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” […]

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 […]

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.

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, […]

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 […]

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

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: 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 […]

Focusing our Meetings

The more recent conversation in our Student Life Leadership Team has been about defining our roles (last post) and focusing our meetings (this post). Now that we’ve established some large-frame infrastructures to support our ministry, we’ve developed some new growing edges around our team meetings and the need to be more focused and structured. Here’s […]

Defining Roles on our Youth Ministry Team

The more recent conversation in our Student Life Leadership Team has been about defining our roles (this post) and focusing our meetings (next post). Now that we’ve established some large-frame infrastructures to support our ministry, we’ve developed some new growing edges around our roles and the need to more clearly define them. Here’s what we’ve […]

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, […]

Preaching to Youth (Part 3): Creative Use of Stories from Your Own Life as a Teenager

I love using stories in my messages. I usually “hook” them (I use the Hook-Book-Look-Took method) with a personal story from my own life…preferably one from when I was a teenager. I prefer my own stories and not stories and illustrations from books or websites because they allow me to do two things. First, it […]

Preaching to Youth (Part 2): Keep it Positive

The black eye gave it away. There’s no hiding it from mom when you’re 10. Wearing sunglasses is a habit I won’t have developed for another five or six years. So it was pretty obvious to mom that, once again, I got into another fight. It wasn’t my fault. It usually wasn’t my fault. I’m […]

Pastoral Whiplash

Plan for my youth sermon. Then trouble shoot the sound system. Then meet with a volunteer to recruit them to be a team leader. Then meet with a student to talk about their alcohol addiction. Then try to figure out why my Mac isn’t printing to our printer over Wi-Fi lately. Then meet with the […]

I Want to Invest More in My Volunteers…

…but I don’t. I’d really like to spend more time meeting with them, talking about the kids, their struggles, their successes, strategic steps for discipling the kids and so on. I’d love to help them better understand the social and emotional issues that kids are dealing with like loneliness, depression, stress, academic pressure, peer pressure, […]

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 […]

Sharing the Gospel

I try to share the gospel as often as I can. Sometimes it’s with individual students. Sometimes it’s on a special bring-a-friend-to-hear-the-gospel night. Sometimes it’s a tag-on to another message. The point is, I’m usually looking for opportunities to share the gospel. I try to pay attention to potential students who need the opportunity to […]