student ministry

Contextualizing Your Ministry

April 28, 2015    
Keith Parker    
youth ministry context leadership

Context is everything. We understand this to be true about biblical studies, quotes from our favorite athletes, and lines from movies. But the same is true in our ministries. Context is everything. As we seek to be the best leaders and youth ministers we can possibly be, it is vital that we consider our own church’s context. Demographics, geography, economics, and past experiences all play a huge role in our every day…    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 

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 

3 Areas of focus in Youth Ministry Organization

At the end of the month of July, I will finish my fourth year in youth ministry. I have learned some amazing things along the way, but something that I still struggle with terribly in is Youth Ministry organization. I believe that organization is key to running anything successfully, but it’s just not a quality that a majority of us youth pastors always pass with flying colors. I believe that organization in Youth…    read more 

Ministry Under Fire: Responding to Criticism

March 12, 2014    
Keith Parker    

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 a student who just doesn’t want to plug into your ministry and wants the world to know…    read more 

Is Youth Ministry Killing the Church?

November 12, 2013    
Keith Parker    

It seems about this time every year, I begin to see a lot of blog posts about how Youth Ministry is killing the church, how Youth Ministry is fundamentally flawed, and how students are leaving the church in record numbers.  Youth Ministry is always the scapegoat in this conversation, the sacrificial lamb to blame for all of the woes plaguing the church. I will be frank and tell you that this trend…    read more 

An Open Letter to Church Leaders

October 23, 2013    
Keith Parker    

You might assume by the title of this post that I’m concurrently working on my resume and a blog post, but I’m excited about sharing this post with you and with my own church leaders as we seek to make Christ famous.  I am also eager to hear back from you on what you would share with your church leaders, and I hope this post will be a great conversation starter. I…    read more 

An Open Letter to Youth Ministers

October 11, 2013    
Keith Parker    

Okay, I’ve come to grips with it.  I’m getting old.  I have more gray hairs than brown anymore, it seems.  And I make weird noises when I get up.  So, I get it.  I’m getting older.  But one benefit of being in Youth Ministry for a while (12.5 years at Hazelwood and counting) is that I’ve “put childish things behind me” in a lot of areas where I used to struggle. Please…    read more 

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