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The Fate of Teen Drinkers
How Early Exposure to Alcohol Shapes Young People
David R. Smith

When the University of Houston’s Dr. Dipali Rinker released the findings from her research on college students and their consumption of alcohol, it forced her to coin a new term: drunkorexia.

I wish the word was describing an inebriated T-rex… but it's...
JONATHAN'S BLOG: Walking Alongside a New Believer
“What tools can I use to help new Christians understand the commitment they just made?”

It’s one of the most common questions I hear from youth ministries who are actually reaching young people for Christ. And I’m glad to hear the question, because it means these ministries realize the need to walk alongside new believers and disciple them.

My friend Scott Rubin, the Director of Student Ministries at Willow Creek Community Church outside of Chicago, just wrote a helpful little resource called The Essential Guide to My New Life With Jesus. I just read it and felt compelled to tell you about it… for two reasons:

  1. Scott is the real deal! He not only has been effectively reaching young people for the last two decades, he’s a great dad, a caring friend, and those characteristics leak into everything he touches.

  2. He knows how to disciple new believers like no one I know. Scott’s ministry reaches literally thousands of teens each year, and a huge chunk of them are the type of kids who don’t typically go to church. Scott’s ministry not only introduces hundreds of kids to Jesus each year, he disciples them and walks alongside them as they learn about this new relationship with Jesus.

That’s the kind of guy I want developing discipleship resources!

img class="size-medium wp-image-10269 alignleft" src="" alt="New Life with Jesus SCOTT RUBIN" width="214" height="300" />This book is really a one of a kind. It’s what I’m going to recommend to ministries who are looking for material to disciple new believers.

Scott begins the book by congratulating the new believer, and telling them a little about their new relationship with Jesus. Scott uses words new believers understand (Scott speaks that language fluently) and even defines some Christianese terms that they’ll hear. He doesn’t waste time with anything peripheral… he cuts straight to the real and relevant questions new believers have.

Scott addresses:

  • It’s a relationship, not a religion

  • How you can be sure you’re a Christian

  • The importance of reading the Bible, and why

  • How to actually find Bible verses and “meditate” on scripture (and what that means)

  • What to do if you don’t feel like reading the Bible

  • How to pray- pretty prayers aren’t required

  • What to do if Jesus doesn’t answer

  • Fessing up so God can obliterate our sins

  • Seeking mentors and other Christians

  • How to make new Christian friends, and reach out to old friends who still need Jesus

  • Answers to tough questions

  • Answers to churchy questions

Scott leads a new believer through all the essentials they need, in a format that's colorful, easy to read, and in small conquerable pages so you feel like you’re reading a lot fast! (I think today’s kids like that.)

One of the parts I enjoyed most about his book was how he urged the reader to surround themselves with Christian friends that will encourage them. He addresses this point with several examples, emphasizing that your faith isn’t something you should do “solo.” But then Scott shares stories of Jesus reaching sinners and encourages us to do the same (a tricky balance for many—having unsaved friends, but an inner circle of Christian friends). He says it like this:

“As you follow Jesus, you don’t need to discard your non-Christian Friends. In fact, they need you to live like Jesus—and to point them toward his love for them. Instead of trading in your old friends, you can add some new Christian friends to your social circles. And your Christian friends can help you show Jesus’ love to your non-Christian friends.” (page 79)

This book is the perfect tool for discipling new believers. Personally, I would give my leaders each two copies, and encourage them to go through the book with a new believer, giving one copy to the young person, and meeting each week to talk about what you read.

I’ll be adding this helpful book to the collection of discipleship resources I frequent!

What discipleship tools have worked well for you?

While looking forward to Season 7
Well… it’s summertime and The Walking Dead is waaaaaaaaaaay too far off to even begin anticipating Season 7. The only interesting news is when AMC threatens to sue someone for making a prediction about Negan’s kill (yeah… seriously!) So what

Movie Reviews and Quick Q's:
Ghostbusters (7/15/2016)

Posted on September 9/20/2016, 2016 at 03:37 PM
Video Game Reviews @
Trails of Cold Steel

Posted on September 9/14/2016, 2016 at 02:35 PM
YouTube Discussion Starters:
Quarterback Sneak

Posted on September 9/8/2016, 2016 at 12:00 AM
Music Discussions:

Posted on August 8/20/2016, 2016 at 12:00 AM
Outreach Resource of the Week RSS Feed
LOTR: The Two Towers
This resource from our MOVIE CLIP DISCUSSION page teaches students that in the tough times in life, if we have Jesus, we can always have hope. 

The Movie Clip: There Is Always Hope 
The fellowship of heroes in the great saga has been broken by repeated attacks from the enemy, and now, Middle Earth is at its greatest risk of falling to the dark powers. The crux of this film centers on the battle for Helm's Deep, a towering city in the land of men. To be able

Spiritual Growth Resource of the Week RSS Feed
Extreme Forgiveness

This powerful resource from our SPIRITUAL GROWTH AGENDAS page will help your students understand the powerful effect forgiveness has on others…and us.

Discussion Starter: The Power of Forgiveness 
In February of 1993, Mary Johnson’s only child, her 20 year old son, was shot to death by a 16 year old kid named Oshea Israel. Israel spent 17 years in prison for murder, and during that long, hard time, Ms. Johnson visited Israel in prison and eventually forgave him for killing her son. When he was released in 

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