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FREE Video Training for Youth Workers and Their Teams

Leneita Fix has created some incredible training videos that are short, thought provoking and informative. If you check out her website, you can pick up more free training videos that come with discussion questions for you and your team to interact with.

Check out the first video by

Full Disclosure: Leneita is a good friend in ministry who guest blogs on However, I love her passion and content and love to pass these kind of resources along to others.




GROUP Magazine Live: Youth Leaders At Risk

I am excited to tell you about an excellent live podcast coming up on Sept 12th, 12:30pm MST. I am excited to three reasons: 1) The topic is close to my heart. 2) There’s some great surprize guests! 3) I’m going to be at GROUP Publishing HQ that day! Here’s what you can expect:

Group Magazine Live is a topical, live podcast that will run every two months to coincide with the current issue of Group Magazine.

GML’s second episode will discuss “Youth Leaders at Risk”. We will dive into the what, when, where, why, how a youth worker is to care for students, family, oh yeah and themselves! Guests will include cross-fit expert and 100 mile marathon veteran Andy Brazelton, Leneita Fix (founder of ), and Darren Sutton (an in the trenches Youth Worker & Biggest Loser Applicant).  Oh and special surprise guests that might be musically inclined, super funny, or just some close ministry friends!  Rick Lawrence (Editor of Group Magazine) will host, & Toby Rowe (of Group WorkCamps) will co-host. Together they’ll expand on the topic of “Youth Leaders at Risk”, and how to combat the struggles of ministry, life, and health in order to personally draw nearer to Jesus.

Be sure to join the LIVE Q&A portion of this event when you arrive at   PLEASE INVITE your volunteers, fellow church staff, youth leaders, area pastors—even your parents! We’ll do our best to get to each of your questions.

To watch LIVE at 12:30pm MST on September 12th, 2011 click here or go to

12 Tips I Give My Volunteer Youth Workers – Part 2

In my previous post, I posted 6 of the 12 tips I give my leaders to help them be effective in their ministry. Here are the next 6…

As I said yesterday, some of these have been “borrowed” from friends, and some are my own specific tips. All in all, I hope they are tips you can use for your volunteer meetings and trainings, or training manual…

7. Be a Leader – Not their friend:  It’s a trap many leaders can fall into: Trying to get students to like them by being their friend. They already have lots of friends who give them bad advice; they need you to be a leader in their lives.

8. Be a Leader – Not a Chaperon: A chaperon will stand outside looking in at the group – Leaders are invested in the group and have relationships with the students. Be invested…

9. Be a Leader – Not a Parent: If you have a student at FUSION and they are acting out, don’t be the parent. Let another leader know, and let them handle it. It will save embarrassment and also give you the night off of parenting…

10. Find Contact Time Outside of FUSION: Students will really know you care when you send them a postcard (available in the black cabinet), Facebook them, show up to the last 15 minutes of a game, text them. If you have 30 minutes a week, you can easily do this…

11. Read Phil’s emails: The more plugged in you are with events, meetings, and latest happenings, will help you communicate events better with students and help you to know what is happening as a whole.

12. Check the website: For calendar, videos, teaching plans, curriculum, and training documents. These are all here to simplify your ministry and save you time with phone calls, emails, and text messages to Phil.

There you go… So what you add to this list? What tips do you give your leaders?

Phil <><

12 Tips I Give My Volunteer Youth Workers – Part 1

If you are looking to train your leaders and help them be successful in what they do, it’s important to come up with a training manual that is quick and easy to read. It also should be highly practical.

Below is a page from my volunteer leaders manual. They are 12 tips I give my leader to be successful in youth ministry. Some of these tips have been borrowed from friends and books. Thanks for a couple! Feel free to borrow what you like!

Here are the first 6 tips I give my youth leaders… the rest will be posted in part 2, tomorrow… 

1. Be Consistent: This is the best way to develop great relationships with students. When students know you are going to be there consistently, they are more likely to share their joys and struggles with you…

2. Show up a few minutes early if you can? The most awkward time for students is the first 15 minutes. A caring adult makes all the difference. In addition, some of the best conversations happen in the first 15 minutes when there are few people around.

3. Stay a few minutes at the end? When students are leaving is sometimes the best opportunity to listen to how kids are doing or what God is challenging them in. (They might not share this in small group, but might want to talk alone after).

