Love the Games, Love the Players! (creating & running games)

“I hate games—organizing, running and trying to get my kids to play them.”  How many times have you said or thought something similar? On the list of priorities, game playing often does not rank high. You have precious little time with students. Why use it up on games?  Here is why. Middle Years Students still enjoy, need and […]

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 […]

Middle School Camp Mistakes and Misses

I just returned from taking a group of my middle school (5th-8th grade) students to a “camp” experience, put on by a nationally known and acclaimed organization.   Initially, I was planning on writing a review and some thoughts, when I returned offering up some hints and helps along with what I expected to an […]

Top 10: “Daddy Always Said… (Youth Ministry Lessons)

Father Knows Best… Go Ask Your Father…  Fatherly Wisdom…  In Honor of Father’s Day, Coming Up This Sunday, Here Are 10 things “Daddy Always Said…” Growing Up, that May Also Still Apply In Your Youth Ministry Life?    10. “Walk It Off….“- Sometimes in ministry you are going to get hurt and you might just need to walk […]

Top 10: Reasons You Need to Take a Vacation This Summer

10. Your Spouse Needs IT!  (read into that however you like..) 9.  Your Kids Haven’t Seen You In Awhile. (If there is a picture of you on the fridge, just so they won’t forget what you look like during Camp, Mission Trips, and Summer Conferences…) 8. You Need a Tan. (the whole pasty white legs thing is really grossing everyone out, […]

Hints/Helps: Avoiding Youth Ministry Burnout!

Years ago, as a young youth pastor in my early 20s, I remember saying pridefully to an older pastor-“I would rather burn out than being blown out”.  He was trying to encourage me to stop working longer and longer hours, but I would not listen.  I was a dangerous combination of young and energetic meets unorganized […]

News U Can Use: “Gen Z Teens Talks COVID, Politics and the Capital Attack”

“Their parents’ generation experienced the fall of the Berlin Wall, the brutal beating of Rodney King by police, Operation Desert Storm, war in Bosnia and the 9/11 attacks. But today’s teens are experiencing a lifetime of disturbing news compressed into the span of just nine months and counting. They’ve been hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, […]

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 […]

Free Teaching Resource: 4 Thanksgiving Lessons (from Leader Trek)

Doug Franklin and the Leader Trek Team have  compiled FOUR Thanksgiving Bible studies for your youth ministry to help your students cultivate a spirit of gratitude during the Thanksgiving season. From considering how to live a thankful lifestyle every day to helping students develop a heart that is content and grateful toward God no matter […]

Top 10: Youth Ministry Lessons from the Thanksgiving Table

HERE ARE TEN QUICK LESSONS ABOUT YOUTH MINISTRY, FROM THE FAMILY THANKSGIVING TABLE…  10. It is all about intergenerational connections.  9. Stories from the past, lead to teaching moments in the present. 8. Experiences are shared face-to-face, in circles not in rows.  7. Tradition is not a dirty word and can hold value for the […]