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 

Frustration in Youth Ministry

youth pastor quit resign frustration

A few weeks ago, I watched a few of our college interns interacting with a Mom of a student in their small group. They all knew I was close by if needed, but they were resolving the issue themselves. It was a tough situation in that a student in the group had started pouring out a lot of the junk going on his life, and the small group leaders were still processing…    read more 

Parent Meeting Agenda

September 7, 2015    
Keith Parker    
parent meeting agenda

At HCCYM, we meet with parents a few times a year, typically at the start of a new semester, to go over the information for the upcoming months of activities, lessons, and regular programs.  We typically do these short meetings after church in our youth area, which allows families to stay after church instead of making a special trip.  These are short meetings, but an important way to connect with parents and…    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 

Weekly Youth Group Preview – February 4, 2015

February 5, 2015    
Ben Read    

Much like Frank Gil does his weekly recap’s of what they do in their Youth Ministry, designed especially for Youth Pastors, we’ve been doing a preview video for our parents. Here is our preview video we send to parents to know what we’re discussing. Along with the video, we try to include a few conversation starters for Parents, things they can use to have a discussion on the way to Youth Group…    read more 

Poll Question 2: What is Your Greatest Source of Discouragement?

April 15, 2014    
Keith Parker    

Let’s face it.  Ministry can be hard sometimes.  We’ve all struggled with discouragement in some shape or form.  Whether it’s pressure to “get numbers,” a leader who questions your vision, a church that doesn’t seem to value your ministry, or parents who are slow to support and quick to criticize, discouragement can show up in various forms in ministry. As seeks to encourage, challenge, and equip Youth Ministers, it’s important for…    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 

How to Respond to Social Media Criticism Towards Your Ministry

October 29, 2013    
Jeremy Smith    

For the past three months, I have been working at the headquarters of Youth for Christ as their Social Media Specialist to learn how to better engage people with social media and blogging at a local and national level as we work to improve engaging with teenagers and the whole community to share the Gospel alongside the church. One of the first missions I had for the position is to put together…    read more 

An Open Letter to Parents

September 16, 2013    
Keith Parker    

Dear parent of a teenager, Hey there. It’s me, the Youth Minister at your local church. I just wanted to take a few minutes and share some thoughts with you about your student. I know that no two people will ever see things entirely the same way, but as one who works with students on a regular basis, I just wanted to say a few words that might encourage you and help…    read more 

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