Category Archives: Youth Ministry

Characteristics of a Gen Z Youth Ministry

Had the privilege of attending and speaking at the Teen Leadership Conference at Clarks Summit University.  There I was part of a National Youth Ministries Conference that featured incredible speakers who spoke on ways to impact Generation Z for Christ.

Studying the different generations is fascinating to me, and it is important to understand the characteristics of each generation.  Especially since there most likely is 7 generations in your church on a given Sunday.  Seven!

Do you know the leadership style of the Generation Z?  What impact is social media having on this generation?  Mental health seems to be an issue, how do you help students who are struggling?  These are all issues we discussed in the seminar.

My job was to answer the question:  “What does a Generation Z Youth Ministry look like?”  Here’s a checklist to help you in your quest to reach this generation.  I encourage you to check it out, and feel free to add more in the comments.

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5 Alarming Porn Statistics for Youth

I would not just call these stats “alarming”, but “jaw-dropping” would be more like it.  This is an epidemic.  Time we begin and continue to have conversations about the dangers of porn, and the broken hearts that only can be freed and rescued by Jesus (Galatians 5:1).  Click on my article below to find these stats, and more reasons to pray and have conversations with teens, parents, and your own children as soon as possible.

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2019 Goals For Youth Ministry

Each year, I compile a list of goals for the coming year.  One piece of advice, have a list on your phone or cork-board in your office where you write these ideas all throughout the previous year.  That way, when you sit down at your computer in December, you’re not lost for ideas.

Here’s the list for 2019.  Can’t wait to get started!

  • Inter-generational Service Projects—Encourage more adult & teen service involvement, including helping plan events.
  • New Writing Project—God continues to provide writing opportunities through book sales and blog articles for youth ministry, and this coming year working towards another book opportunity.
  • Summer Camp—One of my bucket list items—speaking at a summer camp! And I get to bring teens, what a deal!
  • Theology Enrichment—Review of theological textbooks and attendance of a theological/preaching conference.
  • Pastoral Training Course—After a decade in the ministry, I’d like to write down some lessons I’ve learned and wisdom I’ve received from others, and put this in a training course to help those new to ministry.
  • Teen Mentoring—While the goal of adults mentoring teens continues to be a goal, I’d like to see more teens mentoring younger students. Leadership teens will be expected to mentor younger teens, and younger teens will learn to be a mentor and example to younger kids.
  • International Trip—Mission Trip to Germany this summer serving alongside missionaries our church supports.

What are some goals you have for the coming year?

 

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2018 Year In Review

Next week, on this here blog, I will reveal the goals I have for the upcoming year of 2019.  Wow, is it really going to be 2019?  Where are all the flying cars? Disappointing.  Anyways, it’s a great thing to have goals for the future, but it is also an important aspect of ministry to look back and evaluate.  Without evaluation, there is no improvement.  Looking at last years goals, it was a blessing to see many of them were able to come to fruition.

(Disclaimer:  This list is not to brag about what I have done.  The goal of this list is to hopefully spark some ideas for your own ministry that may give God glory and allow your ministry to grow.)

Continue Parent/Pastor Conferences—These meeting have been extra special and valuable in my pursuit of an effective partnership with parents.

Pre-Marital Counseling—After years of reading marriage books and compiling marriage articles, I was able to re-write my pre-marital counseling curriculum.

International Trip—The process was set in motion this year with plans to serve in Germany this coming summer.

World Religions Series—High School students went through a series that focused on reaching and understanding other religions.

Winter Retreat—What a special trip this was to speak to several youth groups including our own and a fun time spending a weekend with our teens.

Expansion of Elderly Ministry—A new addition of shut-in visits was added this year, and it was a tremendous blessing. We gave a special gift and each teen prayed with a senior saint.

Local Mission Trip—A unique experience of puppets in the park. The teens weren’t done there, but also were able to remodel & paint two of the main children’s ministry classrooms.

Children’s Safety Policy Improvement—Revisions to the children’s safety policy, pick up procedures established, and other security measures were put in place this year.

 

 

 

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5 Practical Ways to Balance Family & Ministry

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In case you missed it, here is my guest blog over at The Middle Years Ministry.  Check it out!

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Book Review: Growing Young

Book Review:  Growing Young by Kara Powell, Jake Mulder, and Brad Griffin

The Good:

REAL Solution.  I don’t know about you, but I am tired of books, articles, and social media posts that just surmise an issue with this current generation and the church.  I’m tired of reading about the problems, and I was refreshed to read in this book – REAL and REACHABLE solutions to the issues of growing young.  A heartfelt thank you to the all the work the writers put into this.

