The Difference Between Program and Ministry

Years ago, I sat in at Youth Specialties’ National Youth Workers Convention, listening to Kara Powell, talk about her research connected to the new Sticky Faith book. I remember her on the main stage talking about programs being a tunnel to ministry but not being our ministry.  She warned the crowd to make sure to […]

60 Second Hint: “Every Church is a Sub-Culture”

A NEW FEATURE…”60 SECOND HINT” TO HELP YOU TO A BETTER MINISTRY AND MAYBE LIFE? Each Church Is Its Own Sub-Culture…Every church has it’s own traditions, words, rules, and personality. Take the time when you arrive at a church to ask questions, learn and don’t just assume things. Churches like other countries and even families […]

Top 10: Favorite Ministry Podcasts

Podcasts are popping up everywhere right now and Youth Ministry is no exception!  People ask me all the time which ones I listen too.  I also get quite a few people asking, when I will start one, and it may or may not be coming!   I know my daughter, Jenna, REALLY wants to start […]

Game: “Fall Hoodie Goodie” (Up Front Challenge)

It is sweatshirt weather AND fall retreat season again! Time to put on that hoodie and also enjoy some goodies?  Why not combine the two for a quick completely ran-dumb game of “HOODIE GOODIE”!! Supplies: – 2 zip-up hoodies (L or XL) – 18-20 pieces of leftover Halloween candy – A couple of eggs Simple Explanation:  […]

News U Can Use: “Teens Ban From Trick-or-Treating”

“Last Halloween, one Virginia city went viral for banning anyone 13 years and older from trick-or-treating.  No, it wasn’t a story on The Onion. It was real. The city of Chesapeake drew national scrutiny – and social media uproar – for its decades-old ordinance that could fine or jail teens caught in costume with a sack full […]

Top 10: Scary Halloween Costumes for Youth Pastors?

LOOKING FOR SOMETHING SCARY TO WEAR THIS HALLOWEEN TO SCARE FELLOW YOUTH PASTORS?  HERE ARE 10 OF SCARIEST WAYS YOU COULD DRESS UP…  10. An Old 15 Passenger Church Van (Packed for a Long Trip)  9.  An Angry or Offended Youth Group Parent (#Triggered!)  8.  A Middle School Boy Drinking a Monster (run away…run away)  […]

Hint/Help: “How’s Your Walk?” (Object Lesson/Illustration)

Quick Lesson Illustration On Your Christian Walk and Following Jesus.  Scripture Suggestions: – Micah 6:8 – John 12:35 – Gal. 5:16 – Eph. 5:1-3 – Col. 3:7 – I John 1:5-7 Illustration: – Dress Shoes: Your Christian Walk only comes out on Sunday, when you want to show off how spiritual you are.  You are […]

Top 10: “Pastor Appreciation Month…FAILS!”

I LOVE MY CHURCHES.  OVER THE YEARS, THEY HAVE ALWAYS BEEN SO INCREDIBLY GRACIOUS AND KIND TO ME AND MY FAMILY, ALL YEAR AROUND BUT ESPECIALLY DURING OCTOBER! I AM HOWEVER CONTINUED TO BE AMAZING…AND SOMETIMES AMUSED (sorry for your pain) BY SOME OF THE STORIES I HEAR FROM OTHER PASTORS DURING “PASTORS APPRECIATION MONTH’ […]

Game of the Week: “Slim Jim Shish-Kabob” (Up Front Challenge)

A quick cheap up front challenge.  The idea is simple, Using a Slim Jim “Giant Stick” shish-kabob as many FunYuns as you can in a minute! Supplies: -2 Slim Jim Giant Sticks -2 Snack size bags of FunYuns -2 Plates Set Up:  Sort through your bags of FunYuns, find only complete, unbroken rings, and place […]

Hint/Help: “God is Life and Light” (Object Lesson)

TEACHING ON THE TOPIC OF LIGHT AND LOOKING FOR A GREAT OBJECT LESSON TO ILLUSTRATE THE POINT?   CONSIDER YOUR LOCAL DOLLAR STORE FOR A ILLUSTRATION.  You will need a solar-powered dashboard flower—the kind that dances and moves when exposed to light—and a small piece of solid tape. You will be illustrating that God is […]