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How To Prevent Teens From Leaving Church After They Leave Home

By | MINISTRY HEALTH, Uncategorized

It’s heartbreaking when you learn a former teen is no longer going to church. You feel like a failure and wonder, “Could I have done something more?”

It’s easy to beat yourself up, but you have to remember that we all have free will.  While you cannot control all of their decision you can have an influence.  To cut down on the turnover and encourage teens to stay connected to the church years after they are gone you need to make sure you are: Read More

5 Ways To Come Alongside Of Parents

By | Uncategorized

Parents used to scare me.  I used to think they were out to get me because many interactions were filled with criticism, disappointment and stress.

Courtesy of legends2k/Creative Commons License

Courtesy of legends2k/Creative Commons License

It’s taken me years of ministry and having kids of my own to realize that parent’s are not looking to pick a fight.  Instead they are looking for assistance, insight and guidance when it comes to their own teenager.  As youth ministers we need to come alongside of parents by: Read More

Why Youth Ministry Needs To Exists


It’s a moment many of us face if you’ve been in youth ministry more than a month. It’s that moment when you are getting into your car or your bed and you wonder, “Why am I doing this?”

A big problem with youth ministry is that many people do not know why it exists.  It’s seen as unnecessary or irrelevant.  Many youth ministries are being eliminated or consolidated into a family ministry.  Youth ministry is necessary because it provides:

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7 Tips To Maintain The Balance Between Home and Work


My heart sinks when I hear my son say, “Daddy, I miss when you are away.”  Between retreats, conference, and now travel for the book it gets hard to maintain the balance between home and work.

I’m not alone, just go on Facebook and read all the comments.  It’s a struggle because you love what you do and you love your family.  It can feel hopeless, but to maintain the balance you need to: Read More

Never Design Another Flyer

By | Systems and Structures, Uncategorized

Today, I’m happy to introduce a great resource for youth ministers. is a service for youth ministers and parishes looking to promote their events, programs and ministries.  Founded by Michael Marchand, he brings years of youth ministry and design experience.


His goal is to:

“Take care of the graphics, so that you can focus on the youth ministry.”

And that’s huge because youth ministry is difficult and we can’t spend time messing with graphics.  Instead you need to be focusing on relationships and systems to grow disciples.  What I love about is how it: Read More

4 Things Every Student Leader Needs To Know


Today we are at the Student Leadership Conference with Doug Fields.  It’s something we’ve done with our students a few times and it’s a great way of growing disciples and leaders in the local church.

As a youth minister you need to not only pour into teens but equip them for the long term.  That means investing in them through a variety of resources and opportunities.  It’s also helping them understand: Read More

4 Steps To Set Up Your Ministers For Success


It started out as frustration and quickly turned into resentment.  My expectations as a leader were not being met.  People weren’t performing the tasks or doing them subpar.  After sharing this disappointment with a youth minister friend he was quick to point out that I was a part of the problem.

I had expectations, but I wasn’t doing anything to set my team up for success.  Instead I assumed that they would just pick up their roles and responsibilities naturally.  I learned to set them up for success you need to: Read More

How To Challenge Yourself As A Leader

By | LEADERSHIP, Uncategorized

It’s easy to get comfortable and that’s a good thing, right?  It feels good for a while but it doesn’t last forever.  The problem with hitting cruise control in youth ministry is you start to lose influence, which means losing purpose.

As a leader you need to look at ways of challenging yourself.  That means growing as a leader, learning and making sure your ministry continues to grow.  To keep things slightly uncomfortable; yet, highly effective you need to: Read More

Introducing Marathon Youth Ministry One-On-One Coaching


There are times when I’m filled with anxiety, questions and concerns.  What’s helped has been the ability to call someone on the phone, and meet with an experienced youth worker.  Now that I’ve been in the field for over a decade it’s a gift that is just as important to give as it is to receive.

I’m excited to officially announce the development of a brand new service called Marathon Youth Ministry Coaching.  MYM Coaching is one-on-one coaching for men and women who have been in the trenches of youth ministry for 5 years or less.  During our time together we would focus on:

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