Recent Articles

The 3 Foundations to Small Groups You Must Know

by Laurie Polic Posted in Adolescent DevelopmentArticlesAdviceFeatured ArticleFeatured ReviewHigh SchoolMiddle SchoolParentsProgrammingResource and Book ReviewsTrainingYouth Worker Development

Small groups are not the end of ministry; they are the beginning. Many youth workers believe that if they can get kids into small groups, their job is done. But the real job has just begun. Ministry is about life change, and for this to happen, there needs to be an intentional ap- proach to HOW small groups will nurture and shape students’ lives.   Exerpt from "Small Group Strategies" by Laurie Polich

An Interview with Jared Herd of XP3 Students

by Youth Specialtie Posted in Featured ReviewResource and Book Reviews

At Youth Specialties we are always on the lookout for ministry resources that are excellent. While we love our own products we fully recognize that there are fantastic resources available to youth workers that aren't published by YS. Recently, I had the opportunity to catch-up with Jared Herd, the Creative Director of XP3 Students. XP3 has taken the idea of curriculum development for youth ministry to a whole different level of engagement with in-the-trenches youth workers. Here's my interview with Jared.

Review: Source Code

by Joel Mayward Posted in Featured ReviewMovie Study Guides

I love movies about dimensions. Whether it's traveling through time or jumping through some portal into another world, the idea that there is more than one possible reality fascinates me. These are the kinds of movies that stretch the imagination to its limit, forcing us to wonder if what we're…Read More

Review: The King’s Speech

by Joel Mayward Posted in Featured ReviewMovie Study Guides

I'm a professional communicator of sorts. A central part of my job as a pastor is standing up in front of people and sharing the truths of Scripture. Some call it "preaching" or "teaching." In any case, it's like giving a spiritual speech. I genuinely enjoy this aspect of my vocation.…Read More

Book Review: Generous Justice

by Joel Mayward Posted in Featured ReviewResource and Book Reviews

When I first heard the statistic that over one billion people don't have access to clean drinking water, it floored me. When I see pictures or videos of the ponds and ditches that people use for drinking, cooking, and bathing, it breaks my heart. A resource that is found in incredible abundance--a necessity that I use nearly constantly without a second thought--is not even available to people? It doesn't seem fair.

Movie Review: The Social Network

by Joel Mayward Posted in Featured ReviewMovie Study Guides

Walking out of the theater this past weekend, I turned to my friend Jon and made an observation: "we may have just watched this year's Best Picture winner." Granted, we still have nearly a quarter of the year left on the calendar, but I would not be surprised if The Social…Read More

Review: The Children of Divorce

by Joel Mayward Posted in Featured ReviewResource and Book Reviews

While I try to maintain boundaries on sharing the intimate details of my personal life on my blog, I cannot help but draw connections between my own story and Andrew Root's newest book, The Children of Divorce.   Root's premise is that divorce is not only a sociological or psychological upheaval, but that at its roots has ontological implications. Divorce affects our very sense of being in the world.

Thoughts on The Other Guys and a Theology of Humor

by Joel Mayward Posted in Featured ReviewMusic Reviews and Interviews

The Other Guys (2010): If I've learned anything from having an infant son, it is that laughter doesn't need to be taught. Laughing comes naturally, spontaneously, in fits and spurts, but always with an innate sense of joy. That we can somehow find a moment of respite in our chaotic…Read More

Review: Helping our Children Grow in Faith

by Sara Evanchick Posted in Featured ReviewResource and Book Reviews

Helping our Children Grow in Faith addresses an issue with which many of us in the church struggle: How can we nurture a faith in our children that they won’t outgrow? In this book, author Robert J. Keeley writes about making sure children develop a ‘three dimensional faith’. He addresses…Read More

Movie Review: Despicable Me

by Joel Mayward Posted in Featured ReviewResource and Book Reviews

It's a hard life being a villain in this economy. The banks won't give you loans for your evil plans to steal famous works of art or national monuments. There are pesky international laws that prevent the theft and usage of shrink rays. And there's the responsibility of taking care…Read More

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