The Youth Cartel youth ministry

The Year of the Book

My new book: A Parent's Guide to Understanding Social Media

2012 will be remembered around the McLane house as, the year of the book. 

First, I partnered with Jon to write Good News in the Neighborhood which came out in May. Then I partnered with Marko to write A Parent’s Guide to Understanding Social Media which arrived yesterday.

If those two projects were bookend, starting a publishing line for The Youth Cartel was sandwiched in the middle.

From the very beginning, Marko and I talked about doing some stuff in publishing. But we didn’t necessarily see that as starting our own line of digital and physical products. We were more thinking we’d work with other publishers, helping shape a Cartel voice into a wide variety of publishing efforts. (Actually, something we do quite a bit of.) It wasn’t until last Winter that we decided to include publishing our own products as part of our publishing plan. I’ll be the first to admit that when we decided to go forward with publishing some of our own stuff I had no idea what I’d agreed to. 


Parenting with a goal in mind

Here are some words Kristen and I use to describe our long-term hopes for our kids. 

  1. Independent-minded.
  2. Dependent on a loving God.
  3. Recklessly, hope-filled dream chasers.
  4. Happy and simple adult relationships.

We jokingly sum up our goal of parenting like this, “We don’t ever want to see our kids on Springer.

That’s not the most articulate thing in the world, it doesn’t lay everything out, but it does keep the end-goal in mind.

youth ministry

What if we made youth ministry’s goal simpler?

“What’s the goal of your youth ministry? Not like your purpose statement, but why do you do this thing?”

I love to ask this question. It usually takes people a few minutes to articulate something they feel comfortable with. And it always sparks a great conversation.

The answer to that question typically lands like this, “My goal is to create an environment where students grow in their relationship with Jesus.” And when we’re really honest a functional goal is, “Keep enough people engaged in my ministry so that my church thinks I’m doing a good job with that.” (In 2009 – 2010, the real honest answer was, “Whatever I have to do to keep my job.”)

A question I’ve been wondering the past couple of years is this…

What if we made the goal of youth ministry simpler? What if the goal of youth ministry became Christian worldview formation? How would that change the way I did youth ministry?