Written by Andy Blanks

Posted in: Training

YM360 is excited to launch Facing Your Fears, a 40-day devotional all about allowing the Lord to reveal where fear has taken hold of students’ lives and putting an end to these strongholds.

Written by YM360

Posted in: More YM Stuff

YM360 is looking for an Associate Editor to join the YM360 Team.

Written by Andy Blanks

Posted in: Trends & Culture

Andy Blanks questions whether there is a "new compartmentalization" (the tendency for teenagers to compartmentalize their faith . . . and to not see a problem with it) emerging in young people.
Written by Jake Rasmussen, in Bible Stuff, Ministry Strategy
One of the ways we describe what we do at YM360 is to say that we are Gospel-centered. The “good news” of new life and new purpose through God’s grace shown through Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection . . . this message is at the heart of all we do.
With the release of our newest 52-week curriculum, The Rescue: Discovering How the Gospel Rescues and Redeems Us, I wanted to take a few moments to flesh out what “Gospel-centered” means to YM360 and potentially even your ministry.

After all, Gospel-centered sounds great, doesn’t it? But what does it really mean for us? And how can you apply this mindset to your youth ministry? Great questions. Glad you asked . . .

To define this idea of Gospel-centeredness, I want to take us back to Scripture. Let's look briefly at Paul’s words in Romans 1. This is where Paul is telling the Roman Christ-followers how much he has “longed” to come visit them. He talks about looking forward to hanging out with them, so that they can learn from each other. And then, in verse 15, Paul says:

So I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome.

Paul is eager to preach the Gospel to the Romans. But wait! They’re already Christ-followers, right? So why would Paul be so eager to preach the Gospel to people who already know it? Precisely because Paul knows something that we should all hope to internalize . . .

The Gospel is not introductory material. It’s not basic. It’s not 101. You don’t graduate from the Gospel. It’s not something you move on from.

In fact, in verse 16, Paul would say that we can’t move past the Gospel because it is “power”! Peter understood this, too. In 2 Peter 1, Peter talks about the idea of being “reminded” of the foundational principles of the Gospel. Knowing he is nearing the end of his life, he writes:

Therefore I intend always to remind you of these qualities, though you know them and are established in the truth that you have. I think it right, as long as I am in this body, to stir you up by way of reminder . . . (2 Peter 1:12-15)

Peter is saying, “Yeah, I get that you are Christians and that you have a solid faith. But don’t forget the ‘first things.’ Don't forget the elemental truths of your faith." And I love that Peter said the goal of this reminder is to “stir up” his audience. Peter and Paul both knew the power of the Gospel.

I believe many Christ-followers see the Gospel as something they move on from. It’s essential to salvation, but once saved, it’s something that can be moved past. The Gospel is too often taken for granted, passed over without much in the way of deep consideration. All because, for many, it feels like something that is basic.

Nothing could be further from the truth. In another one of the great paradoxes of Christianity, the Gospel is at once simple in its basic truths, and deeply profound in its implications.

In his excellent book Gospel-Centered Discipleship, Jonathan Dodson writes this:

The Gospel isn’t just for evangelism, the initial making of disciples, but for discipleship, the continual making of disciples.

So how does this concept impact what we do? In our curriculum, we constantly go back to the plumbline of the Gospel. How does the Gospel transform us? How is it shaping us? How are our todays and tomorrows different because of it? GENERATE, our summer camp experience, is literally built on the idea of teenagers “getting” the Gospel, and being equipped and challenged to “give it away.” When we craft a resource, when we lead a workshop, even in our staff devotions, we make sure the Gospel is driving what we say and do.

I want to challenge you to do the same in your youth ministry.

There are various components to your ministry. You do events. You have fun. You hang out. There are times when you’re goofing off. There are times when you’re serving. There are times when you’re teaching. There are serious times. There are sad times. There are laid back times. In every single element of your youth ministry, there is room for the Gospel.

Whether in word or deed, the Gospel has to be central to what you do.

If it’s not, you run the risk that what you’re doing isn’t that much different from anything the world has to offer your kids.

Don’t let the Gospel be something you move on from. Let it saturate your life and your ministry. It’s too important not to.
I’d also encourage you to take a look at a FREE LESSON of The Rescue: Discovering How the Gospel Rescues and Redeems Us and see if it would be a great resource for your ministry.
Written by J. Roger Davis, in Training
J. Roger Davis interviews youth minister Ryan Tucker about a variety of youth ministry thoughts and strategy.
Written by Andy Blanks, in Training
Andy Blanks passes along a few tips on how to deal with the doubts and questions our teenagers have about their faith and about God.
Written by Andy Blanks, in Training
Andy Blanks looks to the "1984" Apple Super Bowl commercial as a parallel to taking chances in your youth ministry.
Written by Andy Blanks, in Training
Andy Blanks reminds youth workers that spiritual growth happens most often outside your weekly gathering times.
Written by Andy Blanks, in Training
Andy Blanks wonders if, when it comes to allowing our students to be a little uncomfortable, we're following Jesus' model for discipleship.
Written by Andy Blanks, in Training
Andy Blanks talks about the many different points of tension he feels in ministry . . . and how it's a wonderful, awful part of the territory.
Written by YM360, in Training
Have you tried YM360's Event Resources? Here's an awesome review from a youth worker who DID try them and had a great experience.
Written by Andy Blanks, in Training
Andy Blanks suggests that the pain we feel from the relationships in youth ministry may be a sign that we're doing it right.
Written by Andy Blanks, in Training
Andy Blanks asks if we're guilty of thinking (and teaching teenagers) about spiritual habits all wrong.
Written by J. Roger Davis, in Training
J. Roger Davis interviews youth ministry veteran Steve Spence about the "wins" and challenges he's experiencing in his youth ministry.
Written by Andy Blanks, in More YM Stuff
Andy Blanks talks about why he enjoys the CLEAR Conference, and why you should consider joining him (and others) at the next CLEAR Conference in Orlando.
Written by Andy Blanks, in Training
YM360 Co-Founder and Publisher, Andy Blanks, shares the process and the results of a recent exercise YM360 underwent to put our values into writing.
Written by Andy Blanks, in Training
Andy Blanks shares the most effective principle to recruiting and keeping adult volunteers for your youth ministry.
Written by Andy Blanks, in Training
Andy Blanks looks at how we can help teenagers in your youth ministry own a faith that is important.
Written by J. Roger Davis, in Training
YM360 President, J. Roger Davis, interviews Lindsey Tillman about what makes the missions option at YM360's GENERATE Camp so meaningful.
Written by Harper Cossar, in Training
YM360 contributor, Dr. Harper Cossar, writes a thoughtful piece about what our attitude and approach toward sports says to our students.

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