Your First 5 Steps To Building A Youth Ministry From Scratch


Over three months ago I decided to start over in youth ministry. I started working at a parish with great leadership, a wonderful staff; however, there had been a significant gap in youth ministry.

What that meant was starting from the ground up. No problem, right? If you are starting out in youth ministry or trying to rebuild the one that you have it’s important to take these 5 STEPS: Read More

Are The Teens In Your Ministry Just Another Number?


No one wants to be a number.  It’s impersonal and doesn’t give a person the value they deserve.  While there is pressure to grow your numbers, it’s important not to lose sight that the numbers have names.

The reason a teenager will come back each week is to feel valued and known.  That might seem overwhelming in a large setting, but it’s possible.  To keep the focus on the person and still grow the numbers you need to: Read More

How To Step Back In After Being Away

By | MINISTRY HEALTH, Uncategorized

One of the reasons we don’t take time off is the fear of missing something while being away.  We picture the inbox filling up and the workload multiplying.  The idea of going back is daunting.

To tackle that overwhelming feeling of getting back to work you need to find the right pace.  To step back in after being away you need to make sure you: Read More

Why You Need To Be More Professional


To be a professional youth minister takes a lot of work.  It’s something we all know, but what it means to be a professional youth minister isn’t always clear.

I can show up to work in jeans, and throw pizza parties. And, I’m responsible for the spiritual journey of the thousands of teenagers in my zip code.  

Many times people see the pizza, but not the burden of a professional youth minister.  That needs to change.  To go beyond pizza and lock-ins youth ministry needs to be taken seriously.  To do that you need to: Read More

6 Steps To Recruiting Volunteers Last Minute


With summer winding down do you feel like you have enough volunteers?  The answer is probably, “No.” The truth is that it never feels like enough.  I used to lose sleep as Labor Day approached.  I would wonder, “Are we going to be okay?”

The truth is you will be okay, but that doesn’t change the fact that you still need to recruit volunteers.  So, how do you make sure you have enough volunteers by the first gathering?

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3 Signs A Program Needs To Die

By | MINISTRY HEALTH, Uncategorized

“WHY AM I DOING THIS?” That was the question racing through my mind as I was cleaning out the crab water from the trunk of my car after the middle school crab feast.  It had been a fun night; however, nothing had changed.  I wondered, “Is it time for this program to die?”

Just like volunteers and students, programs will come and go.  You need to determine when they should go before they hurt your ministry.  3 signs a program needs to go is that it starts to:   Read More

Facing The Elements In Youth Ministry


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: Read More

Work Camp For Middle School Students


Today we wrap up another year of SMILE Work Camp.  This camp is a week filled with service and fellowship for middle school students.  For a long time it was a struggle to find service opportunities for middle school.  So, 6 years ago I got together with 3 other youth ministers and we created a work camp where middle school students could serve in Baltimore City and it’s surrounding areas.  When we first started it was hard to get participants, today we fill up in a matter of days.

When it comes to getting middle school students involved in service there are a lot of challenges you will face.  There are age restrictions and extra precautions.  Doesn’t matter if it’s a day of serving or a week long work camp the idea of coordinating a group of middle school students to serve can be overwhelming.  To approach it properly and fold service into your middle school ministry’s DNA, you should: Read More

Before You Start Something New


Last night we started something new.  We launched a young adult ministry gathering called Hanging Out that looks to walk with young people from adolescence into adulthood.  The turnout was positive, the night flowed well and what took a lot of timing and planning got started on the right foot.  Where it will go?  Only God only knows and we cannot wait to find out.

Courtesy of pobre.ch/Creative Commons License

Courtesy of pobre.ch/Creative Commons License

It takes a lot of courage to get start a new ministry, project or program. There are so many obstacles; however, with the right type of preparation can build the momentum your ministry needs.  When you do something new you create new opportunities, environments and relationships for teens to grow in Christ.  But you need a plan.  Before you start something new be sure to: Read More