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A New Definition Of Families

Post a Comment » Written on April 14th, 2014     
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By Leneita Fix

Almost every day I hear a different youth worker complain about a parent who doesn’t really “care” about their child. Have you ever done that? I know I have. The “untraditional” family has become the norm with divorce rates continuing at 60% (in and out of the church), parents cohabiting, and grandparents raising grandchildren.

Then there are the struggles our students are facing.  Bullying, abuse, and identity are universal.  However, there are also drugs, violence, eating disorders, cutting, and just generally being a teen.  We keep saying it’s “harder” for this generation.

Why do we think that? 

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New Gap Year Program for Young Adults


We are excited to let you know about the launch of a new gap year program for young adults called the Solid Rock Discipleship Program. Solid Rock is an extension of the ministry of Lake Beauty Bible Camp and is supported through partnerships with the Evangelical Covenant Church and North Park University.

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Top 10 Books of 2013

Post a Comment » Written on March 17th, 2014     
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Never too early to turn the minds of young adult pastors toward preparing the high school students at their church for college, or whatever may be next:

BestBooksI haven’t always been a reader. My high school self would probably raise his eyebrows and chuckle a bit at the thought of his “mid-30s-self” offering a list of the 10 best books of the year. I don’t think I had read 10 books (maybe 5? maybe!) until my senior year of high school. (You can read the rest of that story here: “How to Fall in Love… One Book at a Time.”) But now I do read regularly and enjoy talking about books.This year I was able to have an extended conversation about books with my good friend Byron Borger, owner of Hearts & Minds Bookstore. I conducted a webinar with Byron on the theme “Summer Reading: The Best Books for Pastors, Parents and Youth Workers.” It was a lot of fun and reminded me of how seriously we take reading here are CPYU. In fact, CPYU president, Walt Mueller, has already listed his “top 5” books read in 2013: “Five Books I Read Last Year. . . That You Should Read in 2014!

My list will be limited to the books I read this year that were published in 2013 (listed alphabetically by author). And, for the most part, they are books that are at the heart of the mission of the College Transition Initiative: to be a resource for those preparing students for life after high school. Enjoy!

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Pure Praise for Youth

Post a Comment » Written on December 25th, 2013     
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During this six-week Bible study, youth will be challenged to “go extreme” in their worship of God. But it’s not their body they’ll push to the max. Instead, they’ll stretch their soul. If they accept this challenge, they’ll condition their heart and mind in ways they might never have thought possible. As a result, they’ll have the privilege of knowing the God of the Universe and worshipping him more intimately and powerfully than they ever imagined!

This relational resource will help youth and youth leaders move past the idea of worship as just “singing and praying” and actually connect with God by using practical, daily exercises in praise that encourage readers to apply what they’re learning about worship. It also instructs youth in the biblical standards of why and how they should praise God.

Anyone who loved Pure Praise will find Pure Praise for Youth just as transforming for the youth in their church!

Francis Chan’s Crazy Love films

Post a Comment » Written on December 9th, 2013     
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How do you take an ordinary, average day and make it something that’s supernatural, where we can be madly in love with God and think about Him all day long?

 That’s the question Francis Chan asks in the Crazy Love films!


In this study resource, each short video session corresponds to one of ten chapters in Francis Chan’s Crazy Love book and includes questions to initiate group discussion, interactions, and practical application. Read the book during the week, then watch the video and discuss the topic at the group meeting. Great for church, small group, youth group, or individual study.

The Crazy Love Study Resource includes ten teaching segments with questions for small group discussion and a printable Small Group Study Guide. Now 50% off. 10 films for $14.99.

And if you need the Crazy Love book, we have those too, for only $11.99.

Birmingham Revolution

Post a Comment » Written on December 2nd, 2013     
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eg2_largeFrom time to time prophetic Christian voices rise to challenge our nation’s “original sin.” In the twentieth century, compelled by the Spirit of God and a yearning for freedom, the African American church took the lead in heralding the effort. Like almost no other movement before or since, Christian people gave force to a social mission. And, remarkably, they did it largely through nonviolent actions.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s words and historic efforts as the Moses of this civil rights movement stand out as perhaps the most significant instance of a modern Christian leader acting in a prophetic role to instigate political change. In many ways “The Letter from Birmingham Jail” stands at the center of that movement. In this book African American journalist Edward Gilbreath explores the place of that letter in the life and work of Dr. King.

Birmingham Revolution is not simply a work of historical reflection. Gilbreath encourages us to reflect on the relevance of King’s work for the church and culture of our day. Whether it’s in debates about immigration, economic redistribution or presidential birth certificates, race continues to play a role in shaping society. What part will the church play in the ongoing struggle?

