Leadership

Building A Philosophy of Sustainable Youthwork- Part 1

Building A Philosophy Of Sustainable Youthwork

I want to share with you part of my work over the last several years with graduate students in Youth Ministry that are part of the Perkins School of Theology’s Certification Classes held each January during PSYM.  This has been a long process for me personally starting my first year of Youth Ministry when Rev. Walt Marcum convinced me I ...

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7 Slow Ways To Listen Well

7 Ways to Listen Well

With all the recent talk in the United Methodist Church about splits and schism I am reminded why a primary skill in Youth Ministry is the well-honed ability to truly listen to what other people are saying.  Youth ministers get this better than anybody in the church.  We listen to parents, youth, volunteers, staff, community leaders, coaches, teachers, spouses, and ...

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I Hope You Dance

I have a youthworker friend who has had grandchildren of former youth in his youth group.  I have another youthworker friend whose grandson is a youthworker as well.  I had lunch the other day with one of my favorite youth who is in her 40s now.  Another youthworker friend of mine was telling me about being at a meeting and ...

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3 Youth Ministry Lessons Learned from the Sidelines

In sports, the sidelines are the lines that mark the limits of the playing field or court.  Players and referees are actively engaged within the playing field.  As an athlete in the game, you may get caught up in the action around you.  Outside of the sidelines you’ll find inactive players, spectators and coaches.  From the sidelines, you have a ...

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finding my identity in youth ministry

Immediately after graduating from Pfeiffer University with my B.A. in Christian Education, I started serving a Quaker Meeting as their Christian education director. My youth would sometimes refer to me as their youth director, but I would quickly correct them and say no, “I’m not a youth minister. I’m a Christian education director.” I had developed an understanding of youth ...

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4 Lessons Learned at Progressive Youth Ministry Conference 2014

Progressive Youth Ministry

Last week I had an opportunity to experience something different.  The Progressive Youth Ministry Conference was a youth worker conference that, on the surface, seemed very hipster.  In emails sent out before the event, it was made clear that there was no conference hotel, everything was taking place at a host church, there would be no free stuff (bags, tshirts, ...

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The Divorced Youth Pastor

  “I have separated from my husband.  I am getting divorced.” I have repeated this statement so many times over the past 14 months.  Tonight I finally said it to my youth group.  We have been talking a lot about how to “share your story” as a Christian.  A lot of my kids do not have huge life-changing stories to ...

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3 numbers to consider before every youth ministry headcount

Building A Philosophy Of Sustainable Youthwork

“How many kids come on Wednesdays?” If the first question someone asks me is about numbers, I’m backing out of the conversation from the first word of my reply. If that question comes from within my church, it saddens me. I once worried about numbers. Not a lot, but the amount usually provoked by people that didn’t know any better ...

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7 Slow Ways To Work With Parents

7 Slow Ways To Work With Parents

When I started in youth ministry, I was told in various ways that one of the main goals was to get youth away from their parents because then we could really do some spiritual good.  Some para-church organizations still promote this idea.  So let me start by saying that always felt wrong to me.  At the same time, I realize ...

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