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 […]

The Do’s and Don’ts of NextGen Ministry

The Do’s and Don’ts of NextGen Ministry

I was a youth pastor for 20 years before our church adopted a NextGen model and I became the NextGen Pastor. The transition has been challenging but totally worth it! Here, I’d like to dive in a little deeper and get more specific about some do’s and don’ts that I’ve learned in my own journey into NextGen Ministry.

Hate Recruiting Volunteers?

Hate Recruiting Volunteers?

A major part of me hates recruiting volunteers. It takes a lot of energy just to work up the motivation to ask people to volunteer. I think most ministry leaders pretty much hate recruiting volunteers. We don’t like asking for help. We don’t want to make all those phone calls only to be told “no” […]

The #1 Pastoral Skill

The #1 Pastoral Skill

The #1 skill that a pastor should master is RECRUITING.* You might say that the #1 skill that a pastor (or any other ministry leader) should master is preaching. A pastor can get pretty good at preaching and build a large audience. But, if he doesn’t master recruiting, find people, and equip them to lead and staff the kids ministry, the […]

Don’t Organize…Mobilize!

Don’t Organize…Mobilize!

There’s a big difference between organizing ministry and mobilizing ministry. The more we grow, the more gears there are to grease, the more issues we face, the more it’s necessary to recognize the difference. As a ministry grows, it is absolutely necessary to develop more policies, systems, and protocols to try manage the unwieldiness and messiness of […]

Mission Trips

Mission Trips

The Problem: How I Did Missions Then For years, I took students on annual mission trips. Some were domestic (in the U.S.) and some were international (outside the U.S.). They were always great experiences. But one day I realized a few things that made me really uncomfortable with doing them anymore. I think we were guilty […]

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 […]

6 Things I’m not doing at Youth Group Tonight

1. Leading Worship – I used to do that, but now someone else is doing that. 2. Giving the Welcome and Announcements – I used to do that, but now we have 2 student hosts each week giving the welcome and announcements. They’re doing great as long as we give them cue cards. 3. Teaching/Speaking […]

Getting Our Teams Set Up

With all the changes to our staff and ministry teams, we had a lot of work to do clarify our roles, responsibilities, goals and objectives, and values. It was a lot of administrative work. But it was worth the time we put into it. We now have a pretty good idea of what we’re doing and […]

My New Role as NextGen Pastor

My New Role as NextGen Pastor

Okay, so a lot of things have changed at our church and in my job. Over the summer (2014) we 1) made some major changes to our church governance and 2) restructured our staff. It was an extremely full summer keeping up with and adjusting to these changes on top of the normal summer craziness. Changes to our Church’s Governance […]

Let it Grow: Mission of the Church, Role of the Youth Pastor

Like I said in my last post, I’m convinced that God designed the Church with the Spirit-driven desire and the innate ability to grow in depth, breadth, and reach. So what keeps it from growing the way God intended it? I’m calling these obstacles “doors” that shut us in like the door that kept Elsa […]

Let it Grow

I can’t help it…I’m humming the now famous song “Let it Go” performed by Idina Mensel, the voice of Elsa in Disney’s Frozen. We’ve seen it probably four times now. And every time I hear the song I honestly think of the Church. We need to “Let it Grow!” We need to unlock the doors […]

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 […]

Three Principles for Growth and Balance

As I look back on my life and ministry, I’ve realized that there have been three basic principles that have helped facilitate both growth and balance in my life and ministry. Prioritize Have you read Acts 18:5-6? It says, “When Silas and Timothy had come from Macedonia, Paul was compelled by the Spirit, and testified […]

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 […]

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 […]

Growth Changes Everything (Part 1): Growth Requires Change

I think I’d like to share in the next few posts some of the biggest changes that we’ve experienced and that I’ve personally experienced as we’ve grown. This one is just an introduction. The next one will be “The First Things to Go,” which will talk about the things that I/we had to let go […]

My Role as a Youth Pastor

I’ve always seen my role as a youth pastor as having four major objectives. Pastor the People. Mobilize the Ministry. Cultivate the Climate. Voice the Vision. Pastor the People As a pastor, my primary calling is to care for people God has brought within my influence. This includes sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ, biblical […]