Building a Young Adult Ministry 2 – A Church within a Church

Building a Young Adult Ministry 2 – A Church within a Church

Two and a half years ago we shifted our young adult ministry strategy to one more like church planting, a “church within a church.” After using a more “integrative approach” for 8 years, I realized that we just weren’t reaching our potential. I did a little local research and found that there are over 5000 young adults […]

Building a Young Adult Ministry 1 – The Integrative Approach

Building a Young Adult Ministry 1 – The Integrative Approach

For the the first 8 years of my ministry as the youth and young adults pastor in our congregation of about 1400 total active people, we focused primarily on congregational integration by getting college students to our Sunday worship services. They enjoyed our contemporary worship, the preaching […]

Building a Kids Ministry Team 3 – Ratios

Building a Kids Ministry Team 3 – Ratios

Building a great team is vital to building a great ministry with kids. This post is part of a series of posts exploring tangible ways to build a great children’s ministry team. The last two posts were about key roles you’ll need on your team and various teams you’ll need in your ministry. This post is about determining how many people you really need in those roles. […]

Building a Kids Ministry Team 2 – Teams

Building a Kids Ministry Team 2 – Teams

Building a great team is vital to building a great ministry with kids. This post is part of a series of posts exploring tangible ways to build a great children’s ministry team. The last post was about key roles you’ll need on your team. This post is about additional teams that are helpful to have within your larger ministry. Some teams are vital to your ministry with kids. […]

An “Orange” NextGen Leader Handbook

An “Orange” NextGen Leader Handbook

We’ve put together a handbook for all the leaders and staff in NextGen Ministries at our church. While every church is different in scope, size, and culture, some ideas are scalable and cross-platform. Here’s what we do in our church. Maybe there’s something helpful here for you? Maybe not. We just like to share. It begins with […]

Defining the Wins

Defining the Wins

It can be really hard to tell if you’re #winning as a small group leader. Showing up week after week to lead sometimes seemingly meaningless discussions only to have kids bounce around in the conversation to whatever happens to be on their mind, or even literally bouncing around on the floor. A small group leader may not […]

What Grows Your Group?

What Grows Your Group?

Four Things that DON’T Grow Your Youth Group 4. Fun Games It’s fun to play games at church or youth group. In fact, fun and laughter are great for building community in your group. But games don’t grow your youth group. In fact, if you play the wrong games, you can actually drive kids away who think they’re […]

4 Steps to a Great Small Group

4 Steps to a Great Small Group

I’m convinced that there is a sequence to building a great small group experience. One step leads to the other. Unfortunately, many small group leaders, teachers, youth pastors, etc. try to jump to the last stage in the process (content) without working through the first four steps. I’ve categorized them into 4 C’s (and yes, […]

Best Format for Youth Group

Best Format for Youth Group

Over the years I’ve experimented with a variety of formats for running youth group. And, I see a lot of other people experimenting, as well. Of course, you have to experiment until you come up with what feels the best for you, for your group, and your context. But, IMO, this is the best format for our […]

Letting Kids Know We Miss Them: Sending Group Selfies

So for the last few months, I’ve been pushing a little harder to see our team put more energy into making sure that every student in our ministry knows that they are loved and cared for. One way we do this is by being very intentional and systematic about our retention strategies. One part of this system […]

A Student-Centered Process for Planning Curriculum

Every year, this is how we plan our curriculum for the next year. It’s all laid out in advance but, of course, we make changes as needed when something comes up that needs to be addressed right away. May – Debrief with staff, key leaders, and small group leaders (SGLs) and Discuss the previous school year’s […]

Sticky Faith: 4+1

Another thing we’re trying to develop is a better approach to helping our seniors transition to college. We now ask all our 12th grade small group leaders to not take on a new group of 6th or 9th graders after their students have graduated. Nor do we just assume that they’re done working with their […]

Sticky Faith: Partnering with Parents

What are we doing to help our students form a Sticky Faith? We Partner with Parents. Building a partnership with parents is vital to any healthy, growing ministry that cares about helping students be disciples of Christ––now and into their adulthood––and not just building or maintaining a cool program. Helping students develop a faith that […]

Limiting Our Growth on Purpose

Our growth started reaching into a certain direction the last couple of months. But, it’s too much for us to handle well. So, we had to put a cap on it. We had to limit our growth in that direction. I hated having to do it but it had to be done. We’ve been attracting […]

Growth Changes Everything (Part 2): The First Things to Go

As our youth ministry has grown there have been a few things that we’ve had to let go. Some of them were difficult to let go while others weren’t so hard. Some things had to do with our program, some had to do with the congregation’s expectations, others had to do with my own view […]

4 Step Process for Behavior Management

To help our small group leaders stay in control, we use simple a four step process for behavior management (4 R’s inspired by Josh Griffin’s post on his blog at MoreThanDodgeball.com). Request Ask the student very clear and certain words to change the exact behavior that is disruptive. If you’re too vague he won’t understand. […]

Core Commitments for Growing a Ministry

There are probably a million little factors that contribute to the growth of any youth ministry ranging from the unilateral work of God to the kind of experience that is found when attending a program to the level of relational authenticity. Some youth ministries grow by sheer force of personality and charisma and some by […]