Thought Factory Podcast #306 || 10 Ways to Help Parents Win

How can we help parents win with their students?  As youth leaders, do we really know what parents need from us?  Is the way we are doing youth ministry helping or hindering them as parents?  What is the #1 thing we can do to affirm parents?  Will our efforts be felt by only the student or the entire family?  In […]

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Student Ownership

I wanted to share with you guys what I’ve been learning about ownership among students in youth group.  Meaning that the students have a sense that this is their group; they’re bought into the mission.  The mission is to live, love, and tell people about Jesus.  So, how do we develop the students that we […]

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Ideas To Retain Students in Your Ministry

I first started gathering data, to try and get ideas for our own ministry, but then decided that this was good information to share with everyone! I asked a handful of current and former student ministry pastors, directors, coordinators, etc. how they retained students in their ministry.  That question then unfolded to how do they […]

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How To Build Community In Your Group

I see community being one of the glues that can hold a youth group together.  Students doing life together and learning about Jesus.  But, how do we have community when natural divisions happen in our group?   I’ve worked in all sorts of scenarios of youth groups.  My youth group growing up consisted of kids […]

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Pause for People

“Slow Down”, flashed the speed limit detector, as I sped by on the road.  I was taking it too fast, not noticing how fast I was going.  I was thinking of where I had to be and what I had just come from and probably what I was going to do the next day; that […]

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Spiritual Health > Safety

A few months back, my team and I talked about this statement, “We provide programming that is physical, emotional, and spiritually safe without making it experientially safe.” What chords does it strike you? I simply want to get you thinking on this topic and share a bit of what we talked about as a team. […]

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Thought Factory Podcast #103 || Theology of Pizza & Hummus

In episode #103, we discuss the lack of discussion on the topic of physical health in the circles of youth ministry and the church in general.  Is food a key component to our obedience to God? Should food have more of a central role in our relationship with Jesus?  Are we adequately addressing the issue of […]

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NTS Camp 2016 Review

God created the world to be a fabric woven together, and he invites us to be interwoven in relationships. Relationships with God, with each other, and with the world. To join what He is already doing. This summer we dove into the narrative of Joseph in Genesis, and how God’s story is threaded through his […]

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Set Up Your Year up to Win

I have spent a lot of time in ministry spinning my wheels.  I don’t know if you can relate, but there have been seasons where it felt like I couldn’t work any harder, pray any longer, but the results were just not happening.  Now I know some people will frown because I just used the […]

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How to Move Students Into a Deeper Relationship With Jesus

Sometimes I think we think it’s only about the physical stuff we need to do with our students or for our students in order to move them into a deeper relationship with Jesus.  When, really, I think the initial step starts with us, as their small group leader, peer, or friend. Building that trusting, open, […]

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