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 

The 2 Questions I Ask Every Volunteer Leader

October 21, 2013    

There are countless things that I love about youth ministry; one of those things is the explosion of job descriptions for volunteers in the ministry. These job descriptions list qualifications and expectations, which are all good and needed things; but to be honest, it freaked some people out in my ministry.  I am not saying that my volunteers did not like to hear about what qualified them or what we expected from…    read more 

Avoiding the Holy Huddle – Challenging Students Beyond the Church Walls

October 18, 2013    
Keith Parker    

I think one of the most important lessons we can teach our students is that the Kingdom of God is larger than the four walls of our church building.  When students graduate from our ministry, I hope that they find a place to worship, to serve, to grow, and to connect with other Christians.  Whether they end up worshiping at Hazelwood with us or somewhere else, the goal is that they stick…    read more 

Jr. High is NOT a Stepping Stone

October 15, 2013    

This will be offensive to some, but I am okay with that. When I was in college, I met with a guy that openly said, “ I don’t even like Junior High Students, this is a stepping stone for me.”  The goal of the meeting was for him to pour into future pastors and leaders in the church.  He was the Junior High Pastor there and he is very dangerous. Some of you…    read more 

5 easy excuses for subpar Youth Ministry

October 15, 2013    
Ben Read    

I doubt there is a Youth Pastor in the world that got into ministry to just coast. No, I believe more for Youth Pastors, and I believe each and every one of us started out with great dreams and visions of what God was going to accomplish through us and the ministries we would lead. But we can’t all start out in the Mega Churches, so most of us take jobs at…    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 

Career vs. Calling: Making It Clear

October 4, 2013    
Josh Sutton    

We just wrapped up our Roundtable Tuesday and had a great discussion on Youth Ministry and the differences between Career and Calling. I wanted to follow up and write a little more about what I believe. Calling I truly believe that all Christ-followers are called into ministry. When you follow Christ he calls you to minister to the people around you, starting with your family, your work, your school, your city, your state,…    read more 

Making SYATP Mandatory

September 25, 2013    
Jeremy Smith    

I tell my students that they must go to the See You At The Pole. It’s a mandatory step. Let me back up for a second. See you at the pole is a student led initiative where high school students go 15-30 minutes before school starts to the flag pole on campus. The student then individually or corporately pray for the school and its occupants, the community and the churches that have…    read more 

How To Serve Bad Leaders

September 1, 2013    
Brian Lucas    

We’ve all been there at some time. You may not admit it with the words of the title of this article, but you’ve complained enough about them: bad leaders. Bad leaders come in all different varieties: The Micro-Manager, The Blame-Shifter, The Tyrant, The Vague Communicatior, The One Track Mind, add yours here… At one time, maybe more than once, you have served a bad leader. We’ve been talking this past month about…    read more 

Ministering to Your Pastor's Child #LeadingUp

August 27, 2013    
Josh Fuentes    

As we consider different ways that we, as youth pastors, can establish an influential voice in our church, we must remember the best way we are able to do this is by doing our jobs. As we minister to students we build credibility with their parents, yet there is one student in your youth group whose parents have the ability to make your voice be heard or drowned out above everyone else,…    read more