Top 10: REAL Summer Mission Trip Moments from Over the Years

10. Coming Out in the Morning to Find That the Church Bus Has Been”Tagged”. 9. Girl Yelling “Hey I Found a Bag of Oregano!” While Doing a Street Clean up. 8. Pulling Up to a Ministry Project Location To Find an SUV Engulfed in Flames in the Street. 7. Having a Very Nice Man in […]

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 […]

Game of the Week: “Civil War Dodgeball”

Yet another twist on the old youth ministry classic dodgeball.  Just in case you are sick and tired of the same old week in and week out of playing dodgeball. “ A favorite around our 5th-8th grade ministries.  SUPPLIES: • Dodgeballs • Cones or a way to define a centerline GAMEPLAY: Quick explanation: A game of dodgeball where players […]

Top 10: Things I Have NEVER Heard a Middle School Student Say?

10.  I stopped coming to youth group because I didn’t like your theological stance on _______.  9.  We all really feel like you should wear skinny jeans and get more tattoos, so you can be more relevant.  8.  Tonight was way too much fun.  7.  Please stop sending me personal handwritten encouragement notes.  6.  My parents realized that […]

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 […]

Game of the Week: “Dad Joke Face-Off” (Father Day Game)

Who doesn’t love your dad and his amazingly cheesy jokes?   We have heard them all, right? Here is your student’s chance to see how well they know these classic dad jokes by facing off to see who can guess the correct punch-line first! A gut-busting and groan-worthy fun game perfect for Father’s Day or […]

“Why You Should Take Your Middle Years Students To Camp!”

In the era of summer mission trips to exotic places and high energy, huge conferences at the beach, is there still a place for summer camp?  Has the whole summer camp-thing seen its day?  Here are 10 Quick Thoughts, on WHY YOU SHOULD STILL TAKE YOUR MIDDLE YEARS (5th-9th Grader) STUDENTS TO CAMP?  10. Freedom to […]

Game of the Week: “Celebrity Prom!”

YOU WANNA DANCE? Work up the courage and ask a special friend to come up to join you.  It is time to go toe-to-toe to see if they can guess the celebrity before you can!  The winner continues on, the loser has a seat. Who will be crowned the King or Queen of “CELEBRITY PROM”!? […]

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. […]