Slow Down Your Leadership

There’s an old African proverb that says, “alone we go fast, together we go far.” You might get things done quickly, but if you’re not giving away leadership to willing and awesome leaders on your team, you’ll find that the only place you’re headed is burnout. And you’ll get there real fast. Try these three…

Are you a spotlight leader?

The Orange Conference is coming up quick (in fact February 19th is a registration savings deadline!!) and so I thought I’d look back one one of my favorite talks I’ve heard in the four years I’ve gone. Several years back, Doug Fields gave an incredible message as he talked about the importance of being a…

Why We Don’t Do Gross Games in Youth Group

“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…

Help! I’ve Inherited a Team

So, you’ve started a new ministry . . . How do you deal with previous job descriptions and expectations? Put another way, how do you get your new team to start functioning the way YOU want them to? Here’s one way of making the transition: 1. Call a meeting of your entire team.  You’ll want…

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 best Youth Ministry Conference out there

They often say “leaders are readers,” but the underlying truth there is that leaders are learners. We all get that. That’s why conferences are, in my opinion, so crucial for leaders.  In the world of Youth Ministry, we have a number of options to choose from. In my time as a Youth Pastor, I’ve been…

Embracing the New Normal

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…

Don’t Kill Yourself – Volunteers are Key

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…

Intern 101: Hiring an Intern

Mentoring and pouring into an intern can be one of the most challenging and rewarding aspects of youth ministry. As I write this post, I find myself preparing for my eight intern during my 13-year tenure at Hazelwood Christian church.  I absolutely love the opportunity to invest in students and future ministry leaders, and I…

Ministry Under Fire: Responding to Criticism

Let’s start with a simple truth.  It doesn’t matter what type of church you serve in, what denomination, what size, how many staff you serve with, or how healthy your ministry may be.  One thing about ministry is universal: we will all face criticism.  Criticism comes in all sorts of forms.  It may come from…