Three New Dating Dangers: What Parents Can Do

Digital kids have embraced new ways of relating that should make every parent think twice about the changing rules in the dating game. Face Time, Face Book, Snap Chat, Skype, Tumblr, Twitter, Instagram and Texting create possibilities in relationships that weren’t a concern even just ten years ago. Now they are, and we should probably be talking to our teens about each of them…

3 Reasons Why Every Teen Needs to be DIVERGENT

If corporate America has a plan for teens, it is that they remain constant consumers. If the university has a plan for adolescents, it is that they would be perpetual students. Hollywood and the gaming industry would be thrilled if today’s young adult Peter Pans, never grew up.
Photo Credit: Summit Entertainment
But as much as the culture has a predetermined plan for teens, the movie, Divergent, based on the book series by Victoria Roth, presents a challenge for teens to be changed. How? –By thinking differently about themselves, rather than being squeezed into a mold. Didn’t the Apostle Paul write something like that? (Rom 12:1,2)

I feel inspired that social critiques like this and the Hunger Games, challenge teens in a way that parents, youth workers, and youth ministries should. If you have 2 minutes, let me explain the 3 reasons I believe we need to challenge every teen to be divergent

5 Apps That Will Help You Be More Effective In Youth Ministry

If you are reading this blog my guess is that you would like to be more productive.  Let’s be honest, we would all like to do a better job in less time so we have more time to do the things we like.

We also all know that the desire is not enough.  Being effective and productive requires good habits and effort.  Fortunately in this day and age technology can help us.  Here are 5 apps that I use almost daily in my life.  In different ways each of these apps have helped me to be more productive and effective.

My Son/Daughter won’t come to Church: 3 Best Ways to keep them Coming

We lose one third of kids from the Sunday School to the Youth room. We lose another 30% after high school. Despite contemporary worship services, youth programs and small groups for teens, the church is bleeding out youth

It’s one thing to shudder at the statistics but what do you do when it is your son or daughter who doesn’t want to come anymore?

In a pointed conversation with Dave Sawler, author of Before they Say Goodbye, Youth Ministry Unleashed heard the very best things parents, youth ministries and churches can do to make sure that we stop losing teens.

3 Crucial Ways to Help Kids Who Cut

CTV news in Canada reports “recent statistics show an unprecedented spike in ER visits for kids in mental health crises in Ottawa. In 2012-13, it reported that 2,900 children and teens under 18 sought help — up 64 per cent since 2009-10.”

A similar spike in self harm is reported in America. Many youth pastors I talk to, are at their wits end. Just before I got up to speak at a youth event a while back, they brought a girl up to the front. She had fresh bandages from her wrist to her elbows. They were anxious for me to  help. I prayed with tears but inside I knew that there were also things her family and youth workers would need to do for her.

I am not the expert on this but I’d like to share with you 3 critical ways we can help that I am learning from experts.

3 Small Things That Make Big Differences at Retreats


I recently spoke at a weekend youth retreat for Gospel Centre and I was again reminded of the importance of retreats in the rhythm of the youth calendar. However, just because they are important doesn’t mean that we always make the most of these opportunities.

The problem is that we see the importance so we try to do big radical things to get the most out of the weekend.  The results are often scattered.  What would happen if there were three small things we could do that would have a big impact?

Here are three of those small things you can do at your next retreat.

These “Beauties” Share 3 Surprising Secrets

The things you see on Face Book! One of them that I see more than others is every female student or young adult commenting on photos of their friends as, “beauties” or gorgeous and, of course, they have to return the compliment.

Since teens discovered face book and made their profile public, there has never been as much pressure on girls to measure up. Some have made incredible efforts to take shots that put them in the best possible light. Selfies that flatter and photo-shopped pictures to make the perfect glamour shot, are everywhere. And, as you know, some have crossed lines of modesty and decency…

But I believe these photos and the telling comments reveal 3 surprising secrets that every parent needs to see

How to Stop Stumbling from One Video Series to the Next & Free Giveaway!

Most of us use a hit or miss approach to teaching in our student ministries. We latch on to the best new video series out there and look for the next before this one runs out. What is the result, after three years of our patchwork teaching? What have our high  school students got as a foundation for life, when we are done with them? Is there a better approach? I think there is!

Photo Credit: Cayusa via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: Cayusa via Compfight cc

The Challenge

I was challenged by my prof, Dr. John Wilkinson, to do better than that. He asked us to compile a list of 100 Characteristics Every Fully Discipled Teen should develop in 3 years under our teaching. I was skeptical that it could be done! Like there are 100 attitudes, behaviors, and truths that every student should have when they left my ministry?! Really?!

Well, I took the challenge. Do you have any idea what I came up with? I am dying to share it with you!