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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:

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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.

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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…

How Do You Define Success In Your Youth Ministry?

Youth Ministry SuccessHow do you define success in your life and ministry? Is it possible you’ve been sucked into a inaccurate definition of ‘success?’

I’ve Been thinking a lot lately if we can “redefine” success. As we move forward (especially in ministry) we think it is about becoming more “famous” or “known” or “read” or “rich.” Yet when we look at the life of Paul we see one thing. When he was “Saul” this was when he was seen as “celebrated” by the world. When he became “Paul” he was scourged, ridiculed, shipwrecked and jailed. The Holy Spirit would tell him when he went somewhere he would be put in jail. He walked back into Jerusalem knowing that he would be taken. His response that his greatest desire was to do whatever it took for the Gospel to be taken to heart by the masses.

In the Lord’s eyes “Success” = “Faithfulness.”

Here are four questions to consider as you think about success and faithfulness: Continue Reading…

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The Three D’s of Youth Ministry Leadership

What if there was a simple and effective way to lead people with great response? What if there was a process that was hard to forget and essential to remember. Following the three D’s of leadership is effective, easy to remember, and most of all, highly effective. Read on…

I have been reading a solid book by Michael Mitchell called This is where the three D’s of leadership have come from. You may have come across this before, but it’s a great reminder especially if you have been struggling to get others to follow your leadership. Continue Reading…

Leadership: Do You Have A Pyramid In Your Youth Ministry?

Do you have an effective way to invest in other leaders? Are your leaders investing in others too? Having an effective leadership ‘pyramid’ helps to ensure that we are investing in a small group of leaders who in turn, will invest in others.

In the last week I have finished up reading a practical book on small group ministry by Bill Donahue and Russ Robinson called Even though this book is not specifically aimed at youth workers, there is a great deal of practical advice and leadership wisdom that I gleaned from it. On the chapter focused on developing a small group coaching structure, I was reminded of leadership pyramids and the importance of being intentional with our leadership investment. Here are some insights I gleaned.  Continue Reading…

Thoughts On Why Youth Ministry Must Decentralize: Infographic

Here’s an info graphic that has been showing up and making the rounds on blogs and Facebook. created this very helpful graphic that gives us a picture of our task to reach and invest in students: Here are a few thoughts I have on it:

1) Paid youth workers are more effective when they build a team: If you are the paid guy or girl and the ministry is centered on you, I would maintain that you are limiting your effectiveness. A team is clearly nearly needed to reach so many students in our communities and churches.  Continue Reading…

How To Tell If Your Youth Ministry Is All About You…

About 5 years into my official full- time paid youth pastor role,  I decided it was time for me to hit the “speaking “ circuit.  I felt like I had been in the trenches for a good amount of time, and that it was time to equip others.

There was a pretty big name conference for urban youth ministers at the time and I was invited to submit an outline for consideration.  Word came back that it just “didn’t have enough to offer.”  In other words,  I wasn’t quite ready yet.  Needless to say I was crushed.  Truly, I thought the Lord was calling me to share my experiences with the masses.

Still that experience caused me to step back and examine my heart.  Why did I want to teach and speak?  Did I want others to learn?  Did I want the world to hear what I had to say? If I was honest, did I just want to be famous? Continue Reading…

A Good Reason To Cancel Sunday School? A Response From Leneita Fix

Recently Phil Bell wrote an article that considered the implications of canceling traditional Sunday school in order to see students involved and connected with the larger church. Here’s a response I wrote for to the ‘Worship Together’ plan that Saddleback has created. It might help you consider another side to the idea…

I am more than a youth pastor. I am the crazed parent of two current, and one almost, middle schoolers. Not only that, I’ve “parented” my niece who just recently moved out of our home for college. My husband and I were purposed and focused in raising our kids in Christ. We thought we succeeded when all of our children “asked Jesus into their heart” by the time they were hitting kindergarten.


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