Archive - August, 2012

7 Lessons Learned From A Summer ‘Shutdown’

EDITORS NOTE: Comment on this post and get entered to win 1 year of SYM ‘Team’ Tools Access. Winner announced Sept 4th. (Click here for more info)

A while back I posted an article that debated the benefits and downsides to shutting down for the summer. This summer I got to live out one of these perspectives more fully than I would have liked… You see, over the summer months we shut down much of our student ministry program since we renovated our student ministry center called ‘The Warehouse.’ (It is actually a converted warehouse and is now looking pretty sweet)! Because of demolition and permits, we could not meet weekly on a Sunday morning as we usually do. Instead students went to church with their parents…

Here are 7 lessons that I learned from the shut down:  Continue Reading…


You could win a 1 year access to SYM ‘Team’ Tool! Simply Youth Ministry have developed this brilliant resource to help with applications, background checks, and training (including videos by experienced in the trenches youth workers), in one simple-to-use online interface.

How can you win?  By Tuesday September 4th 2012, comment to this post and tell us the following: 

1) Are you full-time, part-time, volunteer. 2) What are the greatest training needs for you and your youth ministry team?

Check out the Team Tool promo video and the screen shot of the interface (below). 

REPOST: Making Volunteer Meetings Worthwhile

A while back I wrote an article on how to have productive and effective volunteer meetings. It was one of the most popular posts we have written. Since it’s nearly the Fall and many of you are going to be pulling your volunteers together, I thought I would repost this for you. Here you go:

A few weeks ago a friend who is starting out in ministry asked me two questions:

First Question: “How often do you meet with your volunteers all together”?

1) Meetings Every Two Months, Not Every Month: My volunteers are busy and I prefer to honor their time and their families by keeping it to every two months. However, it’s important to “supplement” them with other training and communication.

2) Weekly Email Updates: This helps them to keep plugged in with the details of the programs and upcoming events. I also text, call, tweet, and email leaders individually.

3) Training / Update Videos: On the months we do not meet I create quick (6-8) minute videos that include programmatic information and a quick training tip for them. The training tip is usually something I have seen in the previous weeks that I want my volunteers focus on.

Continue Reading…


Keys To Youth Ministry Longevity: 5 Essential Boundaries

How can you hang in the long haul and be successful in your church ministry situation? If you have been in youth ministry even for a short time, you have likely heard the statistics for ‘youth ministry burnout’ or know someone who has lost their passion for ministry.

Even though youth workers are passionate and committed to their ministries, it’s equally as important that they are committed to healthy boundaries.

While boundaries might sound defensive and rigid, they actually benefit your church greatly, since you will be healthier for your students… And you might just stay at that church longer too…

5 Essential Boundaries

ONE: ‘Devotional’ Boundaries: When it gets busy it’s easy to allow our devotional time to get edged or become a lesson plan. Staying fresh spiritually requires us to have a committed regular time to fill the tank personally. I think this should be a given, but how are we really doing in this area?

TWO: ‘Family’ Boundaries: If you can’t take care of your family first, how can you know how to take care of the family of God? (1 Timothy 3:5). At times I confess I have put ministry ahead of my marriage and family. Of course, there are certain seasons of craziness, but they must only be seasons. Your children (if you have kids), need you to invest in their life and faith. There are many people who can invest in the students you work with, but there is only one person in the whole world who is called to “mommy” or “daddy” to our kids… In the same way, your spouse (if you are married), needs your best, not your left-overs… Continue Reading…

Keys To Youth Ministry Longevity: The Importance Of A Mentor

As far as I know, Ron has never done youth ministry, but he is a big reason why I am still in youth ministry today.
I have known Ron for 15 years and met him when I first came to live in the States. Ron was Director of Small Groups and Assimilation at my first church here in the U.S and also became a mentor to me about 10 years ago.
Here’s 10 reasons why Ron has helped me to hang in for the long haul. Perhaps a mentor could do the same for you? 
1) He knows my good, bad, and indifferent, (and calls me out when I need to be challenged).
2) He’s a friend I trust and feel I can share everything with.
3) He’s in full time ministry at a different church and understands the rigors of ministry that I go through.
4) He has a place in North Michigan that we go to once a year to golf, grill steaks, and share real life together. Continue Reading…

Keys To Youth Ministry Longevity: Meet Rick South

Do you ever wonder what it takes to hang in for the long haul in youth ministry? Do you ever wonder what it takes to stay at the same church and have a fulfilling ministry? Today we begin a short series focused on youth ministry longevity and how to make a lasting impact in the lives of students…

I have known Rick South for eight years. He is someone I greatly respect as a youth ministry veteran and mentor. I met him when I lived in West Michigan and was in a network of youth pastors that met every Thursday morning at a local breakfast hang out. A couple of weeks ago my family and I vacationed back in West Michigan and I got to have breakfast with Rick and bunch of youth pastors, (at this really cool place called ‘Toast and Jams’). Continue Reading…

Win a $5,000 Back-To-School Kick-Off + 1 Year Access to SYM Events Tool!

Here’s the details! Win a $5,000 Back-To-School Kick-Off Event from Simply Youth Ministry! Enter to win an all-expense-paid and preplanned youth event sponsored by Simply Youth Ministry.
Includes: 1-year access to the NEW “Events” TOOL, food for 100 students, $500 of SYM resources, Band, Speaker

Try Out “Events” Tool for free! Contact Jake Rasmussen

Go here for event contest info: