There’s only a few weeks left with my senior guys small group.  It’s sad because I’ve met with them at least once a week, every week for the last 4 years and next year they’ll be away at college.  We’ve gone deep as a group, and the relationships I have with them extends past our weekly meeting. 

If I’m totally honest it’s been a struggle to keep them together these past four years.  We’ve faced a lot of challenges with schedules and life change.  But, we’ve persevered and overall I feel like the group has been successful.  

Successful small groups are healthy small groups.  Healthy small groups are key to a healthy youth ministry.  Teenagers will go deeper in their faith and your community will grow stronger.  To keep these groups together despite all the challenges you need to make sure they have the right qualities.  That means each of your small groups needs: Continue Reading…

I’m a huge fan of April Fools Day.  I do everything from small little, “gotchas” to well thought out pranks.  This year I switched around the contents of people’s desk.  As one coworker pointed out, “Funny, but annoying.”

Pranks can be fun, if who you are pranking can handle it and if you are willing to receive it in return.  If it goes too far, then it’s borderline cruelty.

The same can happen in youth ministry.  You might be thinking that you are having fun, but then a:

  • GAME
  • BIT
  • JOKE

…goes a little too far.  You might not see it, but a student can get their feelings hurt when fun goes too far.  It’s a tension youth ministers need to embrace.  While you need to strive to have fun, it’s important to realize it can go too far.  To determine that balance: Continue Reading…

I met my wife over ten years ago.  We were both volunteers in Baltimore City with dreams of changing the world.  She was with me through my interview process at my current church.  My wife has been there through my ups and downs and is one of the reasons I’m still in ministry today.

Over the years my wife has been involved.  For some married youth ministers it’s natural to have your spouse involved, especially when they feel called to ministry.  But, what happens when the spouse doesn’t feel called or has a full-time (or part-time) job of their own?  It can be a challenge; however, if your spouse is involved they can be your biggest ally.  If you want to involve them be sure you:  Continue Reading…

My buddy and I were heading to Vermont for a little ski trip when we were met by a heavy snow storm.  It was difficult to see, and our speed significantly decreased.  We didn’t want to stop, we just wanted to get to our destination.  We pushed on and defied the elements.  What would have been a 6 hour drive turned into 15.

Granted I was young, bold and a little crazy; however, when the elements are against you it’s tempting to stop.  Pressure means discomfort, but comfort in your youth ministry can lead to atrophy and irrelevance.  A healthy and growing youth ministry needs to be able to face the challenges that come with youth ministry.  To be battle tested and ready for anything you and your youth ministry need to: Continue Reading…

If you truly love baseball, you love statistics.  The Sabermetrics, the records and the battle for the Triple Crown.  There is something about knowing how often a player gets on base in a rainy day in June that gets the baseball mind rolling.

Are you measuring your youth ministry?  It might seem like a silly question; however, it’s imperative to your growth.  If you do not know how to measure your youth ministry you will not know it’s productivity or health.  To know your ministry’s health, you should look at: Continue Reading…