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Click. “Hello?” A not so happy parent had just hung up on me.  They wanted to see if their child could opt out of the Confirmation retreat because of the distance we were traveling.  I said, “Sorry, if there was a different conflict I could help you, but not wanting to go isn’t a legitimate excuse.”  

Being a people pleaser leads to burnout.  In fact people pleasers really have no place in youth ministry.  In the end they only: Continue Reading…

I’m not a great small group leader.  I own the conversation and ask too many closed ended questions.  Despite my shortcomings the guys in my small group like me and I love them.  The largest challenge I face is bringing them back each week.

Bringing students back is a challenge.  On top of all their responsibilities they’ll have to deal with their lives constantly changing.  To work with teenagers in an ever changing world it’s important to think:

RELATIONALLY

That means looking at the teens who attend as more than numbers.  It’s about understanding why they come and why they don’t.  To think relationally and bring teens back you need to: Continue Reading…

I was jealous.  In my third year of ministry we booked a guest speaker on purity.  Everyone was engaged and into it.  I couldn’t believe it.  I would constantly struggle to get their attention.  I wondered, “What was the difference?” He spoke with authority.

It can be difficult to engage teenagers.  To compete with what is going on their lives is a challenge.  They are constantly told one thing over another and need help sorting it out.  Content is important, but it’s not the only thing.  If you do not know how to deliver your message with authority no one will listen.  

To speak with authority means to have control and command over your audience.  In other words people are fully engaged.  When they are engaged they will listen.  To speak with authority you need to: Continue Reading…

Money can stress me out.  I don’t like that it does, but when something breaks or a life change that involves money happens, I can freak out.  I love ministry, but life is expensive and there have been times when I’ve wondered, “Is this really worth it?”

It’s no secret that a youth minister’s salary is nothing to brag about.  But, money isn’t why you got into youth ministry.  You got involved  Continue Reading…

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…