I’ve never been around Chap Clark and WOW – he has the exact kind of personality that you would expect a youthworker to have. It was so funny to watch sitting in the back with tired eyes; he came accross as one of those people who have a goal of winning you over as a friend – like that was his primary motivation in life. Anyways, this was an interesting talk. It wasn’t really information rich, as it was an experience in watching two experienced guys show how they process research. I kinda wish they would have given the people tools and tips on how they find their research and the papers they read.
Also, a young woman shushed me and Erin. I believe God used me to show her how to extend grace and she obviously struggles in this area (yes, I’m mostly kidding). Really, I thought in a seminar designed for experienced youth leaders that we’d have a little more opportunity for synthesis. Since the leaders didn’t provide it – we took it for ourselves.
Here’s what I wrote down:
While Mike King spoke:
- Brain development in late adolescence: pruning connections according to lack of use
- no brakes in their brains: creates the need/opportunity for training and development. King suggests here that the best methods for this opportunity is spiritual disciplines and prayer practices.
- brains in teens work better int he evening and during exercises
- Key Questions: What do students have the neurological capabilities to do?
- The American middle school system is designed to destroy boys.
While Chap Clark spoke:
- multiple identities
- “thriving” and “assets”
- STD’s, cutting and pressure: all kids are hurting
- The documentary Soul Searching was almost a documentary on suicide, because so many kids live there or their close friend does.
This seminar also reinforced the idea to me that having 2 youth groups (MS and HS) is wildly ineffective. Rather, from a neurological and developmental perspective youth ministry should be divided: Early, grades 6,7 & Middle, grades 8-10 & Late, grades 11,12 and college-ish.
However, NO ONE is running with this model.