5 Regrets I Have From My Years in Youth Ministry

As you know, my position has changed and evolved quite a bit over the last 2 months. I accepted a family pastor position after serving as a student pastor for 7 years. This was a very difficult decision. It was tough for my wife and I, but we are confident that this was the plan that God had for us. Now that I am technically somewhat out of the traditional “youth pastor” position, I look back over the last 7 years, and wish that I could do things a bit differently. Experience helps you so much. The longer you serve, … Continue reading 5 Regrets I Have From My Years in Youth Ministry

Signs of an Effective Small Group

Can you believe March is already here? It is insane how fast 2014 is flying by. In our student ministry, we begin small groups for the year in August when the school year starts for our students. We then conclude them in May, and do not have small groups over the summer. Throughout the year, we have evaluated small groups and their effectiveness. I want to share a few thoughts with you regarding how to determine an effective small group.  Consistent Students– If your students constantly miss for no real good reason, there is a problem. In the most effective … Continue reading Signs of an Effective Small Group

How to Handle Criticism in Youth Ministry

If you have been in youth ministry for any length of time, you have had to deal with criticism. In fact, if you have been in any kind of ministry for any length of time, you have dealt with criticism. I wish that I did not have to write this, but criticism comes with the territory. If not dealt with properly, you will stress out and burn out rather quickly in the ministry. How do you handle that adult who comes to you and criticizes what you are trying to do in the ministry? How you respond and how you … Continue reading How to Handle Criticism in Youth Ministry

Ways to Encourage Youth Leaders

All youth leaders need encouragement. Sure, many are humble and would never admit it, but deep down, everyone needs encouragement. This is something that many youth pastors fail to do (myself included). We forget that the ministry actually rises and falls on our youth leaders in many cases, not the youth pastor. The youth leaders are the ones who are doing the hands on discipleship and relationship building in the youth ministry. Therefore, they need encouragement. I am going to work on this more this semester in our student ministry. Here are a few ways that we can encourage leaders: … Continue reading Ways to Encourage Youth Leaders

4 Characteristics of Great Teams

With the sports season in full swing, you may be thinking that this is a sports post. Well, it is not. Look, I am a huge fan of all sports, and recently the importance of great teams got me thinking about the team that I serve with in the church. There are many characteristics that make up great sporting teams, but that is for another post. This post is about the team of youth leaders that you have assembled. This post is for your church staff. In my experience, great teams can be made up of these four characteristics. Great … Continue reading 4 Characteristics of Great Teams

How to Plan an Effective Parent Meeting

Okay, we get it, we are supposed to connect, engage , and release parents to be the primary disciplers of their teenagers. I do not think many youth pastors would argue with the fact that this is part of our job description as youth pastors. The question is how? How do we go about becoming a family ministry. Obviously, emails, texts, and interaction works. I have found that parent meetings are effective. When I first started in youth ministry, every parent meeting that I had was strictly informative. They were short, and basically regarding youth events, nothing more. Now, I am … Continue reading How to Plan an Effective Parent Meeting