Blog

Is Family Ministry Hurting Our Effectiveness? (by Brian Leslie)

November 14, 2017    
Keith Parker    

Catchy title, huh? Usually a title like that is simply click bait. However, I do sincerely wonder if the church’s focus on the family (pun intended) might be causing us to lose sight of our mission and even stifle our effectiveness.  Now before you throw me off a bridge, I do think the focus on family ministry has produced many good things, and even offered some needed correction to the modern practice…    read more 

Waffle Things

November 13, 2017    
Ben Read    
stranger things game

I Loved this game idea submitted by Jon D Forrest in the YouthMin.org Facebook group, and I wanted to share it here so that it would live longer than just on Facebook. Jon uploaded a video of a student tossing in a waffle from about 10 feet away and said “Goodwill toaster-$3.99. Frozen waffles-$1.50. SLO-mo video-priceless.” Seems simple enough to come up with different variations, but if you’ve got a stranger things…    read more 

Helping Students and Leaders Own Their Ministry

October 30, 2017    
Keith Parker    
Students Own Ministry

Disclaimer: I have never written a blog post where I was preaching to myself more than this one. Here is a news flash: your ministry is not your own, and it is temporary. I just experienced this when I transitioned from a youth ministry I had led for 16 years and moved 6 hours away to begin a new youth ministry endeavor in a new context. The truth is, even if you…    read more 

20 Things I’ve learned in Student Ministry

August 29, 2017    
Nick Farr    

1. One leadership style isn’t effective for everyone. We’ve got to be willing to change it up depending on the person. 2. Form a parent leadership team. Ministry staff alone can’t be your only sounding board. 3. Over communicate. When you think you have, communicate more. 4. Gentleness and grace should be evident to all (Philippians 4). 5. Ask one or two trusted people to critique your messages (or even handpick a…    read more 

3 things to remember when recruiting volunteers for your ministry

August 23, 2017    
Ben Read    
attracting leaders for your ministry

It seems like a million years ago, but once upon a time I remember nearly tripling the amount of small group leaders in our student ministry over the course of 8 weeks. It was an incredible experience, and an incredible time in our ministry. How we did it was actually fairly simple; a clear vision for why we needed so many new volunteers, a clear recruitment process with me and my team,…    read more 

The Best Kept Secret of Youth Ministry

June 12, 2017    
Nick Farr    

Let me tell you about one of the best-kept secrets of youth ministry: share the wealth. Time and time again I see youth pastors hoarding all of the authority and decision making skills in their ministries. I believe that this happens for a couple of different reasons. When I was starting out in youth ministry, I felt like I had to have all of the answers. I was the “leader, ” and…    read more 

Distractions that can Affect Your Ministry

April 25, 2017    
Keith Parker    
Distractions Affect Ministry

A few months ago, I was tuning the radio in my car to the Colts (I know, I know…) football game as I was leaving the church parking lot. As I pulled away from my normal parking spot and clicked through my preset radio buttons, I proceeded to drive my Honda Accord directly into one of the light poles in our church parking lot. To make a long story short, tuning my…    read more 

13 Reasons to NOT Recommend 13 Reasons Why

WHAT IS IT? There is a good chance you have never heard of the Netflix series called “13 Reasons Why,” but if you work closely with teenagers at all then you probably have already started watching it. 13 Reasons Why is a Netflix series based on the 2007 Young Adult Fiction book sharing the same title. The book and Netflix series follows Clay Jensen as he uncovers why his friend, Hannah, committed…    read more 

I Bought It…Now What? by Jason Sell

March 15, 2017    
Keith Parker    

Jason Sell is the Youth Minister at Lebanon Christian Church in Indiana. One of my historical struggles has been follow-­through on projects. Just check my garage and you would understand from the almost finished projects that ran into some complication. Somehow the persistent weekly schedule of being a youth minister who preaches each week and teaches once or twice a week inevitably catches up to me, and there sit a stack of…    read more 

The Only Reason to Go to Church

February 27, 2017    

WHY DO YOUR STUDENTS GO TO CHURCH? “I want to see my friends.” “I love my adult leader.” “You [parent] force me.” As youth pastors we don’t hear a lot of these reasons, but we see ALL of these play out at different times. Students don’t talk about why they go to church, but they show it in their actions and reactions. These reasons for going to church aren’t all bad, but…    read more