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Top 10 things I like about “Divided”

Today’s guest post is by Tim Carigon. Tim was a youth pastor/senior pastor in Hawai’i for 20 years, before moving to China with his family to work on behalf of Chinese youth. He is now beginning a new position as the Youth Pastor at BICF, the biggest international church in China.

The only thing productive about my vacation so far has been extended time being challenged by God  to prepare me for this upcoming youth ministry journey. I have come out of it frustrated and confused, until last night when it all started to come together.  This all happened while watching the movie “cowboys and aliens”.  I know it would have been more impressive to say my prayer closet but…. I have found God speaks to me in the shower, at movies and in the car more than my prayer closet.  I just realized I don’t have a prayer closet, or MAYBE these places ARE my prayer closet, hummmm.

Anyway, this morning as I woke up with all of this YM stuff on my mind a link to the movie DIVIDED came to me and I watched it in anticipation that it would confirm the things God has been showing me about this upcoming YM journey.  I spent the morning pouring over it.

Well, I am naturally cynical of new things coming down the pike, but the timing was just too curious in relationship to what God has been speaking to me lately about YM.  The first scene was of Marko and I was excited to see someone I knew; I know a little of his background and thought this is going to be good.  I went to get a drink so I could settle into the rest of the DVD.  And then the DVD drove off a cliff, and I was forced to ditch the car doing one of those Clint Eastwood jump and rolls out of the car as it goes over the cliff in slow motion.  I could write a really long post on this DVD, but I thought I would check out what Marko thought (cause now I was doubting his sanity), and was shocked to find out he was highjacked, and his clip was a surprise to him.  He writes an awesome blog on it here.

I will not, in an attempt to sound cool and original, try to out do his blog, (cause it is perfectly said) but I encourage you to read it and then you will get linked to a host of others who write about it as well.  I wish I could say things as well as he does on this topic.

Instead I would like to list the Top 10 things I really like about the DVD.  This is my attempt to be a positive person and overall good guy.  (Please do not read this if you are sarcastically handicapped)

Top 10 things I like about the awesome DVD “Divided”

#10 I like the irony of the title “Divided”
#9 I love the emphasis on families, fathers and scriptural purity.
#8 I like the videography.  The pan and blur things are really good.
#7 I love how the DVD throws the baby out with the bathwater.
#6 I like how the DVD asks all of those well worded leading questions to unsuspecting teens with really cool haircuts and edgy clothing.
#5 I love how seriously they take God’s Word and how they stress living radically different in a dark and perverse generation.
#4 I like the grumpy little kid on the front cover of the DVD who is not even a teenager.
#3 I love the DVD’s criticism of YM in America, and it’s attraction driven, program driven, budget driven, personality driven approach to youth ministry.  (Really I do love that part)

#2 I love the idealism of this DVD, pointing all teens in America toward their spirit filled fathers.  This is truly the God designed first line of discipleship.  I am concerned though because I think we may be a few good fathers short.

and the #1 thing I like about the movie “Divided”….

I like it’s transparency and obvious agendas running throughout the DVD.

I hope this DVD gets people talking about making disciples of the next generation and that God works all things together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to his purpose.  I know Paul Washer and the rest of the experts in this video love Jesus.  And I hope this at least raises the topic of youth ministry in our local churches.  I also pray God will grant all of us discernment and wisdom to know how best to reach the teens of America, not to mention the 110 million teens in China.

In Kindred Spirit,

 
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Posted by on August 11, 2011 in Guest Posts, Leading Youth

 

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The place of Christian Coaching in youth ministry

I recently attended a 3 day workshop on coaching. Christian coaching is a process of mentoring that consists mostly of asking questions and allowing the coachee to come up with their own discoveries and goals. There are two things I really love about coaching:

  1. The emphasis on trusting the Holy Spirit to to be the one at work transforming.
  2. Coaching is a process that empowers the coachee to set their own growth goals – a great reminder that I don’t have to have all the answers.

Coaching is a great tool to add to our tool belts. The seminar was focused mostly on peer-to-peer coaching and how to use these skills in informal settings.  The big questions now in my head revolve more the application of these skills to my own ministry context – working with youth. How can we use the principles of coaching, and the art of powerful questions, in youth ministry? What is the role of formal coaching in our work mentoring youth?

Most long term youth workers have spent time considering what makes a “good question” during group teaching times. It’s a big topic – probably best to spend a whole blog post talking about that alone. In the context of coaching, we talked about asking “powerful questions” and the risk of asking open-ended questions. We have probably all experienced the crazy tangents that can happen in small groups – and even large groups – when an interesting question derails the whole discussion.

If we really believe that personal discovery is more powerful than being told the right answer, it seems to follow that we should strive to set our kids up for personal discovery. Instead of teaching them the right answers,we should be learning to ask powerful questions that lead them to think their own way through to those answers.

Parents and Coaching

The principles of coaching might provide some valuble tools for parents, especially as they work through changing relationships with their kids. Coaching speaks to kids the message I have confidence in you. It makes lots of space for positive feedback and recognition. Although parents may never formally coach their kids, the techniques can be used to  help their children think through their decisions, the consequences and, and setting their own goals.

Formal Coaching in Youth Ministry

I think one of the most vauble roles of formal coaching in international youth ministry would be as a transitions coach for students who have graduated and are moving back to their passport countries.  Think about all the changes that happen January to January – preparing to leave the host country, graduations and farewells, a summer break, and then moving into  uni and settling into  a new life…  How valuable would it be if we intentionally coached our students through this process? Not just being intentional about checking in but also giving them a dedicated hour of our time – to listen to them, and give our assurance that they have within them the resources needed to set and meet goals. Coaching actually works well over skype, and many professional coaches actually prefer to use skype.  For students in transition, this means that the coaching can remain a constant during the months leading up, during, and after the move.

One of the factors that Fuller Youth Institute has identified as helping highschool students make a success transition to college or university is continued contact with their highschool youth leader*. How much more valuble would  this be for international youth like the ones we work with? They are not only facing the challenges of the transition from high school to college but also the extra pressures of an international move, and entering a “home” country they may not feel at all at home in.

What about you?

What experiences have you had either formally or informally coaching teens? Either as a youth leader or parent?

*A note: I am currently studying at Fuller Theological Seminary. The Urban Youth Ministry program I am doing was created by Fuller Youth Institute. A concept they have spent a lot of time looking at is “sticky faith” – helping students build a faith that lasts beyond high school. More resources here.

 
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Posted by on April 1, 2011 in Leading Youth, TCKs, Youth Resources

 

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