One Simple Principle That Helped Me Survive Student Ministry

I was a bad fit for student ministry.

I had never intended to go into it. I was more interested in world relief or overseas missions as I went through college. My mind and soul were fed on the work of missionaries like Hudson Taylor, C.T. Studd and Mother Theresa. I saw no purpose in entertaining students or having fun. Even worse, I was a happy introvert, who would much rather work on an essay than be at a party. The demands of Student Ministry seemed polar opposites of who I was as a person and what I felt called to do with my life.

Then everything changed….

6 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started in Youth Ministry

I thought I knew what I was doing but…

… I realized I had a lot to learn!

I was recently looking through some old pictures of all the different youth ministries I’ve had the privilege to lead. After over 20 years in youth ministry, I’ve had my share of successes and failures.  There are many things that I wish I had known way back when I started. Here are 6 of them.

Please Don’t Copy This Student Ministry

It looks slick and successful.

Don’t confuse this with a healthy effective youth ministry. Believe me, you don’t want to make this same mistake… As I said, it looks like something great but looks can be deceiving. In fact, for this ministry it is all about the look. They believe that if the graphics and the social media presence are excellent, they can attract more students. Don’t get sucked into this approach. Here’s what’s wrong with it and how you can do much better. 

Get Your Youth Ministry Report Card Here

It’s that time soon.

If you set goals it is time to evaluate how you did.

 I was devastated after a 13 week series on Improving Your Serve that students continued to put themselves first in a little test that I designed. It was better to realize that there was more work to do in this area than just assume that because I did teaching that students had changed. I realized that using some kind of measurement was essential to setting goals and measuring if they were achieved. 

How will Canadian Marijuana Legalization Affect Teens

Canada wants to legalize marijuana by Canada Day (July 1) next year. I won’t be something I’ll be celebrating considering how teens will be affected. The goal is to tax, restrict and monitor the sale of the product. The government feels that this ending of prohibition will be safe and effective. They believe that it will keep marijuana out of the hands of minors. What do you think?

Let’s compare it to the legal substance, alcohol. What are the results of legalized alcohol? How well is the government keeping this out of the hands of under age students?

Mind the Gap: 6 Ideas to Do Transition Better

We lose people in transition.

One third will never make the jump from the children’s ministry to the junior high or worse, high school youth group. We lose another third from senior high to young adults. What heart breaking losses. –Heart breaking to the parents and to the church… and the students, although they may not feel it right away.

Not every group is experiencing severe losses. Here are five big ideas they put in action…

Living in the UPSIDE DOWN

 

Life was not meant to be like this.

It is a dark shadow of things to come. We may have become accustom to the world around us but we have been made for another place. No wonder people feel like there is something wrong with this world… there is! A great proof of that is how the innocent are corrupted over time.

It’s a lot like the Upside Down in the Netflix Original, Stranger Things. Here is a Biblical view of the similarities and some hope…