Friday, January 07, 2011

    Starting a New Year in Youth Ministry

    How can you start the new year in your ministry with youth with a renewed focus on God's presence?

    I recently began writing a regular youth ministry column for the website which offers comprehensive resources and commentary on spirtuality and faith across many religions. My latest column focuses on how to start on the right foot in the new year by teaching youth the spiritual practice of the Awareness Examen:

    As we leave behind the hectic schedule of the holidays and begin a new year, how might we help teens slow down long enough to sense the sacred in their own lives? Admittedly, this is not an easy task. When youth aren't being distracted by the immediacy of homework, dating, friends, and the latest cultural trends, they have their attention focused on SATs and college and their hoped-for future careers. Challenging them to set all this aside even for a few moments and focus on the sacred certainly requires practice, on our part and theirs. Fortunately, the Christian faith enjoys a rich history of spiritual practices that are designed to help us experience the "now" and to open ourselves to the still-ness of God.
    Check out the full essay here.