When Teens Are Gay

When Teens Are Gay

  We have teens and young adults in our church who are gay, bisexual, and transgendered. At one point not too long ago, we had to deal with two girls who were actually kind of making out with each other during our large group time. I eventually had a private conversation with the two of them […]

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 […]

13 Easy ways to Get Students Involved in Church

13 Easy ways to Get Students Involved in Church

Ask them to read scripture during worship services, youth group, and small groups Ask them to pray during worship services, youth group, and small groups Ask them to teach/speak at youth group and other gatherings (maybe even preach on a Sunday) Ask them to be ushers and greeters Ask them to play in the band […]

7 Do’s and Don’ts of Getting and Keeping Your Group’s Attention

It’s your responsibility to gain and retain the attention of the students in your group. I don’t think you can expect students to automatically grant attention to you as speaker/leader just because you’re an adult or just because you’re up front. Here are a few Do’s and Don’ts of getting and keeping their attention.

The Secret Sauce for Speaking to Students

This is being posted on a Wednesday. Hopefully most of you have already planned your message/lesson for tonight. But, if you’re looking for some last minute magic…here ya go. This is, by far, the best format I’ve used for delivering my messages to students. It’s the ages old Hook, Book, Look, Took. Hook Option 1 (my […]

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 […]

7 Reasons Why I Don’t Do All the Teaching

7 Reasons Why I Don’t Do All the Teaching

7. Some people are better at teaching than me. 6. I need a break from the rigor of teaching so often. 5. Kids need a little variety in the voices they hear. 4. Kids need to hear the same truths from other people’s perspectives and experiences. 3. I need the space in my schedule to […]

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 […]

If Nothing Else … Grace, Identity, Mission

Our annual Senior Banquet is coming up soon. It’s a milestone…a rite of passage. We invite graduating seniors and their immediate families to a nice dinner free of charge. We celebrate their stories, their successes, and their promise-filled futures. We laugh together. We cry together. We pray together. This year, for their gift, we’re creating […]

Using Catechism to Set a “Rock Solid” Table

Pushing back from the table is the best part of a meal with friends. That’s when the really good conversation comes out. That’s when you really start exploring deeper subjects, family histories, personal tragedies, and more. We’ve had our fill of a good meal. We’ve had our formal, meal-time gathering. The dishes have been passed, […]