Three Key Relationships for Youth Ministers

Almost two years ago I took up triathlon training in an effort to get in shape. I’ve finished two triathlons over the past year. (Notice my word, finished. Finishing is winning for me.) I’ve learned several things over the course of this journey: early morning swims are difficult, bicyclist safety is not a priority of most drivers, and there is …

Mission Forum

Every student pastor looks for new material, resources and sermon ideas. I wanted to pass an idea along that I attempted at our last student worship gathering. Whether you have a weekly worship gathering or you simply have a small group teaching time, this idea has the goal of helping your students see the need to be on mission both …

Missions and Multigenerational Ministry

I just returned from a student mission trip. One stop on the way was to stay a night at the church where I grew up.  As I was pondering about the rich past of the church, and I began to ponder on how we pass our faith from one generation to the next. One way our student ministry engaged multiple …

Increase Participation – Increase Commitment

Over the last ten years of ministry, I’ve found myself repeatedly seeing proof that if we increase the meaningful participation of our people, the likelihood is high that their commitment to local church engagement and the mission of God will increase proportionately. People tend to have a strong desire to belong, and giving them a chance to truly participate fosters …

Equipping NextGen Parents

One of the things I have always been passionate about in Next Generation Ministry is equipping parents to be the primary disciple maker for their children. Walt Muller says, “When we fail to see and answer the influence culture has on our kids, we forfeit the influence we should be having on our kids.”1 As a next generation staff we …

Accountability and Discipleship

I recently had a conversation with a teenager who chose to follow Jesus two years ago. He told me about the process of salvation for him. He went to a student camp during the summer and walked forward during a worship gathering. He said, “I prayed and asked God to forgive my sins and it was awesome. I felt Jesus …

Knowledge About God vs. Knowledge of God

I’ve heard it said that somewhere between 70-80% of churched students will not return to church post-graduation from the youth group.  I’ve heard some refute that number.  I’m not sure what is ultimately true, but I do know what has been my experience during my thirteen years in student ministry.  Too many students affiliated with my ministry throughout the years …

My Office

It wasn’t long ago that an, ahem, “experienced” member of our congregation – one of those silver-haired seniors known to us as the Happy Hearts – mustered up the gumption to call me aside before the Sunday morning service and ask me a question that had obviously been bouncing around his dome for quite some time: “Do you ever keep …

The Public School Mission Field

A couple decades ago a youth pastor from an area church could pretty much grab some pizzas, show up at school, and hang out with students during lunch. Today, a twenty-something year old dude showing up at a school makes people nervous. A lot has changed over the past several years. Sure, there are still some places where student pastors …

Gospel Conversations with Culture

We need to lead the next generation in developing a more robust view of the gospel.  The gospel speaks to every single area of life and has something to say to every area of culture.  This is true because Jesus is Lord of all.  As student ministry leaders, if we are to begin to affect that kind of change within …