Creating A Healthy Volunteer Staff Culture

Let me start with this:  We cannot do it alone.  We can not do it without our volunteer staff.   They are a huge reason we as student pastors, directors, the person in charge; can even do our job.  We need loving adults to pour into our students.  People that will sacrifice their time to invest […]

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Thought Factory Podcast #205 || The Crisis Moment for Students

Hosts Jeff Eckart and Jayson Brewer interview Charlie Alcock, a youth ministry professor at Indiana Wesleyan University.  Charlie has been a youth leader/youth pastor for 28 years and now raises up the next generation of youth leaders who sense God’s call into ministry.  We discuss many aspects of students’ life, but more specifically the time […]

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Thought Factory Podcast #204 || The Future is Further Than it Appears

It seems more and more that students are growing up too fast in our society. But something else has been trending, these kids aren’t growing up. And no matter who you are, parent, youth worker, etc., you need to be aware of this trend.  This trend continues to change our society as we know it. […]

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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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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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Thought Factory Podcast #101 || They Don’t Know Where to Start

What is Thought Factory? Thought Factory is dedicated to learning from students for students to better our ministry practice with students. Based on our own national research with 3000 students and 500 youth workers, we break down what we are hearing from middle school and high school students from across America. We also discuss the […]

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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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