Dedicated Research.  This was hard work to put this together.  It was a clear dedication of the writers and research team to not leave a stone unturned.  They went to the small churches to the megas, and found answers to the growing young question.  That is something the reader will appreciate.

REAL Testimonies.  These aren’t just ideas.  These are real people who have been affected by churches that have intentionally reached out to this generation in their church.  The testimonies were not just glossed-over stories from pastors, but from people inside the church who have benefited and lived out the ministry changes and direction.

The Bad:

Nope, nope, nope.  There was one quote that made me quote Petrie on Land Before Time and say “Oh, no no no no”.  “We wonder if sermon preparation and preaching is an area in which some leaders could invest less time”.  While they did give this quote with the caveat of holding God’s Word at the “highest value”, it still is a dangerous statement.

The Random Boxes.  This is a minor complaint, but it seemed to break the flow of the chapter when a box of random information was placed in the middle of a chapter.  Suggest maybe placing this in the context of the chapter or at the end.

The Grade:  A.  I tell ya what this book did.  Honestly, it gave me great encouragement that my philosophy of ministry was on the right track with this generation.  On the flip side, it challenged me immensely in the weakness of my own ministry in reaching this generation.  That is what this book will do to you, encourage and challenge you and your ministry.

 

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2017 Goals – Re-visited

When we turn the page on the calendar, we often do not look back at the goals of the year before.  If you’re like me, you are always looking forward.  It is important to take a moment to see how well you did in the goals you set.  Because what good are goals is they are set and never met.  Here’s a look at how last year’s goals went, to celebrate some victories but also discuss some obstacles you may face.

  • New Book! –  Blessing to announce my 1st book has been published and my goal is for 1,000 copies to be sold to help people fall in love with God’s Word.
    • Grade:  C.  Got about halfway to my goal this year.  While that’s a little disappointing, how God has used the book is not.  The book is now in the hands of missionaries across the world, youth groups across the country, and in the homes of dear families I care about.  Even in defeat, that is an incredible victory.  Feel free to check it out at http://www.bottomlinedevotional.com
  • New Curriculum Plan! – Hard to believe this is my 6th year ministering at MBC, which mean a new 6 year plan will be put in place—with the input of parents, students, and research this plan will be implemented in the fall of 2017.
    • Grade:  A.  Mission accomplished.  With the help of parents, leaders, & students, I was able to produce a sparkling new 6 year curriculum to allow parents to see a plan is in place for their teenager in every year of youth ministry.
  • Mentoring – Teach a 2 week Mentoring series to encourage mentoring of generations within the church.
    • Grade:  B-.  Sure, the class went well and had great interaction.  However, it’s been a slow process to see this culture happen within the church.  Have I seen some growth?  Absolutely.  But i would love for more to catch the mentoring bug.
  • Short Term Mission Trip – Due to monthly local mission project, the 3 year cycle is now work trip, out-of-state, international trip. This year we will be traveling for our work trip.
    • Grade:  A.  What a great week.  God provided for us to go work at a camp in New York.  The teens worked hard, grew in their walk with Christ, and found it a positive time of unity and service.
  • Life After High School Series—Special speakers to speak on after high school temptations like drugs, how to witness after high school, and leader advice for the young adult years.
    • Grade:  A.  One of my all-time favorite student ministry series.  You can check it out in detail here.
  • Public School Partnership – Continue to find ways to partner with local schools to serve them and bring the hope of Jesus Christ to students.
    • Grade:  B-.  While we have been able to have a steady presence at the high school, we have seen limited growth.  And the middle school partnership has not materialized.  Praying God will open doors and I’d be bold enough to walk through the opening.
  • Social Media Interaction – Bolster ministry social media footprint with student leadership help and more interaction on Facebook.
    • Grade:  B+.  Assigned a student as the social media coordinator, and seen an improvement in interaction.  Still working on ways to make this even more interactive.
  • Implement G.R.O.W.T.H Chart– Encourage parents to follow chart of spiritual growth for their students and provide training and help for students to reach these spiritual goals.
    • Grade:  B.  Through parent/pastor conferences, this has come a little more alive.  Still could use more improvement, but a step in the right direction.

Well, I passed 2017.  Maybe not on the honor roll this year, but God certainly blessed, and I praise Him for all the victories and lessons He has taught me along the way.

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