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Ephesians 5:25-27 beautifully captures an image of the relationship between Christ and his bride, the Church. We read, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.”

For all its blemishes, wrinkles, and stains, the local church is always on a journey in this relationship, wrestling with what it means that Christ gave himself up for me, for us, the broken vessels we are. It is a beautiful mess of unique stories that Christ, through his compassionate love, filled with unconditional grace, redeems to be radiant, holy, and blameless.

What fantastic news! And we in youth ministry are privileged to engage on the front lines of this incredible adventure because we love the local church and dream of a time when our beloved children fully understand the words of Ephesians 5 for themselves and the broader community—a time when they will share in the story of an innocent child born of virgin birth, grown to be a perfect human of divine calling, hung in death, and resurrected to new life.

As a called people, we hope to live out and speak this story in our ministries so that the younger ones among us can share in our joy of the redemptive act of Jesus Christ

But in life we will hit roadblocks. When we do, knowing that caring people are praying for you and will listen when you are celebrating or struggling, can be such a comfort and encouragement.

Your local Classis Youth Ministry Champions are those people. They are great listeners who have been there in the trenches. They have toolboxes full of youth ministry materials and resources for you. Those resources include:

  • faith formation coaches who can walk with ministry leaders
  • ministry assessment tools to help your church determine next steps.
  • a hiring guide for churches considering calling/hiring a youth pastor or director.
  • youth ministry book recommendations.
  • youth ministry curriculum suggestions.
  • soul care events for people who serve in ministry.
  • a cup of coffee for when you just need to vent.

To find out who your Champion is, please visit If you don’t see your classis represented, please contact me (Ron) at [email protected] or call 780-619-6566.

As we enter the year 2019, let this be the year that you have coffee with your Classis Youth Ministry Champion. Let them buy you a cup on me.


So here's my question:  Is there anything wrong with a Bible-based, personal development plan that has a base version and an explicit version?

Full disclosure:  I am asking because I published a personal development plan based on my autobiography and the rationale behind two versions is because I feel like Christians are seen as hypocritical and aren't able to get the message out to certain audiences who need it most.

I used to run the streets and used cuss words, for example.  A lot of Christians think that if you use cuss words you are ignorant, lower class and definitely not a Christian.  BUT these same people either cuss in private or use substitute cusswords like "oh shoot", or "gosh darn" or "darn it"....

I have already released both versions and have gotten mixed reviews.  Especially since I would LOVE to share my story and the plan with young people so they can see the reality of addictions and other issues that the church seems to like to skirt around and not talk about straight up.  Young people in particular need straight answers.  How can you really live life like Jesus came to show us when they are living with guilt and shame and aren't able to express themselves???  

It's crazy how nobody in the church ever had a porn, alcohol or drug addiction, but somehow you learn about someone in the church committing suicide or getting a divorce.  How does a young person who has sex issues talk to an adult and can't use the words they use? Is there really a proper, Christian, educated way to discuss the realities of drug, alcohol or porn addiction?  

Any help will be appreciated.

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