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Simple little trick I learned from a great boss years ago: have a file on your desktop called “Talk to Boss” that gives you quick access to what you need to talk to your senior pastor/supervisor about that week. Time with your leader is rare (the larger the church, the less the time for sure) and you need to make the most of it. If they send you an agenda item, drop it in there, too!

JG

Loved this video made by our students to help promote the You Own the Weekend series when Mission Viejo took over. So good!

JG



Youth Leaders, inspire your students to be part of something amazing…

This spring, your students can serve people in need at the Big Day of Serving….a nationwide tour of “day of service” events created just for students. Christian teens in local communities unite to serve and transform neighborhoods in need. You’re receiving this email because there’s an event in a town near you.

Bring your students and watch them discover the joy of serving in their own community. They’ll paint, tackle minor home repairs, clean city blocks and parks, landscape, and more. Expect a high-energy, Jesus-centered event where your students discover their actions truly can make a difference in the world.

BDOS 4c Logo

Sign up today for an event near you!

Check out all the Big Day of Serving Locations here.

I was talking to a youth worker not too long ago who was considering moving back to the church he grew up in as the youth pastor and asked what I thought about someone returning to his home church. My first reaction was excitement – what an incredible honor it would be to return home after getting an education and experience to minister where you grew up. I can imagine how thrilling that would be! But with that excitement comes a caution: I promise you it isn’t going to be easy.

When Jesus had finished telling these stories and illustrations, he left that part of the country. He returned to Nazareth, his hometown. When he taught there in the synagogue, everyone was amazed and said, “Where does he get this wisdom and the power to do miracles?” Then they scoffed, “He’s just the carpenter’s son, and we know Mary, his mother, and his brothers—James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas. All his sisters live right here among us. Where did he learn all these things?”And they were deeply offended and refused to believe in him. Then Jesus told them, “A prophet is honored everywhere except in his own hometown and among his own family.” And so he did only a few miracles there because of their unbelief. Matthew 13: 53-58 (NLT)

So please know that when He went back to his home Temple it was beyond challenging. When he walked the streets of his childhood, they still looked at Him as anything but special – in fact, the exact opposite. They thought they knew him today because they knew Him the past.

Many people at your home church may think the same thing.

Here’s the good news: it can be done! It isn’t easy, but often times a returning to a home church can be an incredible experience. A few thoughts here, would love yours in the comments as well:

Returning to your home church is easier in direct proportion to the size of the church. Simply put, the larger the church, the easier it will be to come back. Larger churches have the propensity to absorb memories faster and chances are the congregation didn’t know you as well in the first place. Inversely, smaller churches typically remember the young you, which could make them more resistant to recognizing your maturity.

You have changed! In fact, everyone and everything has changed! You think you know the church culture and history but a lot has changed since you were there in elementary school. Don’t walk in with a false sense of history and be a learner. Take your time and reevaluate what you think you know.

Usually you remember the good and not the bad. Our childhood church memories tend to be a little more rose-colored than you would have seen if you were an adult. Ask some trusted friends about the current climate of the church. Take your time in the interview process. Don’t make assumptions.

You do have an incredible head start. While I want you to reread the caution about thinking you know too much – you know the streets, some of the key families, the needs and the neighborhoods. While there is certainly some things to be unlearned and reevaluated, coming home can probably give you a head start of a full year or more over someone from the outside.

Just a quick update – the youth worker sent me a reply earlier this week with an update: Thanks for the encouraging words. I am now the full-time director of student ministries at my home church and everything has been great so far. They really have given a lot of support and encouragement to lead as I feel led. Just trying to ease my way in with the students and work on some small things that can be modified or changed to produce big impact with parents and students. Thanks again for you words! Be blessed!

JG



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Ever wondered what your volunteers really think about you, your leadership, and your ministry?

Get an insider’s perspective from Rick Williams, who has seen it all as a volunteer in youth ministry: futile meetings, weak leadership, disorganized events, lax standards, and even the occasional guilt trip. Yet despite all these challenges, he has remained a volunteer for more than 30 years!

—Order A Youth Ministry Volunteer Speaks His Mind Here—

Your volunteers have feedback and suggestions that can help you lead more effectively. Most of them want to serve in meaningful ways. They want to take ownership. They want you and the youth ministry to succeed. But are you listening and truly hearing what they’re saying?

A Youth Ministry Volunteer Speaks His Mind will help you navigate the waters of engaging volunteers in life-changing ministry to teenagers. Rick’s perspective may not align perfectly with the people who serve alongside you, but you’ll discover truckloads of wisdom and experience from his insights. Leading a team of volunteers isn’t the easiest thing in the world, but they’re worth the effort!

About the Author:

Rick Williams has been a youth volunteer since 1981 in both junior high and high school ministries. A native of Southern California, he has spent the majority of his professional life in corporate sales and currently is a Realtor in the North Orange County Area. Rick and his wife, Melissa, are the parents of three children and live in La Habra, California.

