Each month we publish a round up of great blogs, books, resources, and podcasts which can help anyone involved in student ministry. Most of the blogs/articles in these round-ups have been published within the last month – October, for this edition. If you think we’ve something crucial leave us a message in the comments!
If you would like these posts delivered straight into your inbox every month, make sure you subscribe to our blog.
Jump to resource:
- 14 Days – Reading the Bible | Learning to Pray
- Millennial Leadership Report
- Fusion Ministry Training Days
- Meet Generation Z by James Emery White
- Mentoring someone who doesn’t know what their career goals should be from Harvard Business Review
You’re hanging out on campus midday on a Tuesday. You get chatting to a student who doesn’t go to church, and you tell them you do. They want to know more. You share a bit of your story with them – they are gripped by what change Jesus has brought in your life. You explain to them how they can have this full life right now. They ask to start following Jesus. You pray with them. Job done?
Of course not. It’s just started.
How do you help them to start reading the bible and learning to pray from day 1? This was the question that I asked last year when we had 14 students start following Jesus in the first couple of months of term. I couldn’t meet up with them all on a daily basis to read the bible, but I could start writing a short introduction to the scriptures that would take a reading from the Bible, explain it in non-churchy language, and then explain how to pray out of it.
A year on, and we’ve now produced what these writings turned into – a beautifully designed (thanks to our media team!), practical, short booklet to give away to those new to following Jesus.
To see a preview or to order copies (£2 each, or £17 for 10) check out www.belfrey.org/14days
If you like data, generational profiling, and leadership then you’ll love this. The team at Forge Consultancy compiled stats from 50 interviews and 442 online survey respondents to produce a report into the way that Millenials (those born between 1984 – 2000) lead and respond to leadership. I’d highly recommend giving it a read – it’s free. If reading reports isn’t as much your thing, check out their interactive ‘health checks’ for you as a leader – both as a millennial and as a leader of millennials. But if you can, make the time to read. It’s worth it.
Here are a few things that caught my eye:
The local church has played a significant part in the leadership development of millennial leaders with 66% selecting church as being in the top three of the most influential factors on their identity as a leader from a list of eight. (p31)
This is great news, but also scary. The way that we talk about leadership and identity effects real change. This is a great gift that we must steward wisely; other findings indicate how significant the theme of identity is for millennials:
The research finds that millennials place an extremely high value on integrity, authenticity and self-awareness within their leadership, yet identifies an underlying tension with a strongly felt need for approval and a significant fear of failure. (p5)
Finally, the report notices that tension is the norm:
Within the research many polarities are apparent, complex and intriguing. Millennials […] are clearly being driven by a strong desire for authenticity and integrity, yet they are faced with their whole lives being on display through social media. This appears to be creating inner stress in coping with the struggle of needing to live lives of integrity, whilst being affected by fear of failure and the need for approval.
Check out the full report for recommendations, observations and more.
Another great resource for engaging with generational research is this excellent book from James Emery White, pastor of Mecklenburg Community Church in North Carolina. Whilst the US context is different to the UK, the way that White communicates the underlying missiological ideas and applies them to the prevalent trends of this globalised generation makes this book a ‘must read’ for any student worker.We’re so used to talking to the already convinced that we have lost our intuitive sense of what it means to talk to someone who isn’t a Christ follower. I assume no knowledge whatsoever. […] Even something as elemental as how I reference a passage in the Bible is explanatory in nature. Instead of saying “this is a passage from John 1: 14“ I say something along the lines of “this is from the biography of Jesus written by John, one of the four biographies in the Bible.” – p133
Pick up a copy on Amazon, or wherever else you get books.
I assume that most people reading this will have had some sort of contact with Fusion before. If you haven’t heard, they’re hosting a series of student ministry training days this month. I’m taking my team down the Sheffield – it looks like it will be excellent. (Side note, if you’re going to the day in Sheffield and would like to connect, drop me an email).
Based on my experience of the Fusion Conference and other training event’s I’ve been to with Fusion these will be really good days – excellent if you’re looking for a cheap (free) team retreat/planning day!
They’re coming up soon (and some have already happened!) so get on this one quickly.
More info here.
How to mentor someone who doesn’t know what their career goals should be – Harvard Business Review
I was in two minds about how whether to share this. Undoubtedly it will need some adaptation and theological investigation. But with some care, their four key ideas provide some interesting questions to ask interns/key volunteers. Focussing on developing transferable skills, taking risks, and setting goals is fairly standard stuff. But this post nicely summarises and explores the three, and provides questions for line management/mentoring.
I’m not suggesting this for pastoral mentoring…but I found these immensely useful as a team leader line managing four interns for the first time. Let me know what you think in the comments.
Thanks for reading today. You can grab our round-up from last month here.
If you’re looking for one simple resource to share with your small group leaders, check out our 7-minute mini-episode on making small groups unmissable meetings.
Lastly, make sure you subscribe to this blog so that you don’t miss a thing.
@broganhume // @theSL_Podcast
My endorsement of this content does not extend to any other work written by the same author or organisation.