Tips for Having “The Talk” With Your Students

This Fall, our student ministry tackled the “gods at war” series from Kyle Idleman. The series identifies false gods that war for our affection. From the moment we chose the series, I circled the date on my calendar when I would be teaching on the “gods of love, sex, and romance.” Every youth minister knows the sweaty palms and the lump in the throat that come along with speaking to students about…    read more 

Embracing the New Normal

September 24, 2014    

Carey Nieuwhof is a name many of you might recognize. If you don’t recognize his name, check out his new leadership podcast, it’s great! In his first episode, Andy Stanley makes a statement that kind of shook my existing paradigm as it relates to student ministry. “A regular church attender is someone who goes to church about 12 times a year, not every week…as we looked at our children’s attendance patterns, the…    read more 

Don’t Kill Yourself – Volunteers are Key

September 23, 2014    
Brent Aiken    

Volunteers… We don’t always have them but we need them. I have been in Youth Ministry for a little over 4 years now and for about the first 3 years I thought that everything was my responsibility. I did three lessons a week, scheduled a meal sign up sheet and made contact with whoever was signed up for the current week, spent as much time as I could with the students (which…    read more 

5 Simple Ways to Gain Respect from Your Church Leaders

Having been a youth minister for well over a decade now, I think I have heard all of the ridiculous statements and stereotypes about youth ministers. We are lazy, disorganized, and never take anything seriously. We only work on Sundays. All we do is play games and order pizza. And my personal favorite: when we “grow up,” we might “get our own church.” While I’m not certain where these stereotypes originated, the…    read more 

What would happen to your Youth Ministry if you left?

Yesterday, one of our contributors, Frank Gil, posted this July 1st = Fall Calendar Planning! Posted by Frank Gil on Tuesday, July 1, 2014 He’s not alone, and I know many Youth Pastors are planning beyond their Fall Calendars and are thinking about the entire ministry year that lays ahead of us, and if you haven’t started that process yet, you should. Last year around this time, I was coming home from our annual…    read more 

Hang In There!

Over the past few weeks, our YouthMin.org Facebook group has been littered with discouraged and hurting Youth Ministers.  Whether dealing with criticism, divorce, unrealistic expectations, or other sources of discouragement, many of our comrades are struggling to navigate these difficulties.  Questions of identity, purpose, calling, and even value seem to be waging war against many of our brothers and sisters in Christ.  In addition, many are asking the question, “Do I even…    read more 

What Do I Do All Week?

May 2, 2014    
Frank Gil    

You probably get this question at least once a semester. That one kid who is known for his sarcasm and snakiness comes up to you and asks, “What do you even do all week?” Don’t get upset. I know you want to snap back with something snarky and a little condescending but don’t. This could be an opportunity to show your students an inside look of pastoral ministry. Here is my week…    read more 

Essential Time Management

About a month ago I read an article by Carey Nieuwhof to his “younger self” in ministry about how to live and lead better.  As a young leader myself, I ate up the article and have read it weekly. One point that resonated with me was #10: Focus on productivity, and not just effort” Sometimes we brag about how we worked a “60-hour workweek,” but let’s be honest: what did we really accomplish? Why…    read more 

The importance of Time in Youth Ministry

February 11, 2014    
Ben Read    

Last year at the Orange Conference, the theme was Focus, but really it should have just been Time, because that’s what everything came down to. I remember how Reggie Joiner would bring out this big jar of marbles for every speaker that came on stage, and it illustrated the number of weeks that were left for this speaker before their child graduated High School and left home, no longer under their direct…    read more