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Pornography addiction explained

I’ve written about pornography, the demise of guys and arousal addiction before, but this video explains very clearly why porn is so addictive: it releases dopamine, which stimulates the brain to look for more…and that’s how a vicious cycle starts. You might want to use this video to start a discussion with your teens about the effects of porn on their brain, their relationships and their sexuality.

[HT Churchmag]
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Lady Gaga’s prayer

This YouTube video of Lady Gaga praying is a fascinating study in contrasts. Here is this superstar, dressed in outrageous and sexy costumes and in the voice over she’s praying. Earnestly praying.

At first, I thought of making a Bible study using this video, but I’m not sure I’d actually want students to watch this. Aside from the fact that she’s in various stages of being barely dressed, the prayer itself is confusing to say the least. Lady Gaga is praying to God (‘Dear Lord’) and there’s gratefulness and a focus on others, but there are also puzzling requests.

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Helping students develop a realistic vision for marriage

In the previous post I explained how many young people are expecting the perfect marriage, meaning the perfect partner, the perfect wedding day and a perfect life. My conclusion was that we need to help our students become more realistic about marriage, so that they are better equipped to make their marriages last. But how do we do that?

I think that if we want our students to develop a more realistic vision about marriage, we need to do three things:

Give them a vision for serving, not being served

Give them a vision for suffering, not perfection

Give them a vision for fixing, not quitting

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The illusion of the perfect marriage

Over the years, I’ve had lots of conversations with students about love, relationships, and marriage. Here’s my observation:

Young people want a perfect marriage and they won’t settle for anything less.

That may sound like a good thing. We could all do with a little more ‘perfection’ in our marriages, at least in the sense that we could all work a little harder to make our marriages better. But that’s not what young people mean and do. For them, the perfect marriage means this:

The perfect partner

The perfect wedding day

The perfect life Continue reading The illusion of the perfect marriage

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Challenges of postmodern youth ministry: reaching the unchurched

We’re doing a series on Postmodern Youth Ministry this week and the challenges it brings. After a brief discussion of what postmodernism is exactly we’ve examined the meaning of truth in postmodernism and how we can communicate the Truth to a generation that doesn’t believe in absolute truths. Today we want to study another challenge postmodernism brings us: the issue of reaching the unchurched.

Friendship evangelism under attack

Friendship evangelism by peers has been the  ‘golden standard’ in evangelism for the last decade or so, but it’s being challenged by the effects of postmodern culture:

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Challenges of postmodern youth ministry: what is the truth?

We’re looking at effects of postmodern thinking in youth ministry this week and after an overview of what postmodernism is exactly, we’re discussing three challenges that we face in postmodern youth ministry. Today we’ll discuss the concept of truth.

Absolute truth vs subjective truth

One of the biggest challenges postmodernism brings us is the conviction that there are no objective, absolute truths. Postmodernism teaches that truth is personal and subjective, that what works for you is the truth. There is no direct relation anymore between truth and reality and as a consequence, truth has become very pragmatic and flexible.

This of course has big implications for how young people view God, Jesus, Christianity or religion in general. Religion is considered a personal preference, not an objective truth. Declaring religious statements as absolute truth (like stating that Jesus is the only way to God), is often seen as fundamentalist, intolerant and in many ways simply rude, because it doesn’t respect people who feel differently.

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Challenges of postmodern youth ministry: what is postmodernism?

This week we’re starting a new series in which we’re taking a closer look at postmodern thinking and its effects on youth ministry. A lot has changed in youth ministry in the last years, especially noticeable for those of us who have been in youth ministry longer. Youth ministry (like any other ministry in church or the church in general) will always have its ebbs and flows of course, and things will always evolve and change. But I think postmodern thinking may be a bigger shift than many of us realize yet. In Europe, postmodernism has left deeper marks yet than in North America, but the times they are a-changing for sure. So let’s start with a brief overview of what postmodernism is exactly.

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Generation Y: the dumbest…or the smartest generation?

It seems everyone has an opinion on the current generation of young people, also known as the Milennials, Generation Y or Generation iY. Most of these opinions are negative however. They’re called lazy, dumb, spoiled, arrogant and much more. That’s why it’s so refreshing to find someone who has something nice to say about Generation Y. Here are two videos of Don Tapscott, well-known author of Wikinomics and Grown Up Digital: How the Net Generation is Changing Your World. He actually thinks Generation Y is smart, how about that…

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