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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10 Ways To Invest In Your Students

But, that can mean a lot of different things in one student’s life.  Here’s a list of ways to show up in your students’ life.  And then some other random ways to invest in their life as well.   1. Show up to their sporting event, musical, play, band performance, art show, black belt showcase, speech, […]

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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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Thought Factory Podcast #107 || Social Media Part 4: Guidelines for This Social Game

In episode #107, we discussed how social media can be a guessing game when it comes to parents and their children’s use or youth worker and their students in a ministry context.  At times it can feel like we are at battle with each other, taking shots from opposing sides instead of playing this game […]

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Thought Factory Podcast #106 || Social Media Part 3: Digital Discipleship

In episode #106, hosts Jeff Eckart and Jayson Brewer interview Dr. Craig Detweiler.  Craig is a media professor at Pepperdine University in Malibu, CA, filmmaker, and author of iGods: How Technology Shapes Our Spiritual and Social Lives. What does it mean to hand over a smartphone, a very powerful device, to an adolescent when there […]

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Thought Factory Podcast #104 || Social Media Part 1: Symptoms on Display

In episode #104, we discussed social media affects all of us whether we like it or not. It’s not a fad or a trend, that will eventually go away like acid-washed jeans and jelly shoes.  What if we could get inside the minds of students to hear directly from them about what they think of […]

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Five Things Students Should Know About Their Adult Leaders

I am about to finish my 16th year of student ministries. Things like music has changed many times from Michael W. Smith and Jeremy Camp to Lecrae and Hillsong. From event driven youth groups to discipleship being a draw. I have loved all the changes, even though I do miss some of the old school […]

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Let Your Yes be Yes and… [Your Longevity Yes be Yes]

“Let your yes mean yes, and your no mean no. Anything more than this comes from the evil one.”  Matthew 5:37 (CEB) We tend to forget about our “long-term yes’s” in terms of commitments we make.  It can seem like a “one time yes” in the moment, but when we commit to saying yes to […]

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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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