Archive - April, 2012

50 Youth Ministry Freebies From Leadertreks

Our friends over at are providing some sweet freebies! They feature assessments, team building initiatives, illustrations, Bible studies, and activities. One of Leadertreks goals is to provide quality resources for youth workers, helping them develop student leaders.

In fact, Leadertreks are so committed to helping youth workers, they give away more stuff than they sell! If you don’t know the Leadertreks team, you should get to know them! They are a great team of people to work with!!! Phil <><

Deal of The Day! $5 Group Magazine Digital Subscription

Are you kidding me? $5 for a year of Group Magazine Digital? That’s a mistake right? Well, apparently not…

And, not only that, you can now get it on Apple and Android platforms! $5 has got to be one of the best stewardship decisions for any youth worker to make. Today only!

Mission Trip Fundraisers – Are Car Washes A Bad Idea?

Just this week my good mate Brit, (I like his name), wrote a post concerning the disparity of car washes collecting money compared to the homeless not being allowed to collect money on the streets. It’s a great post, you can read it .

Well, here’s the deal, Brit’s post really got me thinking about car washes that many of us do to raise money for our missions trips. As Brit’s post communicated,

“I know we have a panhandler and then you have a fundraiser… but why is one who is in need forced to move on, while others who are desiring something more (new skirts, new trumpets, new shoes, bus to go on a mission trip) they can wave their signs and get hand outs.”

Continue Reading…

How to Avoid Youth Ministry Burnout: Part 2

This is part-two of a two-part series looking at burnout in youth ministry. 

Since I wouldn’t stop, God shut me down.  He stopped me totally in my tracks. If I don’t get enough sleep now I am sick for 3 days.  I MUST sleep. If I don’t exercise, my muscles stiffen up and I can’t move.  I HAVE to work out daily. I have suffered from a stomach problem for 13 years (non burnout related.)   It is exasperated by stress and poor eating habits.  I HAVE TO EAT WELL.

God literally stopped me.  He said ENOUGH is ENOUGH.  I am not saying that the Lord laughed at me.  Instead FOR ME,  I couldn’t/wouldn’t listen.  So He gave me signs to help.  As I mentioned yesterday,  I know others that have come under the weight of similar afflictions.

I have come to see when I don’t listen,  the Lord grabs my attention.   He wants me with him in this for the long haul. Continue Reading…

Youth Ministry Burnout: Part 1

This is part-one of a two-part series on youth ministry burnout. 

I could not believe that this ministry veteran was telling my story.  Years of serving  and then one day the weight crushed him. Us “Type A,” personalities are wound tight. On a good day. We are workaholics, especially when it is something that we really believe in. Our minds are always racing.  We never “shut off.”   We are moving and moving and if you aren’t coming with us then well,  get out-of-the-way. We don’t thrive at “days off.”  Vacations can be a hard sell.   We eat too much or live off of an IV of coffee.  Actually, we feel guilty when we do things for “ourselves.”  (I recently used a gift certificate I received for a facial… a year and a half a go).  It feels like when I do “take time” things just blow up anyway.

Eventually we run ourselves into the ground.  I have sat in my bed sick with pneumonia and continued on getting done what needs to be done.

Continue Reading…

Youth Ministry Training FREEBIE: Jesus Centered Youth Ministry

Here is a great FREEBIE for you! Whether you are a volunteer youth worker, or full-time in the trenches you should take 30 minutes to watch this training given by Rick Lawrence from Group Publishing. Thanks Rick!

You can also pick up Rick’s new book: 


5 Ways To Finish Out The School Year Well

It’s already April! Most people have returned from their Spring break trips, (I didn’t get away and I wished I had). For most people, their mindset is already looking to the Summer and many of you are already seeing numbers take a dip as the weather warms up or Spring sports hit full speed ahead… As many are looking ahead to the Summer months, I think it’s good not to forget the weeks leading up to Summer. Here are 5 essential elements I have tried to establish as I look to finish the school year well.

1) Survey Your Students and Leaders: Don’t assume you know what worked for your ministry in the last school year, ask your students (and your leaders). I will actually be using a Sunday morning program to survey our students and celebrate the last year. Our survey is pretty detailed, (I’ll post it soon), and gives students a good chance for students to provide us specific feedback. We use this survey as a way to design upcoming Fall and Winter programs and events. Before the summer truly hits, it’s good to reflect and digest on where you have been. I will be sitting down with some of my core leaders to review the school year and plan the Fall.

2) Head For A End Of School Year Event: We always close out our school year with a big event that is promoted heavily and incorporates celebration and fun. It also acts as a beginning of summer event in some ways too. It’s good to have defining events like this that signify a change in schedule or programming.  Continue Reading…

4 Plans Every Youth Worker Should Be Making? Part 4: A Personal Plan

What’s your personal plan? I’m not talking about loving God, loving students and doing ministry for the next year. Have you prayed about the course your ministry is taking? Have you prayed about the next steps for you? You know, will you be in youth ministry all your life or will you one day ‘grow up’ and graduate to ‘real ministry’ one day, (as we often get asked). Are you a volunteer who is destined for full-time ministry or are you being pressured to minister somewhere else because YOU think you are getting too old? Are you wondering if your current church would keep you on long-term as their youth worker? Do you dream of starting a church, but don’t know how? These are just some of the questions I hear from youth workers.

Bottom Line: Do you know where you are going in ministry? Have you stopped to ask?

Praying through and developing a personal ministry plan is crucial for you, your family, your students, your church, and ultimately your usefulness in God’s Kingdom. Here’s what’s crucial about seeking God for your personal ministry plan:  Continue Reading…

2012 Graduation Gift Set From Simply Youth Ministry

is offering an incredible graduation gift set for your high school graduates. It’s an incredible deal with 3 super practical and engaging books from Doug Fields, Josh Griffin, and Chuck Bomar. If you are looking to honor and love on your grads, you should

Phil <><

4 Plans Every Youth Worker Should Be Making? Part 3: Seasonal Planning

In my previous posts I talked about the importance of youth workers being strategic planners and people who have a long-term teaching plan. Having a good prayerful plan can often be the key to greater effectiveness and help us hang in for the long haul. I know it is not always in our DNA as youth workers to enjoy planning, (or even be good at it), but it is a necessary part of becoming a successful and professional youth worker. Having a good plan will also help us gain greater influence from parents, church leaders, (and ultimately benefit our students).

The previous two posts were pretty in depth and full of information, but today I want to be brief with this idea:

An effective youth worker is constantly planning ahead at least one season.

In terms of events, calendar and programs, it is imperative that we are working at least 2-3 months ahead of where we are. For me, I call it a season. As I write this post, my whole summer calendar is published even though here in Michigan we are barely touching the Spring. It’s so important that we work 2-3 months ahead for a number of reasons:

1) Parents Need The Information: If we want parents to support our ministries we should be getting dates to them at least 2-3 months ahead. For missions trips, however, most parents will thank you if you give them the date 6-9 months out.

2) Volunteers Can Plan Better: If you want volunteers at special events and retreats, they need to book time off and make your program a priority. If you are working a month out, don’t expect to get any support. Continue Reading…

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