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GUEST POST: How To Lead Others With More Experience Than You

One of the most common issues young/new youth workers seem to struggle with is how they are supposed to lead someone who is older or more experienced than them. It’s a good question.

I had my first youth ministry job at 18 years old fresh out of high school as the Jr. High Director at my church. Many of the volunteers who served on my team had been my youth leaders only months earlier and now I was suddenly in a position of authority over them. They had more youth ministry experience than I had, and all of them were older – some by quite a few years. How could I possibly be their leader?

Trekking above Pheriche. Photo by Didrik Johnck

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Balancing Family and Youth Ministry: Part 3 – Boundaries

Are you close to burn out? Do you know someone who is getting burned out? Is ministry a drain on you these days?

One of the biggest reasons youth workers experience burn out is because they never established boundaries to stay healthy. Given the changeable nature of ministry and unpredictable hours, it’s imperative that we learn to create healthy boundaries which can be communicated graciously to those around us. Here are a few I live by:

Balancing Family Ministry

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Social Media Video 2013

Saw this video over at  by  - It certainly makes interesting viewing and has a stack of incredible statistics about Social Media and the world our students live in. Share this with your youth leaders, parents, and church leaders…


What are your thoughts on this? What surprised  you? What stands out?

Phil <><

3 Essential Steps To Help You Refocus In Your Youth Ministry

Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work in hand. The Sun’s rays do not burn until brought to a focus” ― Alexander Graham Bell

“Focus!” At times, that’s a tough thing to do in youth ministry isn’t it? The nature of our ministry will often be a moving target with changing issues and challenges. Working with students is anything but predictable. While we cannot change the foundational nature of youth ministry,  there are certain areas that should always stay in focus regardless of the changeable landscape of youth ministry. If you are struggling to stay focused and manage ministry well, you should keep reading…

Youth Ministry Focus

Just this week ‘Dave’ (one of my elders), came into my office and gave me some clear focus that I want to pass onto you today. Here’s what he said: Continue Reading…

Infographic: Students, Social Media, and Communication

This week we have been looking at how social media can benefit your ministry, as well as the importance of creating good boundaries. Below is a helpful infographic showing how students between 13-18 currently use social media. You might be surprised by their favorite mode of communication.

Social Media Infographic

What We Can Learn:

5 Social Media Guidelines For Youth Workers

In my previous post, we talked about  Using social media can be your friend when doing ministry, but it can quickly become your enemy too…  I have heard stories of youth workers who are getting into trouble because of the way they are using social media. I have also heard quite a few stories of people not getting a new position because of the social media ‘past.’

Youth Ministry Social Media

Here are 5 social media boundaries for you as you go about your youth ministry: Continue Reading…

The 5 C’s of Social Media Use In Youth Ministry

What’s the best way to use social media in youth ministry?

Depending on how savvy you are at using social media,  you could find yourself either overly confused, or on the other end of the spectrum, you might find that too much knowledge is leading you to wasting too much time in ineffective ways. Because I have struggled on both ends of the spectrum, I have created 5 specific ways in which I use social media effectively and efficiently.

Social Media Youth Ministry

My 5 C’s of Social Media:  Continue Reading…

What Lance Armstrong Can Teach Students In Your Youth Ministry: A Free Lesson Outline

Are any of us really that shocked about Lance Armstrong’s admission to Oprah and the world? But what can we teach students from this? Is it that no leader, sports personality, or authority figure can be honest these days? Frankly, I think that is what many of our students are learning in this current generation…

Lance Armstrong

So, how can we take this latest admission and turn it around for our the students in our ministries? Below are some thoughts and perhaps a starting place for us. Feel free to add to the conversation at the end of this post. You might even want to use this as an outline for a message?

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Relational Investment – The Difference Maker In Youth Ministry Volunteer Development…

How do you know if your volunteers ‘get it’? How do you know if your meetings and training are effective? What should training look like? With limited time, how can you make the most of volunteers busy schedules?

If I am honest, there is an insecurity in me that tells me I am not doing enough, or that there’s not enough time and resources to effectively train my leaders… Ever feel this way?

Volunteer Youth Ministry copy

Recently, I went back to a previous church for a birthday and was able to see a number of former volunteers who I had invested in over the years. One of my former volunteers sat down with me and shared something that took me a little by surprise… He shared that I had been one of the most influential people in his life… As they say in England, I was ‘gob smacked!’ To be honest, as I tried to think back to my time with him, I could not put my finger on what I had done to make this difference. Instead of over thinking things, I sat back and listened as he shared what made the difference to him. He said something like: Continue Reading…

Ministering to Parents Webinar with Dr. Jim Burns

Last weekend I attended a ‘Confident Parenting Seminar’ with Dr. Jim Burns here locally in Michigan. I have known Jim for 12 years and I know him to be a brilliant guy, great communicator, incredibly knowledgable, and wonderfully authentic.

I am super excited to tell you about an upcoming webinar provided when Jim will be presenting on ‘Ministering to Parents’.

As someone who has been in youth ministry a long time, I wished I had figured out the importance and skils of partnering with parents years before I did. This webinar lasts for an hour, is completely FREE, and will be one of the best investments you can make on January 24th at 10am CST.

Are you planning to go? Let me know. 

Phil <><


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