4. Join or Start a Game: It feels forced and awkward to walk up to a group of students. Instead, join them in a game or activity where you can ease your way into their lives. Before you know it, questions about their week and school seem natural.

5. Ask lots of Questions: The best way to show you care and to find out about students lives is to learn a repertoire of questions: “What’s your name? What school do you attend? What do you do when you are not here or at school? How would your friends describe you? What’s the highlight of your week? What’s the low point of your week?

6. Avoid “Leader Huddles”: It’s great to catch up with each other, but we need to make sure that our conversations and catch-ups are brief. It’s important to make the most of every opportunity we have with students…

Well, there’s the first 6 for you. Check back to see the rest!

Phil <><


Group Magazine Live Podcast: Episode 1 – Sexual Sin

It’s no secret, I am a HUGE fan of Group Magazine! I am so excited that they are creating a podcast that continues the conversation centered around content from the current edition. It’s “Group Magazine Live”. Here’s their official announcement:

GML’s first show will air LIVE on Thursday, July 21, 2011, at 9:00am (MST) at . So mark your calendars…and click here to RSVP via Facebook! This show will be about sexual sin featuring Craig Gross of , Jeffery Wallace (author of, “Urban Youth Ministry Start to Finish”), & Danette Matty of , Rick Lawrence as the host, Toby Rowe as co-host. Together they’ll expand on the topic of sexual sin in the church, youth ministry, pastoral positions, and everyday life.

The format will be similar to what you’ve seen before, but you there will be a huge addition of LIVE Q&A interaction with you the viewer!

Link to the facebook event – PLEASE RSVP

Link to the Related Featured Articles from this Issue of Group Magazine…read up be educated on the topic.

Link to Blog Post

Check it out. The first episode is going to be HUGE!

Phil <><

Simple But Effective Training for Volunteers – Part 3: Consistency

Today I want to wrap up with a quick but crucial training tip I give all my volunteers. In my previous post I talked about the importance of using questions effectively to help students gain truth and application in their lives. In addition, I expressed the importance of keeping training for volunteers simple: “Effective training is better when it is simple, memorable, and practical”.

Today’s tip is probably the easiest to remember yet perhaps the most crucial: Consistency is Key. Consistency is the knot that ties everything together. Continue Reading…

Simple But Effective Training For Volunteers – Part 2: Questions!

In my previous post, I expressed the importance of keeping training for volunteers simple: “Effective training is better when it is simple, memorable, and practical”.

Today I want to focus on how leaders can help students learn God’s truth better through using good questions. The simple but effective teaching principle is this: “Don’t just preach it, let good questions help you teach it”

Here’s the background I give my leaders:

They Just Don’t Get It! As leaders, we all want students to “get it” and to apply God’s truth to their lives. Sometimes the answer is so obvious to us, but no matter how hard we try to drum it into their heads, they just don’t seem to get it!  My answer is this, “We can’t make them get it, it’s our job to lead them and help them to get it”. That’s where good questions come in…

Why Questions? Above anything else in the adolescent brain is the desire for autonomy. We can’t expect that they will arrive at good conclusions by simply telling them. Yes, Millenials of today will give time to listen to adults, but they still need to feel like they are a part of the learning process. This is why it is important to ask good questions. By “good” questions, I refer to questions that are asked within a Biblical framework and not simply a students opinion.  Continue Reading…

Simple But Effective Training for Volunteers – Part 1: Time

I love my volunteer youth leaders! They give up their evening and weekends for some of the most craziest stuff in youth ministry. Recently, I was able to spend a weekend at with some of them. The conference was a great opportunity to get feedback and evaluate how they were growing. Ultimately, it was a wonderful opportunity for me to consider how I was helping them to grow into their leadership and effectiveness as youth leaders.

The big takeaway for me was this: Effective training is better when it is simple, memorable, and practical. Volunteers are busy and have many to plates to spin. It’s better to give them small steps or give them small bites to chew on. Over time, I am finding the small steps add up to significant impact!

As we consider the simple, memorable and practical principle, here are some training I will be giving my volunteers about how best to use their time to impact students lives. (This is something a learned a while back from one of books):  Continue Reading…

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