Interview with Darren Sutton: Everyone’s Called To Youth Ministry

Last week I was in Colorado at for the Simply Youth Ministry IT3 Summit. I managed to catch up with my good friend Darren Sutton, (and contributor in this blog), and ask him about his new book: Everyone’s Called to Youth Ministry.

If you are interested in picking up a copy of Darren’s book, click on the link below.

If you have a question for Darren, feel free to leave a comment for him!

Phil <><

Winner Of One Year Subscription to OnTrack Devotions Announced

Thanks to all those who commented and tweeted to enter to win a one year subscription to OnTrack Devotions.

The lucky winner is Seth from Crossroads Church! Seth, you will receive an email telling you how to claim your subscription.

If you are interested in getting OnTrack Devotions in the hands of your students, you can check out

Hope you have a great rest of your week!

Phil <><

Comment / Tweet To Win ONE YEAR Subscription to OnTrack Student Devotions!

One lucky person can comment to win a ONE YEAR subscription to OnTrack Devotions.  Even if you don’t win, your comment will get you the month of October FREE!!!

Comment before 9am September 25th, and you could win!

Get Entered to Win Twice!

Tweet the following and you will get entered twice:

I just entered to win a 1 Year Subscription to OnTrack Devotions from @PhilBell at YouthworkTalk -

What are OnTrack Devotions?

I’ve been using OnTrack Devotions for my students for nearly a year now and they are a resource that every youth worker should make available to their students! They are daily devotions that help students read, study, and apply God’s Word in a basic inductive Bible study format. Every day is super practical, relevant, and easy to for students of all faith depths.

Bottom Line: OnTrack Devotions are one of the best ways to help students become self-feeders in their faith walk.

If you want more information about OnTrack Devotions, check out their website:

Phil <><

Too Focused On Numbers?

How do you know if you are too focused on numbers in your youth ministry? Is that even a bad thing? I would says, “yes, and no…” So when are numbers a bad thing and when are they a good thing? Is there a good ‘test’ to tell if we are too fixated with numbers? That’s where we are going today…

Go to a youth ministry gathering and you’ll meet other youth workers who will ask this question over and over as they play the comparison game: “How many students do you have in your ministry?” Or maybe you have met the youth worker who is always talking to others about their numbers and seems to be obsessed with how many show up? Now granted, there are times where the numbers discussions are healthy too. Here’s some of those instances: Continue Reading…

Regaining Lost Credibility In Your Youth Ministry

All leaders will mess up once in a while. Unless you are Jesus you are not going to go through ministry without making some mistakes along the way. If you are new in the trenches of youth ministry, you must accept that there are going to be some failures ahead of you. If you are a veteran, the same is true for you too. (Just don’t keep repeating the same mistakes).

But what can we do after we have messed up? It might seem like a mountain to climb, but credibility can be regained.  by Aubrey Malphurs presents some helpful and practical ways that we can look to regain credibility. Here’s a summary of some of the main ideas:  Continue Reading…

Youth Ministry Leadership: Keys To Gaining Credibility

In my previous post I looked at the realities of trust and credibility for the youth worker. But how can we overcome mistrust and earn credibility as men and women called to serve students? Today’s post will explore this question and give some challenging thoughts to chew on.

In his book, Aubrey Malphurs outlines a number of ways to cultivate credibility in our leadership. Here are a few that seem to be the most essential for youth workers: Continue Reading…

Youth Ministry Leadership: Understanding The Credibility Issue

Being a leader in your church and youth ministry only happens if you have followers. The problem for many of us is that not everyone wants to follow leaders these days… In by Aubrey Malphurs, he quotes Kouzes and Posner’s first law of leadership:
“If you don’t believe the messenger, you won’t believe the message.”
So, in youth ministry, how can we be effective leaders who will attract and keep followers? In the next few days I will be exploring some of Malphurs ideas as we dig into that question. Specifically, we will focus on a key ingredient of leadership: Credibility.
First, it’s important to understand the factors that influence and affect our credibility as leaders: 


Isaac Denton wins 1 year access to SYM ‘Team’ Tool from our friends at Simply Youth Ministry.

Isaac can claim his prize by emailing me at with contact info.

If you have more questions about SYM Tools and how this great resource works, you can contact Jake at Simply Youth Ministry: (520) 661-9846

7 Lessons Learned From A Summer ‘Shutdown’

EDITORS NOTE: Comment on this post and get entered to win 1 year of SYM ‘Team’ Tools Access. Winner announced Sept 4th. (Click here for more info)

A while back I posted an article that debated the benefits and downsides to shutting down for the summer. This summer I got to live out one of these perspectives more fully than I would have liked… You see, over the summer months we shut down much of our student ministry program since we renovated our student ministry center called ‘The Warehouse.’ (It is actually a converted warehouse and is now looking pretty sweet)! Because of demolition and permits, we could not meet weekly on a Sunday morning as we usually do. Instead students went to church with their parents…

Here are 7 lessons that I learned from the shut down:  Continue Reading…


You could win a 1 year access to SYM ‘Team’ Tool! Simply Youth Ministry have developed this brilliant resource to help with applications, background checks, and training (including videos by experienced in the trenches youth workers), in one simple-to-use online interface.

How can you win?  By Tuesday September 4th 2012, comment to this post and tell us the following: 

1) Are you full-time, part-time, volunteer. 2) What are the greatest training needs for you and your youth ministry team?

Check out the Team Tool promo video and the screen shot of the interface (below). 

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