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I recently began leading a college group in my church in Visalia.  I began by reading Chuck Bomar's College Ministry from Scratch.  It was helpful for providing some framework and ideas for teaching and programming, as well as developing goals, realistic expectations, and a direction/purpose.

In our Bible study, we decided on a book (first James, now Philippians).  Everyone read the entire book before our first meeting.  We talked about general themes, I brought some info from commentaries.  Then we worked through the book in smaller chunks, keeping in mind the overall themes and purposes we saw when we read straight through.  

A different idea that's been used by a young adult group here is using NT Wright's For Everyone series.  He does each book of the New Testament, and has short devotions/homilies on each section as he works his way through the book.  It's (at times) a bit heady, but overall, pretty accessible for people.  I'm currently going through Acts for Everyone, and it's been really good.

I wondered what role you may have at Synod this year.  I was desperate to read something of the happenings at Synod 2015, and found this article.  Looking forward to reading more...

I should hope they are mixed.  Certainly, theology has implications in all areas of life, including youth ministry.  It seems to me that if the two are separated, then youth ministry seems to lose some (a lot) of its purpose.  

I am sure that theology is lacking in many youth ministries - perhaps some are too focused on fun, games, and pop culture.  But then, can we not have an understanding of fun and games that is backed by theological thinking?  At the same time, it is unfortunate if we begin to assume that junior high and high school students are simple uncapable of having theological discussions, so we simply entertain with lights, music, and games.  

Every person develops a theology, an understanding of who God is.  Instead of letting people wander alone in this process, let's help guid discussions, let's help nurture growth and understanding to allow students to develop a strong theology of who their God is.

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