keith parker

Confessions From a Gray-Haired Youth Minister

August 15, 2016    
Keith Parker    
confessions of a gray haired youth minister

Hi. My name is Keith Parker, and I am a gray-haired youth minister. The truth of the matter is that I started going gray at about age 19, but that isn’t really important. I celebrated my 37th birthday this year, and I am in my 18th year of paid youth ministry. I have spent the last 14 years as the youth minister at Hazelwood Christian church, my first and only full-time youth ministry…    read more 

Developing a Killer Series for Your Youth Ministry

DevelopingKillerSeries

I remember sitting down in my office for the first time as a full-time Youth Minister.  The books were all placed carefully on the shelf, my pictures and paintings were hung, and my office supplies sat expectantly on my pristine new desk. I leaned back in my chair and thought, “Now what?” I wasn’t sure what to do, where to start, or how to shape this youth ministry I was now leading….    read more 

The Inner Battle: Balancing Family and Ministry

September 15, 2015    
Keith Parker    
inner battle youth ministry

“Daddy!” My 5-year old boy Matthew came running, arms wide open, plowing into my legs at Mach 3 to welcome me home for the evening. He had experienced his first day of kindergarten, and was eager to tell me about all the amazing things he had done and new friends he had made. Sounds like a perfect picture, right? Unfortunately, it wasn’t, because as I had pulled into the driveway, a parent…    read more 

The Inner Battle: Dealing with Difficult Parents

June 1, 2015    
Keith Parker    
inner battle youth ministry

If you’ve been a Youth Minister for more than 3 minutes, the title of this post probably resonated with you. Anytime you are dealing with students of any age, you are going to encounter some tough parents along the way. It’s a foregone conclusion in youth ministry that parents can sometimes be your biggest fans and supporters, and sometimes they can be the source of the most stress. When it comes to “difficult”…    read more 

The Inner Battle: Overcoming Apathetic Students

inner battle youth ministry

Having been a Youth Minister for over 15 years now, I think I have probably heard every excuse in the book for why a student wouldn’t be attending youth group or a summer trip. “I have sports.” “I have band.” “I have homework.” “My mom doesn’t want to drive me.” “It just doesn’t seem like fun.” “I was asleep.” “It’s just not deep enough for me.” “________________ will be there and that…    read more 

Why We Don’t Do Gross Games in Youth Group

February 9, 2015    
Keith Parker    

“Pickled pigs feet.”  “Blended Happy Meals.”  “Live goldfish.”  “Cat food.”  What do these things have in common, you might ask.  They are all the answer to a recent question in our YouthMin Facebook group – “What is something really gross that you have had a kid eat as a challenge during a game?” Having grown up in youth group and being a Youth Minister now for over 16 years, I’ve seen my…    read more 

Youth Ministry Roundtable episode 20 | Aligning Mission & Vision

January 6, 2015    
Ben Read    

It’s been a while since we’ve done a Youth Ministry Roundtable, but for the last few months, we’ve known we wanted to bring them back, and the new year seemed like the perfect time to do that. Our Youth Ministry Roundtables are meant to bring a few voices from different backgrounds to discuss Youth Ministry topics. In this re-turn episode, a few of our Site Leaders discuss the question “How much should…    read more 

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 

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 

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