has played out in the church in a variety of ways, including the fact that for our evangelical teens and young adults, sex outside of marriage has become increasingly morally acceptable. What is the extent of premarital sexual activity among our unmarried young people in the church? And, how can we respond to these current trends in ways that effectively teach kids to both glorify God and experience sexual flourishing? We’ll tackle these and other matters as we chat with sociologist and researcher Dr. David Ayers, on this episode of Youth Culture Matters.
Nov 21 2019
Rank #2: Episode 87: "Navigating LGBTQ Issues" with Rosaria Butterfield
When it comes to our calling to love God and love neighbor, one of the most heated discussions taking place in the culture at large and in the church these days is how to fulfill this calling in response to the LGBTQ issue. If you’re like me, you wonder about how to navigate these unfolding realities in our homes, our youth groups, and our relationships. And, as with all issues, we run the risk of listening more to the Spirit of the times than we listen to the Word of God. What does it mean to remain faithful to God’s will and way regarding sexuality and gender? One voice addressing these questions is Rosaria Butterfield, a lesbian activist who experienced a radical and unexpected conversion to Christianity that turned her life upside down. Join me as I chat with Rosaria Butterfield about her conversion, along with how to understand, address, and navigate issues of sexuality and gender, on this episode of Youth Culture Matters.
Aug 01 2019
Rank #3: Episode 65: "Teaching Daughters About Sex and Sexuality" with Tim Geiger
What did you learn about sex and how did you learn about it when you were growing up? Christian parents, with assistance from youth leaders and the church, are given the responsibility to bring up their children in the nurture and instruction of the Lord. This includes talking about God’s order and design for sexuality.
And because we live in a hyper-sexualized world that’s providing its own narrative on gender and sexuality, taking on this responsibility to instruct our kids about God’s design is non-negotiable. It’s especially important that we correct the erroneous narrative the culture is throwing at our daughters. What should we be teaching them about sex and sexuality? How can we communicate the biblical narrative on this good gift from God? Stick with us as we chat with Tim Geiger about a letter on sex and sexuality that he’s written to his teenage daughter, on this episode of Youth Culture Matters.
Aug 02 2018
Rank #4: Episode 41: "How Is Your Phone Changing You?" with Tony Reinke
It's been over fifty years since media theorist Marshall McLuhan said that "First we shape our tools, and then our tools shape us." McLuhan had push back as folks wondered at the time if what he was saying was true. But time has proven McLuhan's theory to be correct. Now that we've hit the ten year anniversary of the launch of the iPhone, we're beginning to see how much our smartphones are shaping and changing our lives. How do our devices shape our beliefs and behaviors? What do they reflect about what's most important in our lives? And how can we use these magnificent tools to the glory of God, rather than in ways that are destructive? We'll be talking to Tony Reinke, author of the new book "12 Ways Your Phone Is Changing You," about this and much more, on this episode of Youth Culture Matters.
Jul 19 2017
Rank #5: Episode 12: "Suffering, Trauma and Abuse" With Dr. Diane Langberg
Walt and Jason discuss the latest news in youth culture, including pre-marital sex and divorce rates, vegan teenagers, youth broadcasting crimes on social media and more. Then Dr. Diane Langberg joins the podcast to talk about trauma being the mission field of the 21st century and the role of suffering. Walt and Dr. Langberg also discuss her new book titled Suffering and the Heart of God: How Trauma Destroys and Christ Restores. They also discuss how church leaders must guard themselves from abusing their power.
Jul 01 2016
Rank #6: Episode 45: "Emotional Affairs," with Ellen Dykas
Because we live as broken people with other broken people in a horribly broken world, we all face the temptation to take certain friendships over the line into the unhealthy world of emotional affairs. Once there, our tendency is to justify and downplay the seriousness of these relationships as no big deal. But even though emotional affairs might never lead to a sexual affair, they do cross a line. Emotional affairs are one of the most deadly obstacles facing us in life and ministry. They destroy marriages, families, ministries. and lives. They're especially prevalent in the church and in youth ministries. We'll be talking to Harvest USA's Ellen Dykas about the cautions, causes, and prevention of emotional affairs on this episode of Youth Culture Matters.
Oct 17 2017
Rank #7: Episode 49: "Identity in Christ in the Midst of Snaps and Selfies" with Kristen Hatton
Where are we to find our identity? Our current and powerful cultural narrative is convincing children, teens, and adults alike that we are to create, maintain, and find our identity in what we look like on social media. Consequently, we pour our time and energy into practices and habits that destroy us. It’s feeding the epidemics of anxiety, depression, and disordered eating. The path to hope, healing, and fullness is found in a different narrative, the biblical narrative, which leads us to find redemption and identity in Jesus Christ. How can we help our kids hear and follow this life-giving message? Stay with us as we talk about helping kids find their identity in Christ in a world of snaps and selfies with Kristen Hatton, author of the book Facetime. . . on this episode of youth culture matters.
