If you are hosting or thinking of hosting a summer study with you students check out “Rise Up.” With Rise up, you will get 4 junior high messages and 4 senior high messages for one price! Check the site here and watch the videos to learn more about this new resource from Simply Youth Ministry!



Don’t know about you but in this economy it seems like more and more people are asking for scholarships and discounts to events like camp. We’re trying out an idea this year (with our friends at Mission Shirts) to sell some summer camp-themed shirts to help raise funds for scholarships. It doesn’t hurt that they are fun and also help us with marketing. Just an idea I thought might inspire you, too!


(FROM STEPHANIE: Simply Youth Ministry passed all this good news on to me so I’m passing it on to you.)

Last Chance For Early Bird Registration at  KidMin!!

Date: October 11-14, 2013

Location: Columbus, OH

Who’s Gonna Be There: The Skit Guys, Dave Stone, Leeland

Savings: Up to $60 Per Person!!

Link: http://bit.ly/12k7ySJ


Rise Up: Living For The Kingdom By Christ In Youth

A New Small Group Curriculum! Includes 4 Lessons for Jr. High and 4 Lessons for Sr. High.

Check out a sample here: http://bit.ly/129nMZA


Simple Truth Bundle

That’s the LIVE Simple Truth Curriculum PLUS 5 Simple Truth Bibles!

Link: http://bit.ly/10fBARn


 As the school year is winding to a close, I am getting really excited about this summer in our youth ministry. I love summer time, its the change of gears, its the relational time, its students dropping by the office to hang out, it’s magical and for our youth group, its high time for events. We have lots going on because after all,there are students around and many have little to do, so lets harness that energy. Between 6  major events, including day trips to the water slides, trampoline park, a golf tournament and others there is a lot of high energy stuff,  but there is one weekly event that has taken on a life of its own.

In the city I work in there  are three major high schools and right near all of them in an area commonly know as “uptown” sits a McDonalds location that is always filled with students. Seeing that they are there anyway, we decided three summers ago to launch “Uptown Wednesdays”. From 1-3pm every Wednesday of the summer we meet at McDonalds and if you come we will buy you and ANYONE you bring a soda. Here is what is awesome about that:

Drinks are $1 ($1.05  including tax) – So if 40 students show up, we are spending $42 to have a two hour relational time with them and have them connecting with other Christians and students from other schools. Students love free stuff and a youth event that cost’s $1.05 per students is money well spent.

Outreach: This events is one that so many students bring their friends to in fact last summer multiple students I met in the summer that were guests of our students came to youth and got plugged in because they knew myself and some of our leaders. Building trust and relationships with new students before September is helpful for them to act on the invitation to the group in the fall. This safe off-site space is their territory and thus much more conducive for students to invite their friends to.

Shepherding- Its so great to check in with our students and have some real one on one conversations, ask about their life, how we can pray for them and encourage them. Our regular gather might be off for the summer, but pastoring our students happens every week and happens at McD’s. Real life doesn’t take the summer off and in the midst of a lot of free time and parents busy working, students often open up about things that they have finally had time to think about and process and thankfully we are there to walk with them.

I fall in love with Youth Ministry again – In the midst of a really busy year and working with adult volunteers and attending staff meetings, I often find myself longing to connect with students and with the size of our group that isn’t always possible. Small relational events remind me of what God has called me to do. It’s those conversations that help me see the world through their eyes, and understand for a moment what its like to be in high school in 2013 and hopefully be a better pastor to them.

-Geoff @geoffcstewart

One of the most difficult questions to answer as a youth minister is:

What would your community look like if your ministry did not exist?

The devil whispering in my ear wants to say, “It would look the same as it does now.”  That’s doubt, and the evil one making sure I believe that my ministry is not having any effect at all.  The way I combat the insecurities that come from negative thoughts is by focusing on the youth ministry’s vision.

With vision your ministry has purpose; however, it’s not as simple as just writing one out.  Your vision has to answer the question, “Why does your youth ministry exist?”  and then you have to answer that question with your strategies and mission.  But, the way your vision is really going to take life, is if you make it a priority by:

  • Knowing It Well: In order to achieve big vision you need to believe in it.  That means memorizing and repeating it.  There’s not point to just having a statement, it needs to be the very essence of why you exist.
  • Making It Visible: Big vision is accomplished when it becomes contagious.  Share it in messages, emails, meetings and announcements.  Make it visible for parents, teens, church members and most importantly your volunteers.  People will invest in a ministry with vision because they see it has a purpose.
  • Celebrating It Widely: When you see moments of your vision accomplished celebrate them like a mini win.  Not only will this bring team unity, but enthusiasm around the process.  The more you celebrate your progress the more momentum you bring to the movement.
  • Using It As A Measurement Tool: Utilize the vision as a way to determine whether or not you are succeeding.  This means examining what you do and asking yourself, “How does this fulfill the vision?” If it doesn’t tweak the component or get rid of it completely.  Use your vision as a way of measuring success.


Big vision means big risks, big challenges and big results.  If you can rally your troops around the vision of the ministry nothing will stop you.  To obtain the best vision spend time with God, ask Him for guidance and then unleash it.  There is no better joy than seeing God’s vision come to life.

How do you make your vision big?

Chris Wesley (@chrisrwesley)


Weekend Teaching Series: Crazytown (series finale, week 3 of 3)
Sermon in a Sentence: Ask anything to our relationship panel
Service Length: 75 minutes

Understandable Message: This week we deviated from our normal weekend and hosted a relationship panel with married couples and single people to help talk about guys, girls, relationships and sex. We had a great time at each service answering the students’ challenging question. The number one question was “how far is too far” and there were lots of asks about boundaries, virginity and secrets to make relationships work. It was super insightful, everyone was great and gave solid answers to many tough questions.

Element of Fun/Positive Environment: We had several fun videos for the weekend including a summer camp promo video, a hilarious slam poetry of a Taylor Swift song (Never Getting Back Together), and a new relationship and dating advice video from new characters Papa Cool and Mama Love. So so fun and a strong program!

 Music Playlist: What Would I Have Done, The Earth is Yours

Favorite Moment: I loved it all! So thankful for the incredible panelists who were honest about their failures, struggles and stories dealing with love, marriage and sex. What a great series to round out the school year. Loved it!

Up next: Worship Together Weekend: June (1-off)

Fun video to wrap up our Crazytown series in HSM this past week – these two characters, Papa Cool and Mama Love have been introduced in some print pieces and handouts before, but never seen on video. Fun, obviously tongue-in-cheek video!


From time to time I hear youth workers lament that they need to take care of certain things that they don’t care about al all – but things their supervisor values.

They begrudgingly do this punch list of stuff only because they have to. Filling out that report, keeping the database up to date, attendance stuff, pastoral care logs – all of the mundane stuff of ministry that can wear a person down and make them wish for the days when they actually did minister to students.

Let me let you in on a little tip: if you don’t value what your boss values, you’re not going to last long at your church. Sure, you may get lucky and the boss ends up leaving in the next year instead of you, but chances are you’ll be the one looking up open youth ministry position’s in your spouse’s hometown.

So value what your boss values! If he or she asks you for the most mundane reports in the world … spend some serious time on them and make them great. Do what is required, and add in some additional detail they might find interest in, too. Not sure what they value? Take them out to lunch and find out! There’s a chance you’re wasting a lot of time on things that don’t matter to them at all or ignoring important tasks they are dying for you to pick up!

I’ll be back with more boss tips throughout the week – from successes and failures in my own ministry career. Some from as recently as last week! Argh.

Your turn: share one helpful boss tip in the comments now, too!