If you work with teenagers in any capacity, this is a must read. If you are a parent of teengers, this is a must read. The world of Middle Adolescents (14-20) is not the same world we grew up in.

Chap Clark spent a year immersed in the world of students and his findings will alarm you. You must understand the "World Beneath" that so many of our students live in. You must know what "Clusters" are, and what you can do about them.

If you live in the Portland, OR area Chap Clark will be speaking at the Western Seminary's TruthQuest Training Program on Saturday, November 5 at New Hope Community Church. Do all you can to be there. Learn more about this event at Chap will be revealing his conclusions from his months of research of the teen culture and behavior.

Chap is also presenting his findings and conclusions at the National Youth Workers Convention. If you will be attending, be sure to check out his seminar.

As youth workers we must be diligent students of students, and the culture they live in.


The Thief said...

I agree. If you work with young people at all, or if you work with people who work with young people, this is absolutely essential reading.

What does it mean for our ministry, though? That's the question that troubles me; if we as adults cannot enter "the world beneath" then it presents some extreme challenges for ministry, and our churches don't generally accept that.

For example, the idea of "youth group" will have to be completely rethought in many (if not most) settings for it to effectively reach "beneath"...

Jon Knapp said...

I planning on reading this book soon. I agree about having to rethink youth group/church. It is scarey for us as our jobs are a stake, but if we are more interesting in a career than following Jesus into the world (the world beneath), shame on us.

Jamie said...

I came to your site through the YW newsletter. Thanks for tip on the book def. looks like a must read. I must say you don't look old enough to have a 14 year old daughter. I am scared of those days to come and mine are only 2 and 5 months. Many blessings to you, your family and your ministry.

Aaron Geist said...

Wow! If you read Brian's post, you must read Jon Knapp's post on similar issues...Entering the lives of dirty people.

I agree with Brian, the commenter not the blogger, when he says that generally, our churches wouldn't want us to enter in the world beneath. Maybe the "Hurt" semeniar will give us some help.

I plan to be there.

Brian Eberly said...

Your words are true Brian. We really do need to re-think the way we do youth ministry. Chap Clark really sent my mind into a tailspin when he talked about the need to change the staff/student ratio.

Conventional wisdom has said 1 adult leader to about 5 students. As if that wasn't already difficult enough, Chap reccommends 5 adults to every 1 student! Boy, if that wouldn't change the look of how we do youth ministry, I don't know what would!

Steve the cRaZyCaT said...

Hey man, great blog! I came by way of the YS Update. You hit the nail on the head with saying that we must be "student of students." I've been one for 10+ years now, and they never cease to teach me something.

BE blessed!

Charlie Tuna said...

Hurt is a great read, and one that will change the way you think about ministry to teens. Those in the mid-west might catch Chap at the NYMC Conference in January 2006 sponsored by Vision for Youth (

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