Reformed Youth Ministry Resources PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Tim Black   
Tuesday, 13 January 2009 20:46

A friend of mine from seminary asked for some good sites providing resources for Reformed youth ministry.  For your and my sake I'm posting what I came up with.

Check out -

Reformed Youth Ministries - I only know it as RUF for high schoolers, but I expect they are good.  Their resources page looks good.
http://www.ruf.org/ - the mother lode - get their RUF Hymnbook shortcut If not their site, their people are the ones to find.
http://reformedyouthpastor.com/ - good videos
Reformed Youth Services - appears to be a ministry of the URC
http://www.sowhatstudies.org - Youth Bible studies by Great Commissions Publications

I bet RTS and Covenant Seminary have some resources; I know Covenant Seminary has decided to put all of their course material online for free.

While I wouldn't use their resources exclusively, when I want to find a Bible study guide, SS curriculum, or book for a discussion group, I'd look first at the following because I know their material is reformed:

Presbyterian & Reformed Publishing
Great Commissions Publications
Matthias Media
Westminster Theological Seminary Bookstore

Beyond that I might call up the CRC because they had lots of youth material when I was growing up; they can be more theologically liberal than I prefer, though, so like everything you have to be discerning.

I've seen a catalog from the Vision Forum, and while they have resources for youth, there's something about their classical education / homeschooling / American Revolution / Christian reconstruction / old fashioned clothes style that seems atavistic to me.  There might be some good material there, though.

I'm not familiar with this site:

Some articles from Modern Reformation:
July/August 2003 Vol: 12 Num: 4 - Every-Generation Youth Ministry by G. Mark Sumpter Side Article
July/August 2003 Vol: 12 Num: 4 - Engaging the Coming Generation: An Interview with Colleen Carroll by
Jan./Feb. 2001 Vol: 10 Num: 1 - Charles Hodge on Christian Nurture by Side Article
Jan./Feb. 1995 Vol: 4 Num: 1 - Reforming Youth Ministry by David Fields

I'm sure there's more out there.

The guy in the OPC to hit up for materials is Rev. Mark Sumpter.  He writes,

If you want a general theology overview with discussion use, try RC Sproul What is Reformed Theology? Presently our Youth Class uses it. The teacher adapts the study guide material for discussion purposes. Some of the material will be a little advanced, but with guidance it is do-able. The class or youth group setting would watch a 25 min video and then discuss things.

If you want a study on the Doctrine of God, His attributes, I have used JI Packer's Knowing God. IVP (Intervaristy) puts out a study guide that goes with the book. Usually students are given a summary of the chapter, I type it up, and then I use the summary as a basis for orienting the class to the doctrinal topic. The study guide helps as a discussion guide.

If you want a excellent study on calling, purpose in life, work, giftedness, and servanthood, I recommend the newer book by John Piper. The book is fairly readable, a paperback, and is called, Don't Waste Your Life. There are one or two spots that may be a little advanced, but on the whole it is excellent. One of the editions of the book has a CD with it. On the CD Pastor John Piper speaks to students. He's excellent. The book handles really well God's Lordship in our lives, materialism, wasting your life with run-of-the-mill American Church-i-anity, and so on. His chapter on work, earning a wage, why work, why a job is great. I think there's a study guide with this book too.

If you want a study on learing about a worldview and apologietics, you might try the video series called Every Thought Captive. It is a series available from Reformed Seminary in Orlando, FL. It's done by Richard Pratt. I think there are about 8-10 sessions in the whole of the material. I have used the series, a little selectively, and then make use of the 8 1/2 X 11 study guide materials. I photo-copy the sheets. He takes a student through the the basics of why we know what we know, and therefore, why we believe what we believe. A little advanced in places but a good possibility. Again, like the RC Sproul material above, I would show a 20-25 minute video and then stir some discussion with the young people based on the study guide. Pratt has a book by the same title.

If you want a good study on Bible texts, biblical culture, and some sound theoogy tied into the Biblical texts try the video series That the World May Know, by Ray Vander Laan. Vander Laan is the well-known Christian school teacher back in Michigan who published about 8-10 years ago a multiple-series of teaching on Bible lands, Bible places, and good engaging lessons on Bible study texts and stories. If you Google in the web That the World May Know, it will come up. Videos, CDs, study guides and discussion material is provided. I have heard of two of OPCs using it. Both have been blessed. Vander Laan teaches at a CRC-based Christian school, at a High School, so he can connect with young people. It may be a little expensive, but check around: maybe a local church has it in their local church library there in San Jose and they'll let you check it out, or have Covenant go ahead and purchase it. Maybe you can buy it in increments. Tim, I have heard it's good stuff. I have never gone through it myself. But on the testimony of others, it's good.

I know that some churches are using the Jerry Bridges material: Trusting God, The Joy of the Fear of God, and Transforming Grace----and other books. These all have study guides. These are excellent in grace-based, sanctification issues and Christian growth issues. Again, the leaders would have to provide chapter summaries, and work through the study guides to prepare some discussion sheets. Good stuff. I have used parts of the Bridges material for counseling and studies.

 I (Tim) note that I've read some reviews of Ray Vanderlaan's teaching which convinced me that he has some strange and sometimes erroneous interpretations of scripture, so I can't recommend his material.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 22 March 2016 08:05