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 […]

Read More...

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 […]

Read More...

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 […]

Read More...

Thought Factory Podcast #105 || Social Media Part 2: Takes More Than Give

Episode #105 we interview Phil Joel from Zealand Worship.  Phil is the former bassist for the band Newsboys and he talks about his personal approach to social media as well as his current band’s approach to social media.  The automatic assumption these days is that if you’re going to have any presence in the world, […]

Read More...

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. […]

Read More...

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 […]

Read More...

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 […]

Read More...

Thought Factory Podcast #102 || Students, Politics, & Civility

In episode #102, we asked thousands of students questions about the topic of politics to see if it’s important to them and where their level of interest is about the current political environment.  We also interviewed a number of students from around the country about their views and opinions in regards to politics, so we […]

Read More...

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 […]

Read More...

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 […]

Read More...