group magazine: March-April, 2003
“We really appreciate the great input that group has. We don’t have anything like it to support youth workers here in New Zealand.”
Auckland, New Zealand
Whacked By Encouragement
“Whacked by Criticism” (January/ February 2003) was the most encouraging thing that I could’ve ever read at this time. After reading your article, I was rejuvenated in a way I haven’t felt in over a year. God is good. He has called me to my church for the long haul, not just four years, but the long haul. Thank you for your words of wisdom and encouragement.
I just want to thank you for the one-page articles you’ve been including these past few months by Steve Argue and Dave Livermore (“Hands-on Help: Youth,” “Jesus-Style Youth Ministry”). I find that they’re challenging not only to ministry with senior high students but also for my own walk with God. I look forward to reading their articles every month. I always appreciate what they have to say, and I’d love it if they’d write longer articles occasionally.
More About Bribes
I really appreciated the article “Ban the Bribes” (September/October 2002). Then I read a comment in the January/February issue (“Talkback”) from another youth pastor about how bribes can work for some. Really, I believe bribes teach youth to find satisfaction and reward in something that is fleeting... God wants us to find the ultimate reward of satisfaction in him. When we bribe youth, we tell them that God isn’t worth seeking for his own worthiness. We, in a way, tell them that God is cool, but here is something else that makes him even better. I want my youth to seek after God because he is to be most treasured, not because they’re going to get candy bars. I want them to help others out of the pleasure they’re going to receive when they cause joy in those people they’re helping. Bribes can be dangerous in directing youth because when bribes stop, often obedience and worship
I absolutely loved your recent article “In Defense of Cramming Jesus Down Their Throats” (“Youth Ministry Minute,” November/December 2002) and give you kudos for your effort. I read both YouthWorker (your “rival”) and group...While both do a good job at keeping us informed with the most current trends, and especially the writings of contemporary theology and youth ministry, both are lacking in one specific area: an acknowledgement of the great writings of the past...Here’s my idea: Along with your recommendations for contemporary source material in your “Resources” department, include a small section where at least one classic is recommended per issue.