Thought Factory Podcast #209 || Faith & Reason Part 1: Six Foundational Questions to Ask Students

Is there evidence for a Creator?  Where does my truth come from?  What do I believe about Jesus?  Can I doubt the resurrection and still be a Christian?  If God is so good then why is my world so bad?  Am I committed to Godly sexuality? In this two-part episode, Michelle Rewa, with a background in […]

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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 #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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Thought Factory Podcast #202 || They Are Certainly Unsure at School

Based on our research of nearly 3000 students from around the country, students shared what the toughest thing is about being a Christian at school.  Students deal with the fear of what others think, fear of offending people with their beliefs, but that was not their top answer, where 45% of students said the same […]

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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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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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