Tips for Male Youth Workers Interacting With Girls

As you read the rest of this article, I’m going to tell you to drop your guard a little. Be careful not to read this as “I’m the only person who can/needs to have this role in their life” because that will lead to “I’ve just been fired and am on a sexual offender list.” Am I being dramatic? Of …

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 …

What If You Couldn't Fail?

Think about your youth ministry. Think about your philosophy, your programming, your team, your facilities, your methodology . . . Put all of these categories (and any more you can think of) on the table. Think about where you are effective and where you are ineffective. Think about where your ministry is today and where you want to be in …

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 …

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 …

Awesome Youth Pastors

I’ve been blessed to be able to work in youth ministry for the last (almost) 15 years. During that time, I have worked for a handful of para-church youth ministry organizations that support youth ministers in some fashion. I have been immersed in the “industry” of youth ministry, literally engaging and interacting with thousands of youth ministers and ministries over …

An Unqualified Youth Guy

Those words left my mouth and found the ears of a Southern Baptist Senior Pastor, over lunch, during the course of my first interview for the youth pastor opening at his church. I didn’t want the gig. Well, let me take that back. I was open to the idea, but felt unqualified; and on paper, I was a complete trainwreck …