You’ll really like this book! It’s AWESOME- Stephanie

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The word “urban” seems simple to define but “urban teenager” is anything but simple to understand and explain. Even if you’re a youth worker in rural Kentucky or suburban California, you have urban students in your midst. The days of identifying and labeling our teenagers based on where they live, what they wear, or the color of their skin are gone. Today, everybody’s urban.

—-Own YOUR copy of Everybody’s Urban NOW!—-

More and more teenagers are stuck in survival mode, unable to see beyond today. Their dreams have been stolen, and they’ve given up on ever recapturing them.

But veteran youth pastors Jeffrey Wallace and Leneita Fix know there’s hope.

Everybody’s Urban is infused with their hard-won insights into the urban youth experience, along with dozens of real-world strategies for ministering to today’s teenagers.

About the Authors:

 NEWleneita_fix_bw Leneita Fix recently celebrated her 20th year in ministry. Her passion is multiplying ALL youth workers (full time, paid, unpaid, volunteer, or bivocational) by aiding them to become better trained and equipped. She is honored to be a part of a family that ministers together, with her husband, John, a niece, and three beautiful children.

jeffrey_wallace_bw Jeffrey Wallace is the president and CEO of Front Line Urban Resources, Inc, which focuses on training and mentoring urban youth pastors and leaders, and providing life-changing youth ministry resources. He’s also founder of Simply Urban Ministry. Jeffrey serves as pastor of youth development at Peace Baptist Church in Decatur, Georgia.



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THINK YOU KNOW EVERYTHING ABOUT YOUR FRIENDS? THINK YOUR FRIENDS KNOW EVERYTHING ABOUT YOU? THINK AGAIN!

This Book Gets Around is a fun way to learn something new about your friends or family members, neighbors, co-workers, teammates, whoever! (You might even uncover one or two surprising things about yourself, too.)

Pass the book around, let people answer imaginative questions and do some creative activities, and then see what’s written on the pages.

— Buy This Book Get’s Around Now!—

Give the book to specific people or let it follow a random path back to you whatever way you use it is fine. Get the fun started today, and discover something cool, unusual, surprising, or amazing about the people you already know!

Order This Book Get’s Around for YOUR Youth Group Today!

About the Author:

kurt_johnson_NEW_bw KURT JOHNSTON has been in youth ministry since 1988 and currently leads the student ministry team at Saddleback Church in Orange County, California. His ministry of choice is the junior high department, where he tries to spend approximately 87.4% of his time. Kurt and his wife, Rachel, have been married for a long time and have two children: Kayla, a college student, and Cole, who’s in high school.

Enjoy!

Stephanie

toby_roweActive in youth ministry for more than 20 years now, Toby has helped lead more mission trips and weekend retreats than he can remember.  Toby has served as a youth pastor and worship leader at three churches, and currently is the Mission Program Manager at Group Mission Trips. You can also find him speaking and teaching at ministry events, and continuing his long streak as a self-titled whack-a-mole champion. Toby, and his wife, Pam, live in Loveland, Colorado, and have four children.

What is the Week of Hope and where did the idea come from? Week of Hope is a week-long community service based summer mission trip that happens in 18 cities across the country. Each location runs for seven consecutive weeks, so in total, there are 126 weeks of youth groups coming together to serve people in need all across America, and at the same time experience a powerful time with Jesus through the worship program and devotions times. And it’s an all-inclusive trip. We take care of all the details, projects, food, lodging, and programming. You just get to show up and have a great week with your students.

What excites you most about each Week of Hope?
I love each Week of Hope because it lets students and adults see people. By that I mean – really see them, and love them, like Jesus did. And in the process, we get to learn a lot about how Jesus sees us as well.

Tell us a funny story about one serve project you were on? The best youth ministry stories come  from things like mission trips. I remember getting a flat tire all fixed on our 15 passenger, and had kept a dozen students from getting squashed on the median strip. We weren’t back on the road 100 feet when the kid that we told to stop eating oranges and hot chocolate all week barfed it all up into every cup holder around him. That was a sight … And smell … To behold. Or the time during a serious part of an evening program … right at the point when the hope of Jesus was being shared, when a jr high kid just stood up, and raised his hand. The program leader couldn’t ignore him, so everything paused and the kid asked (with all seriousness) ” can I please go to the bathroom?” Yes … Yes you can :)

Where do people go to get more information if they are interested – and any chance you will give a couple free registrations away? All the info about Week of Hope – details, available weeks, pricing, and more – is at GroupMissionTrips.com. Just click on Week of Hope. We hope you’ll consider letting us help you have a great mission adventure this summer. Or you can email me with any questions at trowe@group.com

What about the free registrations? Sure. The first 5 new groups that email Brent at bbromostrup@group.com and say that you like Josh Griffin can bring a try-it-out group of four for free. Yep. Totally free. That’s two adults and two of your student leaders to experience it and see if its a good fit for your youth ministry. And if you don’t make the first five emails, we’ll still let you -the youth leader – come for free if you aren’t already registered. Just cause you like Josh.

Check out Group Mission Trips today!

JG