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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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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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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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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Three Reasons for NTS Camp’s 2016 THREADS Theme

When we came together as a team to decide what the theme would be for NTS Camp 2016, we had already known we wanted to teach on the life of Joseph (Genesis 37-49) for the evening sessions.  This will be our 2nd year into our 5-year vision for NTS Camp’s teaching plans.  Last year we wanted […]

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Programming for Mountain Top Experiences

I love mountain climbing.  Living in Colorado for a summer opened my heart up to that love for the first time when I was in college. The entire summer I was surrounded by peaks that pierced the clouds in the sky.  I remember the first day I arrived in Estes Park, CO with my best […]

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Avoid This in Youth Ministry

I remember stopping by a garage sale this past spring, only to find one item that I desired to purchase from a complete stranger. The item was a Dewalt battery charger and battery – used in power drills. I asked if it worked. This kind lady pointed to an outlet on her garage wall and […]

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