You Can’t Know Everything but it’s Crucial that You Know This

They Did What?

I took 24 first year youth ministry students on a field trip today. We went to different churches and interviewed Youth and Young Adult pastors.  It was interesting on many different levels, but there was one common theme.

“They can’t teach you everything in college”

This statement was followed by crazy stories of situations that they found themselves in.  Something that they were not trained to handle in Bible College or Seminary.

I cant teach you everything, but I can teach you something.  Something so important that it will help you with every situation you come across.

Here are some of the situations that I have come across:

Knocking Her Up

 It is a few hours before the youth service was to start and I was picking up some of the youth worship band because they didn’t have rides.  My bass player, sitting in the back seat of my car, tells me that my drummer got his girlfriend pregnant and they have an abortion date set.

What do you do with this information and how do you stay focused on the youth service?

Who Is Influencing Who

It was a season in my youth ministry where we had a very big influx of non-Christians. Surprisingly (or maybe unsurprisingly) many parents and students were concerned and some just downright mad about the potential problems/influence this could and is having on the existing group.

It got to the point that some families were thinking of leaving the church.  What do you do?  I was never trained for this particular situation.

She Is Doing What?!?

There was a rumour going around that a girl on my worship team was performing oral sex on guys in the youth group.  This is not the news you want about your worship band.

I never had a class on, “What to do with a orally sexual worship band”.  So for a moment my brain said, “what do you do Tyson?”

What You MUST Know!!!

You will never be able to learn what to do in every situation.  Therefore you must have a crystal clear understanding on the foundation.  What you should do in every situation is built upon this foundation.

 Here (in my opinion) is what the foundation is.


Take a moment right now and read Matthew 22:34-40.  It is a clear reminder that our lives should be saturated in a love for God and a love for people.

The other foundational piece is for you to MAKE DISCIPLES.  Now I want you to read Matthew 28:16-20.  Have you read it?  I know, a classic missionary text.  Here is the interesting thing about this text in the Greek, the emphasis is on the MAKE and not the GO.

The Tyson translation would sound like this, “wherever you go, MAKE disciples”

So what does this have to do with the three situations above? Well I am glad you asked.  Here is the answer to any situation that you find yourself in;

By your reaction to this situation are you loving God, loving the student and making a disciple of them?


How about you, how do you respond to all of the situations you find yourself encountering?

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Tyson Howells

Tyson is the associate youth ministry director for Vanguard Youth Ministry Institute. He has been a youth pastor for many years in Winnipeg as well as in Edmonton. Tyson is passionate in seeing relational youth ministry that results in youth that are passionate about following Jesus. He still leads a small group at the youth group in his home church.