Dec 13 2017
Rank #8: Episode 36: "'13 Reasons Why': A Discussion" with Amy Flavin and Kara Twining
The recently released Netflix series "13 Reasons Why" is getting a ton of attention from kids, parents, teachers and counselors. The show has sparked conversations about all sorts of adolescent issues, including suicide. But the show has also ignited controversy, as experts are divided over whether or not "13 Reasons Why" is motivating teenagers toward positive or negative behaviors. One thing is for sure: this is NOT a show to ignore. Our kids ARE watching it, they ARE thinking and talking about it, and they ARE allowing "13 Reasons Why" to shape their lives. We'll talk about these things and appropriate ways to respond, on this episode of Youth Culture Matters.
Apr 28 2017
Rank #9: Episode 57: "Deep Youth Ministry" with Cameron Cole, Mike McGarry, and Kevin Yi
Research and experience point way too often to the fact that our youth ministries and churches are failing at equipping kids to leave our youth groups with a deep, significant, and lasting faith. Too many kids graduate from high school and into the next phase of life seemingly pushing the pause or stop button on their Christian faith. Consequently, they aren’t ready to faithfully navigate the difficulties they are bound to face in life. How can we begin to take kids deeper into the Gospel? What are the steps we can take to promote spiritual maturity in our students? What are some of the key pillars of effective deep youth ministry? One youth worker has devoted his life to these matters after experiencing his own difficult adolescence, and the sudden death of his own three-year-old son. We’ll hear his story, discover how the truths of the Gospel carried him through the darkness of that time, and look to learn more about doing deep youth ministry, on this episode of youth culture matters.
Mar 29 2018
Rank #10: Episode 75: "Stressed Out" a Conversation about Anxiety with Walt Mueller
Four years ago, the band Twenty-One Pilots released a hit song focusing on the pressures of adulthood and a yearning to return back to the relatively easy years of childhood. Title Stressed Out, the song went to number one on the mainstream music charts. But judging from what we’re hearing from researchers, parents, youth workers, educators, and kids themselves, stress and anxiety is increasingly common among our children and teens. What is anxiety? How is it manifesting itself in the lives of our kids? What are its causes? And how does the Gospel speak to this new epidemic of anxiety among our kids? We’ll be discussing strategies for navigating the epidemic of youth anxiety on this episode of Youth Culture Matters.
Jan 15 2019
Rank #11: Episode 24: "Liturgies, Our Loves and Our Habits" with James K. A. Smith
Walt and Jason start the podcast off with a discussion about taking a trip to Mars, as well as youth culture news and trends related to the Chicago Cubs, energy drinks, new technological advancements, football and brain injuries, cyber dating abuse and media recommendations for kids. Then we chat with Jamie Smith about our cultural liturgies and his new book, "You Are What You Love," and what that means for students, parents, and youth workers.
Nov 21 2016
Rank #12: Episode 72: "Why Youth Stay in Church When They Grow Up" with Jon Nielson
Over the course of the last few years, youth workers and parents have been increasingly lamenting the exodus of kids from the church once they graduate from high school and launch into the next phase of life. A growing volume of research is offering ideas on why this is happening, and solutions designed to reverse this trend. Why is it that our kids are leaving the church in droves after they grow up? Have we come to a clear understanding of the reasons? And what steps can we take to prepare kids for a lifetime of spiritual growth and following Christ? We’ll chat with John Nielson about what he’s discovered about why youth stay in church when they grow up, on this episode of Youth Culture Matters.
Nov 28 2018
Rank #13: Episode 95: "Your Sexuality Is Not Who You Are" with Christopher Yuan
Because all of us have been created by God and given the good gift of our gender and sexuality, we all live out what can be called our personal sex story. How we choose to live out our gender and sexuality hinges on what larger narrative we choose for our lives. In today’s world, the culture tells us that we should live within a narrative focused on self-fulfillment and individual choice. But the creator of sex invites us to find true freedom in the story He has written for us. Christopher Yuan calls this Holy Sexuality. Join us as we chat with Christopher Yuan about finding our identity in Christ and not our sexuality, as we talk about his book Holy Sexuality and the Gospel, on this episode of Youth Culture Matters.
