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Why Volunteer Youth Workers Need Greater Investment From The Local Church

In my opinion, volunteer youth workers are worth their weight in gold! However, so often the church places too much emphasis on the paid staff and not nearly enough in investing in it’s volunteer youth workers.

Volunteer Youth Worker Training

Here are four reasons why I think the local church needs to invest greater time and resources in volunteer youth workers, today and in the future: 

1) Paid Youth Workers Are Decreasing in Numbers: Recently I had a conversation with a youth ministry guru who advises and consults churches. During our time together he made a good argument for how church finances will impact the ability to hire youth workers in the future. You see, Millennials are giving more to causes and less to churches. Churches across the country are already seeing their incomes decline. If this trend continues, we should expect paid positions in youth ministry to be lost and greater emphasis placed on volunteers.

In the next 10 years I expect the landscape of youth ministry to be filled with volunteers who are being trained by the church to do ministry… Continue Reading…

Everybody’s Urban: An Interview with Leneita Fix

Last week I got the chance to catch up with friend, youth worker, writer, and contributor to, Leneita Fix. Her new book with Jeffrey Wallace is  - Here’s a quick interview that covers the content and purpose of the book.


You can pick up her book at or at

Phil <><

Starting Fresh: 4 Keys Starting Right In A New Youth Ministry

I recently started a new full-time youth ministry gig about 6 months ago. For a while I was the shiny new toy at our church, and that was fine! But in reality, it can be difficult to start fresh at a new place, with all of the cultural learnings, expectations from leaders/students/parents, as well as different people pushing their own agenda. But here are some of things I learned in this transition, and maybe it can help you if you’re ever starting fresh somewhere.

Starting Right In Youth Ministry

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FREE Q and A Webinar from with Dr. Jim Burns!

Don’t miss this!!! Share this with your parents!!!! Our friends from are doing another FREE Webinar!

Dr. Jim Burns leads a free Q and A webinar on Tuesday, March 19 at 2 pm (central) It’s a chance for you to ask your questions about parenting teens… register here: 

Jim Burns

Part 4: FREE Training Video: Partnering with Parents in Youth Ministry – Dealing with Angry Parents

I remember the first time a parent called and yelled at me.  No I mean literally,  came through the phone and almost strangled me.  It threw me off guard and I had no real idea on how to respond.  This video walks us through the process of how to deal well with that angry parent and how to reach out to them with integrity.

Here’s our final video this week. To check out the rest of these videos and more, go to our


Talking to Angry Parents Discussion Notes

  • What is one thing you can do to diffuse an angry parent?
  • How can your team get involved with talking to parents when they get angry?


Part 3: FREE Training Videos: Partnering with Parents in Youth Ministry – Conversations…

Our post today involves two videos.  For some of us having a conversation with parents is easy.  However,  if you have students who come and their parents do not attend your church,  have you thought about how to start a relationship with parents?  Sure “cold” communication is easy.  Send an email, or have a passing conversation asking a parent for something gets us what we need.  However, if we are genuinely having a “partnering” mentality we are opening the conversation to ask the parent what THEY need.  Even if these conversation ideas seem simple to you, take the time to share them with your team.  I have found,  training my team,  is often reminding them of simplicity they already know.

Take the time to wrestle with ideas of how to open dialogue with EVERY parent in your group.  While both videos start the same, they do have a slightly different piece of information. Watch them with your team and use them as a training opportunity. It’s our gift free to you!


Here’s the second video: 

First Conversations WIth Parent Discussion Notes (click here)
  • Who is one parent you have never talked with you could reach out to this week?
  • How are some ways your whole team can start talking to parents in your group?
  • How can you have an attitude of partnering with all parents?  How could that happen?


FREE Training Video – Part 2: Partnering with Parents in Youth Ministry

In our previous post, I gave my first thoughts in thinking about youth ministry paradigm differently when partnering with parents. Today, we look at what it truly means to care about the family as God cares about the family… After the video is a downloadable worksheet for you and / or your team to work through. There’s also some questions below the video too.

Caring for the Whole Family:

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Partnering with Parents in Youth Ministry: FREE Training Video – Part 1: First Thoughts

Today, is the first of 4 videos focused on partnering with parents in youth ministry. These short videos are a free resource for you and your team to watch.

Below the video is a downloadable worksheet with discussion questions and ideas to talk about about. In addition, below that, there’s a short post to give you even more to think about…

4 video posts = 4 days of free training for you and your team. Enjoy!

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A New Job Description For Veteran Volunteer Youth Workers?

Just last night I chatted to Marve and Maryann. They are two incredible youth workers who have been volunteering for nearly 20 years in youth ministry! How awesome is that? However, a trend that I often see with veteran volunteers is that they think they have a ‘sell by’ or ‘best before’ date in youth ministry… If you speak to Marve and Maryann, you don’t get that sense… Why is that?

Veteran Volunteer Youth Ministry

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Faith Ownership In Students: Part 3 – Helping Unchurched Students

As we sat in small group, James was asking amazing questions about how to truly follow the Lord.  I could tell this discussion on, “Belonging to Christ,” had caught his attention.  Here’s an interesting fact, he is an “unchurched” student with NOT ONE family member or friend  outside of our group who knows Christ much less knows the Lord.   This week he and I had a conversation on exactly what the Bible is,  who wrote it,  why there is an Old and New Testament,  and why the Word of God is important.    This was vital before we could get into the “meat” of anything else.  He has no foundational point of view, no base knowledge of concepts.

Teenager Youth Ministry

I hear more and more conversations about “raising the bar,” for our students.  An abundance of articles and talks seem to be surfacing that talk about teaching them to be leaders of the faith.  Part of this is to become what we call, a “self-feeder.”  They must grow in wisdom, stature,  and favor with God and man.   A main step in this process is that they learn the “Word” is living and active and where we can go when we have no clue what God is saying. Continue Reading…

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