Order your copy today!


How Long Will I Cry?: Voices of Youth Violence

Post a Comment » Written on November 13th, 2013     
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Harvey_How_Long_cover_1I’m also cautious of the dudes who hang on the corner… But I can’t snap on them like that because I don’t know what they got. Plus I get kind of scared when I tell them no because I don’t want them to start looking for me.

This is just a small glimpse into an extraordinary and eye-opening book called How Long Will I Cry?: Voices of Youth Violence.

I loved this book. I don’t know if it helps you or anyone to delay that assessment, so I won’t.

In 2011 and 2012, while more than 900 people were being murdered on the streets of Chicago. Miles Harvey and his students from DePaul University collected oral narratives from people who have experienced the tragic consequences of violence on streets of Chicago. They fanned out all over the city interviewing people whose lives have been changed forever by the bloodshed. Their ability to report on the experiences of Chicago’s youth, offer us vivid portraits that are profoundly humane. That said, the people chosen in this book challenge the mainstream in such a dramatic way. In their own words, the stories inside are at turns harrowing, heartbreaking, and full of hope.

To learn more, click here!


Seeking Justice

Post a Comment » Written on November 4th, 2013     
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This is a great new resource by Brian Cress of International Justice Mission in Washington, D.C.

10-Minute Moments: Seeking Justice will give you a biblical foundation for making a lasting, life-changing difference in this world. You’ll discover how God loves justice, and you’ll discover how you can honor God through involvement in social justice issues. You’ll also encounter stories from the life of author Brian Cress—director of student mobilization for International Justice Mission—and from the lives of other teenagers and people who’ve been rescued by IJM.

This 31-day devotional is set up as a journal. Each day, you’ll read a Scripture dealing with God’s heart and passion for justice, chew on a few thought-provoking questions, consider simple action steps, and then pray a simple prayer to close the reading. It’s a one-month plan that’s easy to read and easy to stick with.

Written in partnership with International Justice Mission, 10-Minute Moments: Seeking Justice will help you explore what the Bible says about social justice in our world today—and how you can make a meaningful impact in other people’s lives!

Happy Reading! :)

Echo the Story

Post a Comment » Written on May 6th, 2013     
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Discover the Art of Bible Storying…Echo_3products-300x193

For thousands of years, stories were the key means for people to learn and experience God. Echo desires to recapture this sacred art of biblical storytelling, inspiring new generations to find themselves in God’s Story.

Echo uses a process called Storying (short for Chronological Bible Storying) – a sequential telling of Bible stories followed by a time of review and dialogue. Derived from the ancient Hebrew way of learning through careful observation and discussion, Storying was rediscovered a few decades ago by missionaries who are now using this method extensively around the world. Recently, Storying is also proving to be effective with youth and adults in our media-literate, story-oriented North American context.

About Echo the Story

Echo the Story is a 12-week Bible overview for youth – it is almost complete and will be released on June 7th!

Founded by Michael Novelli, Echo the Story is an imaginative way to engage in the Bible using storytelling, observation, and dialogue.

Sign up for e-updates to be the first to learn more!

For more information, check it out here!


Altar Ego Study Guide with DVD

Post a Comment » Written on April 3rd, 2013     
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Altar Ego Study Guide with DVD by Craig Groeschel – new discipleship small group study

In this six-session video series, Craig Groeschel looks at how you and your small group can let go of your own self-perceptions and see yourselves through the divine eyes of God. According to Groeschel, only when we embrace the perfect identity God has designed for each of us can we live to our full potential in Christ. Includes one Altar Ego DVD and Participant’s Guide.

Many people are obsessed with the approval of others. The problem is that living for what people think of you is the quickest way to forget what God thinks about you.

In Altar Ego, author Craig Groeschel shows individuals and small groups how to abandon self-worth based on accomplishments and possessions, turning instead to the eyes of God to define them. Participants will learn to expose false labels and selfish motives as the roadblocks they are, going instead to the altar of GodÆs truth and pursuing the higher values he sets above the world.

You don’t have to get caught up in your self-worth or lack thereof. Your worth is not based on your opinion of yourself. You are valuable because God says you are His. You are not your past. You are not what you did. You are not who others say you are. You are who Christ says you are.

This study guide offers discussion questions and other supplemental material to delve further into God’s divine plan, and will ultimately help you sacrifice any old, unhealthy, untrue, and unbiblical thoughts about yourself and introduce you to your altar-ego—who you are in Christ.

Includes one Altar Ego DVD and Participant’s Guide.