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 […]

Building Next Level Leadership Teams

We all want long-term, invested volunteer leaders in our ministries. We want to build a connected and cohesive team, willing to follow us.  I have people ask me all the time how I get to a point where I actually have a waiting list of folks who are willing to be a part of my volunteer teams. […]

This is “A Way” to Lead Your Youth Ministry

We lead people. That is what we do. More often than not, the term “pastor”  in our leadership role in youth ministry is interchangeable with words such as “leader”, “director” or even “coordinator”. In fact, that might be the title that is on your door or card.  We directstudents, volunteers and our paid staff. We […]

Top 10: “Discipleship Is and Is Not….”

10. Discipleship IS Small Groups. It is NOT Cliques. 9. Discipleship IS faith involvement. It is NOT faith information. 8. Discipleship IS a guide on the side. It is NOT a sage on the stage. 7. Discipleship IS an invitation to come and see. It is NOT an invitation to look at me. 6. Discipleship […]

Beware of the Power of ‘Personality Cults’

Our social media feed is filling up again with a fresh batch of failed leaders and failed churches. Big named people at big-name churches.  Less-known names in lesser-known churches, that have had unbelievable overnight success.  Popular magazines and websites create lists of the biggest of the big names and the fastest of the lesser-known names. […]

Ten Reason Why Key Leaders of Ministries Fail

I grew up in a pastor’s home. Some of my best friends growing up with were pastor’s kids. We would go to ministry conferences as a family growing, so I was able to quietly observed ministry leaders from behind the curtain.    I attended a private Christian school and was part of the youth ministry […]

“Three Lesson from ‘Over the Hill’ Youth Ministry”

Yesterday I celebrated my 46th birthday, and in November I celebrated my 26th year of youth ministry.  I am now into my 27th year of youth ministry, 23 years of full-time, on-staff church youth ministry.  Here are just three lessons I have learned from being “over the hill”. There is a growing trend among youth […]

Defining Success In Youth Ministry!

People all the time ask me “how do you define success?” or “how do I know I am being successful?”  It fills blogs, books, and staff meetings.  It is the make or break for many in youth ministry, and often is the difference between keeping or losing a job. It is tricky question with a […]

An Uncool Calling to Youth Ministry

I recently read the Instagram post from Skillet frontman, John Copper, called “Make Pastors Uncool Again”. In it, he addresses the continual trend of cool and hip pastors that acts more like rockstars than pastors… “..promotes himself, builds his brand, and entertains people..”   This continues to be true for so many pastors in general, but […]

Are You Cheating? (An Emotional Affair WITH Your Ministry)

An emotional affair is defined as, “A relationship, which excludes physical intimacy but includes emotional intimacy. A relationship…. other than with ones’ spouse that has an impact on the level of intimacy, emotional distance and overall dynamic balance in the marriage.” Does that sound at all familiar to you? How about if I was not […]