Faith Ownership In Students: Part 1 – Active or Passive Learning?

Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling… Philippians 2:12 (NIV).

As youth workers (and parents), I believe our drive, our vision, and our implementation of ministry programs should be centered on this important goal:

Students should live like disciples even more so when they are outside our ministry environments.

Youth Ministry Faith Ownership

For our part, are we helping students own their faith or depend on us and our weekly programs? If we are honest, this is a scary question to ask isn’t it? But, as we ponder this question, I want to ask three additional questions in the next few posts. Here’s the first one: Continue Reading…

Inside The Teenage Brain Webinar With Mark Oestreicher

Our friends at are putting together another brilliant webinar! Let Mark Oestreicher take you “Inside the Teenage Brain” on February 26 at 2pm (central) FREE WEBINAR-

Finding Support in Youth Ministry: 8 Types of Support People You Really Need

As we wrap up our support series for this week, I wanted to take time to list 8 essential types of people who support me in my ministry.

Finding and keeping support is imperative and will help us hang in for the long haul. Without encouragement, accountability, goals, and development, we are ‘dead’ in the water. God calls us to be in community and to be His body which supports each other.

You cannot live in isolation and effectively conduct youth ministry. You need a ‘web’ of support.

Youth Ministry Support1

Below is a list of the people and reasons why they are on my ‘team’ – Together they act as my ‘web’ of support to help me have a fruitful and effective ministry. Continue Reading…

Finding Support in Youth Ministry: How Much Should I Tell My Spouse?

This week we continue our  series of posts about the importance of finding support in youth ministry. If we want to hang in for the long haul, it’s essential to find the right people and practices to avoid painful pitfalls:

Youth Ministry Spouse

“How Much Should I Tell My Spouse?”

Continue Reading…

Finding Support In Youth Ministry: Accountability is a MUST…

This week we begin a series of posts about the importance of finding support in youth ministry. If we want to hang in for the long haul, it’s essential to find the right people and practices to avoid painful pitfalls:

Youth ministry accountability

“I am a ROCK, I am an island.”

The lyrics to this forgotten song are also the phrase of death when it comes to anyone in youth ministry.  Isolationism is the silent killer of your soul.  We begin with a quiet wound.  It might be from life, or something isn’t going quite right in youth min. It’s feasible that we buy into that “ministry” lie of perfection. Hurt turns to frustration to anger and to despair… Continue Reading…

GUEST POST: How To Lead Others With More Experience Than You

One of the most common issues young/new youth workers seem to struggle with is how they are supposed to lead someone who is older or more experienced than them. It’s a good question.

I had my first youth ministry job at 18 years old fresh out of high school as the Jr. High Director at my church. Many of the volunteers who served on my team had been my youth leaders only months earlier and now I was suddenly in a position of authority over them. They had more youth ministry experience than I had, and all of them were older – some by quite a few years. How could I possibly be their leader?

Trekking above Pheriche. Photo by Didrik Johnck

Continue Reading…

Balancing Family and Youth Ministry: Part 3 – Boundaries

Are you close to burn out? Do you know someone who is getting burned out? Is ministry a drain on you these days?

One of the biggest reasons youth workers experience burn out is because they never established boundaries to stay healthy. Given the changeable nature of ministry and unpredictable hours, it’s imperative that we learn to create healthy boundaries which can be communicated graciously to those around us. Here are a few I live by:

Balancing Family Ministry

Continue Reading…

Balancing Family and Youth Ministry Part 2: The Family Calendar

OK, let’s get real.  Balance in the calendar isn’t REALLY what we’re talking about here.  What we’re really talking about is making sure our spouse and kids remember our name and the last thing we were wearing in case we actually don’t come home one night because something sinister has actually happened to us!

Balance Family and Ministry

Balance in the family calendar means balance in family harmony.  And we all want to strive for that. If you aren’t ministering to your own family, you cannot possibly make lasting impact on anyone else’s family.

So try this: Continue Reading…

Balancing Family And Youth Ministry Part 1: Creating Family Traditions

This week we dive into three posts centered around Balancing Family and Ministry:

It was a handful of months into our marriage when John and I got pregnant for our daughter. While we both remained  in ministry,  the Lord gave us a family and their stewardship was vital in every way.  From the start our intentions were always to have family practices that were “ours” but,  it was easy to allow those to be pushed aside when “life” took over.   Instead of  “investing” in  our kids we were dragging them with us.

Family Traditions in MinistryAs a couple we had to sit down and come up with a plan so that our children would always know , no other youth was more important. There are everyday practices and traditions that needed to be put into place (and quickly) for our kids.  What did we do?

Continue Reading…


The Youth Cartel decided to set out on an innovative idea.  What if there was a one day training for youth workers that served a number of purposes?


Here’s what they were thinking: 

• It would be cheap. ($25 a ticket.)
• Mostly local youth pastors would teach the workshops (to give them a voice.)
• The day running on a Saturday 9-5 would be filled with 6 shorter workshops (45 minutes) so the attendee could walk away with several pieces of wisdom to apply to your ministry.
• 1/3 of the proceeds of the day would go to a local charity that serves youth in some way.
• Anyone across the country can submit an idea for a workshop.
• No one is paid to come, even for travel or expenses. This aids in voices from the surrounding areas being prominent, while inviting other youth investing agencies (like World Vision, Youth Mission International, Simply Youth Ministry, Reach New England and others) as sponsors to underwrite the expenses. Continue Reading…

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