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TOP 3: Epic Fails in Youth Ministry

 —  October 2, 2012 — 3 Comments

This month we’re introducing a new series here on the Simply Youth Ministry Today newsletter. It is called Top 3 and we’re kicking off this week with our Top 3 epic youth ministry fails. Thought you would like that one!

1) Every so often we play a video clip as part of the message and in one particularly tragic service we played the video clip a team member had made for me (Josh). Like an idiot I hadn’t previewed the clip from Tommy Boy and the very last sentence of the excerpt involved a joke about the size of the guys…sailboat. Needless to say, it would go on to be one of my most epic fails of all time. I ended the message with, “It sure has been great being your pastor.” Hahahah!

2) I (Kurt) was a 22-year-old rookie junior high pastor on my way to a youth group New Year’s Eve party with a carload of kids. I happened to have surf racks on my car and one of the 8th grade boys happened to be highly adventurous…which turned out to be a bad combination. I pulled over, strapped the student into my surf racks, and proceeded to drive 5 miles through town to the party. Luckily it was before the days of cell phones, Instagram, and every move being instantaneously captured. Other than a fairly harsh tongue lashing from the high school pastor (why do they always think they’re so much more spiritual?), there was no damage done.

3) To make a long story short: I (Kurt) was on staff at Saddleback for one month when I accidentally left a student in the stadium after an Arena Football League game. I counted…just not accurately.

This post was written by Josh Griffin and Kurt Johnston and originally appeared as part of Simply Youth Ministry Today free newsletter. Subscribe to SYM Today right here.

Josh Griffin


3 responses to TOP 3: Epic Fails in Youth Ministry

  1. Great idea for a series…and yet, sad that there is enough material to make it a series. :)

  2. Next summer, when the youth ministry travel season starts up again, I’m planning a post for my blog about “The Night of the Infamous Walmart Run”. I’d give you a teaser, but I feel like it would ruin the fun.

  3. My biggest fail was when one Wednesday night as an illustration of how sin infects all parts of our life I decided to mix things together to show how they permeat each other. Not thinking, I grabbed different chemicals of various colors. When I added the then chemical (bleach) it instantly began boiling over in my hand all over the stage and filled te room with chlorine gas. I couldn’t see and the kids couldn’t breath, so we were done for the night!

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