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REPOST: How to Answers Teenagers Toughest Questions – SYMC 2013

Answers to Teenagers 50 Toughest QuestionsToday at the Simply Youth Ministry Conference I am leading a peer panel on how to answer teenagers toughest questions. Here are some guidelines and ideas I am providing for people in the peer panel. They might also be useful to you too?

When answering teenagers questions here few things to consider: 

YOU DON’T NEED TO KNOW IT ALL: It’s OK to admit to students that you need time to research or pray through an answer. Students don’t expect you to know everything, so don’t expect this for yourself!

WORK THROUGH THE ANSWER WITH YOUR STUDENT:  Give them some of the “work” and help them own the answer more effectively. When students go through a process of digging for the answer, it will more likely stick with them.

BECOME AN EXPERT IN RESOURCES: You might not know all the answers, but you should work hard to know where to find them.  Sites like www.gotquestions.org andAnswers to Teenagers Toughest Questions, from Simply Youth Ministry are great resources!

GET HELP! YOU’RE NOT ALONE!

- Use your youth pastor for questions that are well over your head.

- Involve the youth pastor for kids who give you info about abuse or if someone is in danger. (Know your mandated reporting policies).

- Involve the parents. Depending on the question that is asked, I believe it is crucial to get parents to continue the navigation process with their student. Parents can handle follow up questions as they happen. Remember, our job is not to replace mom and dad, but to partner with them…

START LOOKING AT QUESTIONS THROUGH A DIFFERENT LENS: Don’t see questions as detrimental doubting, see questions as an opportunity for students to develop a deeper faith. (The autonomous independent thinking student needs to struggle through the tough question in order to have grow deeper)

What would you add to this list? What tip is the most helpful one for you? 

Phil <><

What Greg Stier Can Teach You About Prayer: SYMC 2013

SYMC 2013

What a great start to SYMC with General Session 1! The theme ‘stronger’ was threaded through every element of the general session. It was so refreshing to see a concerted effort to create a theme that is designed to invest in youth workers, so they can in turn invest in their students. Tonight the guy, didn’t talk to us about evangelism as we might have expected, instead he challenged us to become stronger in prayer:

Awkward is Awesome

Tonight Greg not only helped us get back to basics with how to prayer and why to pray, he also led us to pray with and for each other. But, his specific instruction was to pray with someone we did not know… His comment about this, was “awkward is awesome.” If you are like me, it is truly awkward praying with someone I don’t know… But Greg was right… awkward is awesome.

Here are two things (one for my ministry, and one for myself), that stood out tonight.  Continue Reading…

Healthy You – Healthy Youth Ministry! Part 3 – How To Create And Sustain Healthy Habits

In our previous post, Scott Tinman shared how he has moved from being a youth ministry couch potato to someone who is running EVERY day for close to 10 months. Today Scott wraps up our series as he shares practical advice on how you and I can create workout habits that are sustainable. There’s some great advice in this post! Read on!

Youth Ministry Health

Continue Reading…

Healthy You – Healthy Youth Ministry! Part 2 – An Interview with Scott Tinman

Whether we like it or not, our productivity, and ultimately our mental and spiritual health are so closely tied to our physical health. If we can improve our health, we can expect our ministries to improve too. Today we talk to youth ministry veteran Scott Tinman about his radical life change.

Marathon Youth Ministry Continue Reading…

Healthy You – Healthy Youth Ministry! Part 1 – You Look Hungry [Video Post]

This week before we head off to SYMC in Indy, we jump into a three part series on the importance of physical health and the impact on our youth ministry. When we are healthy physically, it helps us mentally,  spiritually, and emotionally. Our energy levels increase, our bodies feel better for it, and we feel like we are making good steps forward.

Whether we like this idea or not, it is reality for all of us: Our physical health will impact our ministry health.

Recently ran an article on my friend and fellow YouthworkTalk contributor Darren Sutton. In an incredibly authentic and vulnerable interview, Darren reveals challenges with weight gain and the challenge to get healthy.


 

Can you relate to Darren? What steps are you taking to ensure your health is a priority? What tips can you share to others who are looking to make their health a priority? 

Phil <><

Looking Ahead To SYMC 2013 – How To Make The Most Of The Conference.

I am super excited that I get to attend The Simply Youth Ministry Conference in Indianapolis this coming weekend. It comes at a good time for me, and I’m looking forward to the opportunity to be refreshed, grow, and reconnect with many youth ministry friends. If you are coming to the conference, we would love to connect with you. Leneita, Darren, and myself will be there. Just check out the contributors page to see what our mugs look like.  In the meantime, here are 4 simple but essential ways you can make the most of the conference. SYMC 2013 Continue Reading…

Faith Ownership In Students: Part 2 – Putting Faith Into Practice

“Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:9

I’m a parent of young kids…  I have three kids under 6 and it can be a wild ride at times! Some of the most challenging times for our family are meal times believe it or not. If you have young kids, you so get this. Trying to teach my kids how to eat and how to get more food in their mouth than on the floor is rather challenging at times…

Self Feeders Youth Ministry

However, as a parent, I know that what is messy today, will help my kids grow healthy for tomorrow. For now my job is to tell my kids how to eat, show them how to eat, and let them ‘practice’ with their food. But can you imagine if I only decided to tell my kids and show my kids how to eat, but never give them a chance to practice?

So often we teach students, we show them, but we don’t always spend a great deal of time helping actually ‘practice’ their faith… What should this look like?

Continue Reading…

Faith Ownership In Students: Part 1 – Active or Passive Learning?

Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling… Philippians 2:12 (NIV).

As youth workers (and parents), I believe our drive, our vision, and our implementation of ministry programs should be centered on this important goal:

Students should live like disciples even more so when they are outside our ministry environments.

Youth Ministry Faith Ownership

For our part, are we helping students own their faith or depend on us and our weekly programs? If we are honest, this is a scary question to ask isn’t it? But, as we ponder this question, I want to ask three additional questions in the next few posts. Here’s the first one: Continue Reading…

Inside The Teenage Brain Webinar With Mark Oestreicher

Our friends at are putting together another brilliant webinar! Let Mark Oestreicher take you “Inside the Teenage Brain” on February 26 at 2pm (central) FREE WEBINAR-

Finding Support in Youth Ministry: 8 Types of Support People You Really Need

As we wrap up our support series for this week, I wanted to take time to list 8 essential types of people who support me in my ministry.

Finding and keeping support is imperative and will help us hang in for the long haul. Without encouragement, accountability, goals, and development, we are ‘dead’ in the water. God calls us to be in community and to be His body which supports each other.

You cannot live in isolation and effectively conduct youth ministry. You need a ‘web’ of support.

Youth Ministry Support1

Below is a list of the people and reasons why they are on my ‘team’ – Together they act as my ‘web’ of support to help me have a fruitful and effective ministry. Continue Reading…

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