Promotion Promotion Promotion: Maximizing Your Youth Ministry Exposure

We live in a world that is surrounded by marketing of all sorts… TV shows, sports figures, movies, and plenty more advertisements flood our day-to-day lives. And as somebody who works with students and tries to promote events and retreats, this can be quite challenging!

Youth Ministry Promotion

And so, I’ve “stolen” a few ideas from media around us, as well as created a few ways of my own to spread the word about any upcoming events in our ministry. I usually try to reserve using some of these tactics only when I really need to spread the word. Not all of these tactics are necessary to use for EVERY event you have, but maybe one or two of them are necessary. Continue Reading…

99 Things Every Guy Should Know: An Interview with Mike Hammer [VIDEO POST]

Recently I was able to catch up with friend and fellow youth worker, Mike Hammer. He is one of the authors of a great new book for guys titled, . I have looked through this book and it is highly practical for guys in your ministry. I could tell you more, but why not hear what Mike has to say?

If you want to pick a copy of the book, you can buy it over at or

Phil <><

Moving from Cliques to Community in your Youth Ministry

As most of us know, healthy community is a key foundation to spiritual growth. If students are not comfortable in community, they are less likely to be open to hearing God’s truth. Today, we’ll look at how to understand the difference between cliques and clusters and outline four ways to move from cliques to healthy community.

Youth Ministry Clique

The first step we need to take is to understand the difference between cliques and clusters. Understanding the key difference between a clique and a cluster will help you ascertain how much work you’ll need to do to create healthy community. Here is my quick definition: Continue Reading…

A Youth Ministry Community Essential is…Community!

We marvel as we look around the room and see no one connecting with each other.  Kids are cloistered.  Adults are standing in the back of the room – probably with their arms crossed and not saying much of anything.  And we wonder….why do we not have community here?!  Where is the fellowship?!

Cue the countdown video.  We do a genuine, heartfelt welcome (from the stage).  The band leads in worship (from the stage).  You speak a compelling message (from the stage).  And fade to black….

Youth Ministry Community

True community does not happen without intentional programming.

Continue Reading…

Creating a Community that Welcomes New Students to your Youth Ministry

When the Lord moves your family for his plan and purpose, it is never easy. This means new ministry for you. For your children it also means NEW: Home, School, Church, Youth Group, & Friends…

Everything is about starting over.  It takes a toll on all of you in ways you never knew. This has been my own family for 8 months now.

Newbie Youth Ministry

Continue Reading…

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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A Roadblock to Evangelism in Youth Ministry: You? Me?

In my years in full-time youth ministry I have seen a number of  youth ministries who have developed a culture of evangelism… The distinguishing factor? The ones leading the ministry live and breathe evangelism in their lives outside youth ministry. (Or you could say they live and breathe evangelism in every area of their lives). But, for many of us, the only people we talk to about Jesus are our students in our own ministry…

However, if you and I are not living out evangelism in our lives outside of youth ministry, we should not expect our students to be committed to reaching their friends and family either…

Roadblocks to Evangelism

Continue Reading…

Evangelism: Is Your Youth Ministry Marginally Missional?

It’s possible you have seen the video above? Whether or not you have seen it before, I would encourage you watch it and then use it as a lens to look through as you survey your youth ministry.

For me, my huge takeaway is this: I often put an huge amount of my time into the creation of programs and events, while only putting a small amount of time into teaching my students how to share their faith. If we stand back and really think about it, we have a huge number of potential student ‘missionaries’ in our youth ministries.

And here’s the hard reality for us: Continue Reading…

Helping Students Share their Faith: Evangelism is More Than a Test

It was a Sunday afternoon.  A portion of our student ministry had committed, along with our entire church, to embark on a 16-week series about evangelism.  There was a simple, easy-to-remember formula for hitting the ‘high points’ of salvation and grace in any given conversation.  After that – the practicum.  Each week we spent time memorizing, practicing, coaching, and applying.

Something was missing, though.  I couldn’t quite put my finger on it…until about week 11.

Test Exam Evangelism

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Roadblocks to Evangelism: Three Excuses Why Students Don’t Talk to Others

Romans 10:9 tells us,  If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Evangelism Roadblock

Just last week I was discussing this verse with my small group of student leaders.  I asked them to explain the verse to me.  They went on to talk of what it means to “believe” in our heart who Christ is and how that brings us into a relationship with him.  We talked about how confessing here is agreeing with Jesus that we can’t “DO” anything to be “saved,” instead it is believing in who Jesus is and what he did for us.  Someone pointed out the idea that we are confessing Jesus to be Lord, and understanding what we are saved from.

Pressing even further I put out this suggestion:  “Although telling others about your relationship isn’t mentioned in this verse, what do you think about that idea? “  They of course gave me the “Sunday School” answer (these are my student leaders after all) and said they thought it was a good idea. After all if you love Jesus you should tell others right? So I asked,  “When is the last time you told someone about your relationship with Jesus,  and inquired if they have one too?”

Silence.   Followed by looking everywhere but me in the eye.   Followed by more silence.

“What stops you? “  I asked. This is when they discussed three major roadblocks to students “evangelizing.” Continue Reading…

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