Why I Don't Reach Out to Teens Anymore

After sitting back the other day pondering the important things in youth ministry I reached an epiphany, I shouldn’t reach out to teens anymore! Why you might ask? Here are a few reasons: 1. It’s not my job. I’m sure it was lost in the translation of the scripture from Greek to English but I’m sure Jesus actually meant “go …

The Ideal Mentoring Breakdown

As Youth Pastors, we know we are called to the process of discipleship. This process takes many forms, but one of my favorites is mentoring students one-on-one. There is no substitute for the ministry and relationships built through long-term mentoring. When I began mentoring students, I made the mistake of only choosing the “cream of the crop,” or the student …

Pay It Backward

The phrase “Pay It Forward” has become such a mainstay of our cultural vocabulary and even our church-speech as well. Thanks in part to the year 2000 movie of the same name; everyone understands the concept and idea when we say those words. There is even a foundation that helps people “pay forward” good things to others around the world …

Launch an Incredible Family Ministry

The animated feature The Incredibles is a favorite movie in our household—and one of our favorite scenes is the family meal early in the film. Dinner at the Parr household has deteriorated into pandemonium. The infant squeals in delight at the chaos as two siblings engage in super-powered combat. A frazzled mom strains unsuccessfully to restore order. And what about …

Learning to Sabbath Daily

People in ministry generally are infamous for our never-ending lists.  As a “Type-A” person, I’ve found that there is no such thing as a completed list. In fact, the unfortunate truth is that even the needs of people can become just another item on the to-do list. When people feel more like a burden than a blessing, ministry can become …

We Can’t Change Students

I think one of the hardest things about a job as a youth worker/pastor is watching a student who used to be so involved not be anymore. A student who you have seen God made a complete 180 degree turn in go back to the ways they struggled with before and become more and more distant. It is heart breaking. …

Don’t Train Others, Develop Them

A year ago I had the privilege to help a national youth ministry organization evaluate how well they were doing at getting students engaged with Scripture. I was able to visit face to face with dynamic Christian student leaders at universities all across the country, men and women who had an established history of effective peer ministry. When I sat …

We Need Men

When you think of a man, what do you see? Who comes to mind?  When Apache leader Sitting Bull turned 12 years of age he had to spend a week in the wilderness to survive. Until recent animal protection laws came into play, Maasai warriors in Africa had to kill a lion with a spear. As a youth Daniel was …

Battling Pornography

Header image provided by SplitShire. This article was originally posted on CPYU.org on March 5, 2014Over the course of the last couple of weeks I’ve had several people ask me this question: “What do think is the biggest challenge facing children and teens today?” That’s a tough question to answer. Without a doubt, today’s “biggest challenge” is nothing new. It’s …

"Cheap Grace" Isn't Grace

I was a senior in college, interning at a local church. The youth pastor asked me to attend a high school Christian club meeting on his behalf. I was happy to oblige. It was almost the end of the school year, and this club was meeting one last time before the summer started. During the club, students played a couple …