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Creating a Youth Ministry Volunteer Meeting Outline That Works.

In our , we talked about creating a volunteer training schedule that works. As a part of that, I included our regular planning meetings that are scheduled every couple of months. (I don’t believe I need meetings every month with my busy volunteers – Their time is precious, so I meet every couple of months).

Iphone Planner

So, what makes a volunteer meeting effective? What do we need to cover? Well, as I said in the previous post, every ministry is different and there is not one size fits all. However, I can share with you the basic format I follow to ensure we cover the most essential aspects in 90 minutes or less… Continue Reading…

Creating a Youth Ministry Volunteer Training Schedule That Works.

How often should volunteer youth leaders meet? What should be the focus of the meeting? How much is too much when it comes to meeting frequency? How can we build community as a team together?

These are just a few questions I get asked quite regularly by youth workers. My first answer is always, “It depends on the culture of every church. No one size fits all, but there is definitely a good balance that needs to be found when creating and developing a great team of volunteers.

Youth Ministry Calendar

I don’t know what your context is, but here is a basic schedule with the purpose for our meetings throughout the year. This is not THE way, it is just a way that works in my context.  Even if you are a volunteer, you might want to steal a few ideas for your youth pastor / director / minister… Continue Reading…

Is There Someone You Are Forgetting To Thank In Youth Ministry?

Just this week I met with some brilliant youth workers who volunteer in my ministry. As we shared our highlights from the last month, one of my volunteers ‘Steve’ shared how one of our college age students sought him out in church to appreciate him for all he did for them in the high school ministry. His story got me thinking about two things:

Thank You

First, it’s not uncommon for students to go through our ministries without saying a heartfelt ‘thank you’ for what we do while they are with us. It’s not that they don’t appreciate us, it’s just they don’t consider to tell us… Often we might hear from them once they are in college, (or later).

Second, it made me consider how much I appreciated my youth leaders and mentors when I was younger, but perhaps I never communicated it to them… Which got me thinking:

Continue Reading…

3 Keys To Youth Ministry Longevity

Ministry can feel like climbing a huge mountain at times can’t it? When I first started out in youth ministry things seemed so simple… If you are like me, you have come to realize that ministry can be challenging and overwhelming at times.  What began as clear cut becomes confusing…  What began as a blessing can feel like a curse…  Just like a stranded rock climber, we are worn out, we feel confused and disoriented, and we have lost sight of all the beauty around us…

Youth Ministry Longevity

So, how can we avoid getting to this point? How can we refocus and rediscover the passion if we already feel this way? Here are 3 essential keys I live by.  These keys in essence have become my personal ‘homebase’ to come back to… Continue Reading…

What Youth Ministry Needs More Of In 2013

In the Darren, John, Leneita, and myself, gave four opinions of what youth ministry needs LESS of in 2013. If you are like me, it’s easy to talk about what is broken in youth ministry. But what can we do MORE of? Today, we’ll give you four candid opinions of what we think could benefit youth ministry in 2013. Once again, these are opinions based on what we see in the youth ministry landscape. They are not meant to offend or upset, just challenge you to consider… Feel free to comment and add your opinion too!

Youth Ministry 2013 Continue Reading…

What Youth Ministry Needs Less Of In 2013

I hate the idea that what I am doing is creating a barrier for students hearing the Gospel and growing in their faith. As the four of us, (Darren, John, Leneita, and myself), have surveyed the youth ministry landscape, here are our personal opinions of what youth ministry needs less of in 2013. These are our personal opinions and are not meant to hurt or offend. Please know that we are simply sharing what we see as we look back and look forward this year. We hope to spark some good conversation and add some of your comments to this discussion…

Youth Ministry

Continue Reading…

Websites To Recommend Parents of Teenagers In Your Youth Ministry

Yesterday a ministry friend asked me what websites I recommend to parents of teenagers in my youth ministry. Initially, a couple came to mind, but I only had a few… After asking a few more friends in ministry and sleeping on it, I realized there are some really good websites that you and I can talk to parents about. In fact, as youth workers, it should be our goal to partner with parents and resource them well in this way.

Youth Ministry Parents

A healthy youth ministry partners with parents, communicates regularly with parents, and resources parents.

Here’s a list of websites. I have looked through many of their pages, but cannot endorse every single thing they say. As you recommend resources and websites to your parents, make sure to tell them the same…

  • The Center for Parent/Youth Understanding - 
  • Homeword Center for Youth and Family - 
  • Parent Ministry - 

UPDATE: For a great podcast for parents, check out 

Again, check these sites out for yourself. Feel free to forward this list to others. AND, feel free to comment with additions. I am sure there are some other great ones out there…

Phil <><

photo credit: via

GUEST POST: Does Your To-Do List Match Your Youth Ministry Priorities?

We all have plenty of projects that are due sooner than we can manage. Your submission for the newsletter was due yesterday, you still need volunteers for the fundraiser dinner, and yes, you’ve still got 67 unread emails.

Youth Ministry To Do List

That’s why it’s so easy to spend eight hours blowing through a to-do list that doesn’t do too much to further the Kingdom.

You already know that the time you spend directly with students and volunteers represents the most significant impact you can make. But how much of those things wind up in your day planner?

How many get put off until a day that’s less busy, even though we both know that less busy days almost never happen?

If your to-do list is filled with items that don’t line up with your ministry’s priorities, it’s time to make some changes. Continue Reading…

3 Priorities For The New Year In Youth Ministry

It can be overwhelming at the beginning of the new year with so many new goals and resolutions to make (and keep). While it can be overwhelming and daunting, it should not be an excuse to back slide into old ways and half-baked efforts. So how can we keep focus on changes and manage the new goals we have?

Today, I’ll share three P’s that take many goals and simplify them into a larger view of focus that will help you and I keep on track as we go into the new year.

Continue Reading…

5 New Year Resolutions For Youth Workers…

New Year Youth Ministry ResolutionsSo, this is the time of year when many are creating resolutions and reassessing what the next year should like. To be honest, I am not a big fan of resolutions since many of them are made quickly and without an action plan. However, if we can be intentional and specific and plan ahead, it is good to create some goals and standards for the coming year.

Here are 5 areas that I have taken and adapted from by Tim Elmore. I ordered my areas in priority and  have also given some specifics of what I am doing personally.

1. Personal / Spiritual: For me I am planning on getting up 30 minutes earlier to ensure that my devotional time uninterrupted by my early riser 3 year old.

2. Family: We just had our third child and it’s been challenging balancing family time with a newborn in the house. However, we are committed to getting back to a regular date night for myself and my wife, mommy daughter dates, daddy daughter dates, and family nights. We schedule these about once a month. We would like to do them more, (and sometimes we do), but we are in a busy season. I have found that if I do not schedule my family time, it is likely that every last minute ministry ‘emergency’ will take over my schedule. Continue Reading…

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