3 Choices to Avoid Crisis

Don’t you hate it when you find yourself running from one crisis to another?

Suddenly everything you planned goes out the window and you are forced to drop everything to run to the passport office, get your car fixed, hold an emergency meeting, dash to the FedEx depot, or fly out to a store.

When I am in the midst of a crisis, my heart races, temperature rises, my patience is as short as my shallow breaths and I begin to hate my life. Panic can set in along with these last minute problems that jump me when I am least prepared.

Because I hate crises so much, I have determined to avoid them like the plague by making and sticking to these three proactive choices.

How To Bring Control To A Chaotic Situation

Nothing good comes from chaos…

As I said in my last blog there was a season when we saw many new students come to the youth ministry.  The immediate reaction was “Great!”  Don’t get me wrong, it was great but it was also extremely chaotic.

Imagine walking around your youth ministry and instead of students praying or encouraging each other you hear F-bombs – also finding remnants of weed in the bathroom, and alcohol being sneaked in.  In short it was chaos.  This is not what I envisioned youth ministry to be like and I was not trained to deal with all of this.  As a result I learned these lessons through the school of hard knocks.

For whatever reason, if your youth ministry is chaotic how do you bring control without losing all of the students.  These three lessons were learned the hard way but I think they could benefit you.

One-on-One Discipleship

 You mean Coaching?

One of the big buzz words among church people these days is coaching. By “coaching” what is meant, is that you find a caring person who will challenge you to grow in areas of your life. There is an element of coaching involved as that person helps you to set goals then keeps you accountable to reaching those goals. At the Youth Ministry Institute, we take this so seriously that every student does One-on-Ones with a prof.

3 Shifts To See New Students Come To Your Youth Ministry

We all want to see students who don’t know Jesus come to our ministry but let’s be honest, it doesn’t happen that often.

Why is that? I am sure we are working hard and trying our best to pour into the students we have and to reach out to those who don’t know Jesus yet.  We might see a few new students show up but never what we were hoping for.

There was a season that I was working as hard as I have ever worked but we never saw new students.  Then there were three shifts that took place and everything changed.  Our youth ministry started to have students show up in droves that didn’t know Jesus, that didn’t know church culture (hello F-bombs, alcohol and drugs) and were from different religions.

Exciting New Resource – BEFORE YOU SAY GOODBYE


  • Only 1 in 3 people who attended church as a child still do so as young adults.
  • 1 in 2 young adults continue to identify with the Christian tradition they were raised in.
  • 3 out of 5 young adults who stop attending church will also drop their affiliation with any Christian tradition.

These are just a few of the facts from the Hemorrhaging Faith Survey. They are quite disturbing and depressing when we realize these are not just numbers. These statistics represent the people we work with and are investing in. These numbers can also raise lots of questions, finger pointing, and blame. However, in the end most people come to the place, ‘So now what? or ‘What should our response be?

Create a Compelling Vision

He sat at his clean desk on his first day at the church. A white sheet stared up at him from the desk, like the eye of a Cyclops. “Now what am I supposed to do?” he thought in a George-Costanza-ish moment. “I have all this training, done hundreds of hours of volunteer work. But now I am overwhelmed with the enormity of the task.” Mental paralysis sets in. Where do I start?

There are so many variables. So much to consider when giving direction to a youth ministry but something needs to be done.  It is one thing to have a general philosophy of youth ministry and quite another to implement it. Having a clear vision makes all the difference. Here are some steps for developing and inspiring vision.

The Secret to making Resolutions you can keep! (and a man who ate bicycles!!)


If you have given up on resolutions because they only deliver a sense of failure, I guess you could make easily achievable resolutions like these:

a. Get  out of bed most days of the week if you feel like it
b. Eat junk food when it’s available
c. Use the washroom a few times a day…  🙂

And maybe for some people, these would be a challenge… but if you want to make lasting changes in your life or ministry, there are a few painless secrets that winners get working for them, that you could start using today.

What Running Has Taught Me About Youth Ministry

Every year I am getting older…

…(I know, what a brilliant line). But as I get older I am finding that my fitness is declining rapidly.  To combat this a couple of years ago I started running.  I agree with you, I was not a fan of running, but I am a fan of training for a race.  My wife and I finished our first half marathon this past summer within our goal time.  Now I am starting to train for a full marathon.

As anyone who knows me would say, I am not an elite athlete.  In fact I don’t even consider myself an average athlete anymore.  However, running has taught me some key lessons that I think can help anyone that works in youth ministry.