Dec 24 2019
Rank #14: Episode 79: "Life, Sexuality, and a Christian Worldview" with Nancy Pearcey
If you’re active on social media, you know that not a day goes by without someone posting an article or news story which sparks sometimes heated disagreement and discussion over one of the many issues related to life and sexuality. Discussions center on topics like abortion, euthanasia, gender, and marriage. The reality is that even in the church disagreements and divides are on the rise. How can we build a strong biblical foundation that serves us well as we seek to respond according to a Christian world and life view? Do world views even matter? And what’s at stake in these conversations with our kids? We’ll be looking to find answers to the hard questions about life and sexuality as we chat with Nancy Pearcey, author of the book Love Thy Body, on this episode of Youth Culture Matters.
Mar 07 2019
Rank #15: Episode 58: "Posture, Theology, Sexuality and The Church" with Preston Sprinkle
One way our culture has changed is the growing openness to new beliefs and behaviors related to sexuality, sexual orientation, and gender. Because we minister and parent on this changing landscape, we find ourselves engaged in all kinds of conversations with young people who express different beliefs and practices. As Christians work to be faithful to the Scriptures, we will encounter a variety of interpretations of the passages dealing with sex, sexuality and gender. How are we to look at and interpret these passages? What should we believe regarding God's order and design? And what posture should we assume as we engage with those from the LGBTQ community? We'll be chatting with author and theologian Preston Sprinkle about these questions and others, on this episode of Youth Culture Matters.
Apr 10 2018
Rank #16: Episode 66: "Youth, Sports, and Ministry" with John Perritt
It’s that time of year when the fall sports season is heating up, everywhere from the pre-school soccer fields to the NFL gridiron. Our sports-obsessed culture will be in full gear as we do everything from playing to spectating. If all of a Christian’s life is to be an act of worship, how can we engage in our playing, sports-parenting, and spectating to the glory of God? How do we push back on a culture that encourages us to idolize sport, winning, and sports stars? And how can we shift our priorities so that youth sports don’t eclipse the necessary task of nurturing the faith of our children and teens? We’ll be talking with John Perritt, author of a new book on youth sports, about these important issues, on this episode of Youth Culture Matters.
Aug 17 2018
Rank #17: Episode 11: "A Conversation about Transgender Issues" with Chap Clark and Duffy Robbins
Walt and Jason forgo the normal youth culture news section to dive right into a conversation about transgender issues. Chap Clark of Fuller Theological Seminary and Duffy Robbins of Eastern University join the conversation to discuss what it looks like for The Church, and youth ministry in particular, to address issues related to gender and gender identity. What approach should we take when thinking about these topics? What do we do when we have a transgender student in our ministry? These questions and more are addressed throughout this podcast episode.
Jun 15 2016
Rank #18: Episode 83: "Understanding Transgender in a Changing Culture" with Peter Lynas
It wasn’t until the late 1960s and early 1970s that the term Transgender was first coined and used. In today’s world, the word sits front and center on our collective cultural consciousness as more and more people are referring to themselves as transgender, and as transgender activism intensifies. The reality is, more and more gender dysphoric kids are showing up in our youth groups. For those of us doing ministry in the church, we should be thinking about how to minister with grace, truth, and compassion to those who identify as transgender. Peter Lynas is approaching the issue in this way as he helps the Christian community in the U.K. think through the theological, pastoral, and legal implications of ministry to the transgendered. Stay with us as Peter guides us through the difficult issues related to what it means to love and care for the transgendered, on this episode of Youth Culture Matters.
May 13 2019
Rank #19: Episode 94: "Building Resilient Disciples" with Mark Matlock
If there’s been a rising chorus of lament over young people in the church, it’s been the rate at which young people are graduating from high school and leaving the church. For several years now, research projects have identified this post high school exodus as a growing concern. But in their recently released book, David Kinnaman and Mark Matlock share research that helps us understand why those who stay, decide to stay. What are the youth ministry practices that build resilient disciples of Jesus Christ? What can we do to turn tide on this discouraging trend? We’ll talk to our friend Mark Matlock about the new book, Faith for Exiles, on this episode of Youth Culture Matters.
Dec 11 2019
Rank #20: Episode 30: "Love of Self" with Walt Mueller and Jason Soucinek
In recent years, researchers have sounded the warning that narcissism is on the rise in our culture, particularly among the emerging generations. If this is true, the tendency towards following self rather than following God will thwart our spiritual growth and development. Where does this focus on self come from? How is it being manifested in our lives? And what can we do to lead ourselves and our kids into a lifestyle of allegiance to God and service to others, when the world encourages us to look out for number one? We’ll be talking about the tendency towards too much focus on me, myself and I, on this episode of Youth Culture Matters.
Walt and Jason begin the podcast with a discussion about a new college course, social media replacing drugs, social media and violence, the cost of raising a child, shortening sports broadcasts because of the shortening attention spans of Millennials, and the epidemic of stress among kids.
Feb 09 2017