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When Kids Hurt

June 10, 2011

In 2004 Dr. Chap Clark of Fuller Theological Seminary published one of the most important youth ministry books of the decade titled HURT. It was an amazing report of the research Chap had done pealing back the thin skin of “coolness” and “having it together” than covers American youth culture. The key idea is abandoment. A systamatic abandonment by adults that causes pain and contributes to most if not all of the problems of todays adolescent culture. The book changed the lives and ministries of many when it first was published, but in 2009 Chap and Steve Rabey took up pen once again to summerize the original research, update it, and place it in a more “userfriendly” form for parents and other non-professional adults who care about students. The book WHEN KIDS HURT by Chap Clarke and Steve Rabey, Baker, 2009 is a success at every level. Every one of the 200 pages is thought provoking and includes a number of applicational sidebars by a wide variety of ministry practicioners who have been thinking and responding to the original research in HURT. Of special interest to me was the sidebar by Jeffrey Spainhour on stress in students and its universal impact on students in international contexts. fI you read HURT when it came out (as I did) this book is a great oppertunity to review the material and reflect on how it has impacted our ministry and parenting. For those new to Chap’s research this is a great introduction and front door to the ongoing discussion created by HURT or if you are just timestrapped and want life changing insight into the hidden world of students this book is a must read.

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