Rank #1: 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 #2: 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 #3: 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 #4: 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 #5: Episode 47: "The Opioid Epidemic and Parenting Addicts" with Allen Jackson
Drug and alcohol abuse is nothing new to youth culture. Sadly, it's been a part of the teenage experience for a long time. While anti-drug efforts have yielded a decline in the use of some drugs, the usage number on way too many drugs are on the rise. And not a day goes by when we don't read another sobering statistic or sad story related to the abuse of opioids or heroin. Today, kids are engaging with drugs and alcohol for a host of reasons. What is it like to work with a young person who is addicted? How can parents handle and navigate the horror of watching a son or daughter spiral down into the grip of drug and alcohol addiction? And what should we do as youth workers when these things visit our families? Stick with us as we hear a compelling first-person story of heartbreak and hope from our good friend Allen Jackson, on this episode of Youth Culture Matters.
Nov 15 2017
Rank #6: 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 #7: 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 #8: 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 #9: 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 #10: 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 #11: 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 #12: Episode 06: "Digital Kids and Social Media" with Walt Mueller
Walt and Jason discuss the latest news in youth culture, such new definitions surrounding gender identity, the death of Prince, substance abuse, masculinity and school shootings, suicide rates, generational parenting differences and more. Then Jason interviews Walt about the work CPYU is doing through the Digital Kids Initiative. Walt shares some of the blessings and curses this new digital frontier has brought and then discusses some best practices we can all use as we interact through social media.
May 03 2016
Rank #13: 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 #14: Episode 39: "Anxiety" with Dr. Phil Monroe
Late last year, Time Magazine ran a cover story on the current epidemic of anxiety among America’s adolescents. The story reports on what all of us who work with kids already know: that the pressures on today’s teenagers are so great that they are trying to navigate their lives while, as one teen says, "feeling like they are climbing Mount Everest in high heels." What is anxiety? What is feeding the anxiety epidemic? How does anxiety manifest itself in kids? And how can we provide Gospel-centered hope and healing for our anxious kids. We’ll be talking about children, teens and anxiety with Doctor Phil Monroe, on this episode of Youth Culture Matters.
Jun 15 2017
Rank #15: 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 #16: Episode 82: "Girls, Worldviews, and Contradictions" with Heather Zeiger
In her book, American Girls, Nancy Jo Sales writes these sobering words regarding what it’s like to grow up as a girl in today’s youth culture: “The constant seeking of likes and attention on social media seems for many girls to feel like being a contestant in a never-ending beauty pageant in which they forever performing to be please the judges.” Navigating life in our appearance-obsessed world is dangerous business for girls and boys, young and old alike. What are the messages our girls are hearing regarding their identity? How do these messages undermine their flourishing? And what can the home and church do to change the destructive trajectory our girls are on? We’ll be talking about these questions and more with writer Heather Zieger, on this episode of Youth Culture Matters.
May 02 2019
Rank #17: Episode 04 - "Straight Choices in a Crooked World" with Duffy Robbins
Walt and Jason discuss news related to co-sleeping, millennials and anxiety, body image, gender identity, Snapchat, water-less toilets and more. Then youth ministry veteran Duffy Robbins joins the podcast to talk about the markers of adolescent foolishness and how to develop wisdom in teenagers.
Apr 12 2016
Rank #18: Episode 52: "A Youth Ministry Conversation" with Walt Mueller, Duffy Robbins, Marv Penner, and Chap Clark
Over the course of Walt Mueller's years of youth ministry, he's developed some wonderful friendships with a variety of youth ministry peers. Some of the most significant relationships have resulted in sometimes fun, sometimes serious, and always profitable conversation about their personal lives and ministry matters. They don't always agree, but they always work to sharpen one another. All of us need these kind of relationships where iron sharpens iron as we love each other and serve together. We invite you to listen in on one of these conversations among youth ministry friends, Walt Mueller, Duffy Robbins, Marv Penner, and Chap Clark... on this episode of Youth Culture Matters.
Jan 23 2018
Rank #19: Episode 09: "Christian Sexual Ethics" with Dennis Hollinger
Walt and Jason discuss the latest news in youth culture, including pornography, concussion recovery, a look at teenagers 50 years ago, fentanyl and cultural lies. Then Dr. Dennis Hollinger, President of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and author of The Meaning of Sex: Christian Ethics and the Moral Life joins the podcast to talk about Christian ethics are how a Christian worldview should help inform the Church's response to current cultural hot topics such as homosexual marriage, sexual identity and transgender issues.
May 26 2016
Rank #20: Episode 60: "Sacrificing Truth on the Altar of Relevance?" with Duffy Robbins and Marv Penner
With the culture changing at breakneck speed, we need to know the culture so that we can contextualize the unchanging Good news of the Gospel in ways that can be heard by a changing world. As a result, we talk a lot about the need for relevance in our churches and youth ministries. Is it possible that our commitment to relevance can lead us to focus too much on forms, with the result that we forfeit our knowledge of the Gospel? And, can we become so committed to relevance that we find ourselves falling into theological compromise and relativism? These are important questions for those who minister in today’s world. We’ll be discussing relevance, relativism, and a whole lot more with veteran youth ministry experts Dr. Duffy Robbins and Dr. Marv Penner on this episode, of Youth Culture Matters.
May 14 2018