Congratulations to Jeremy on winning the contest to score a free registration to the Simply Youth Ministry Conference 2012. Join us – it is going to be great – details here on the official conference website. Can’t wait!


If you started to wonder this week … yes, God is still at your youth group.

God’s Spirit isn’t done quite yet in your church and in your life — even if it feels like it sometimes. I’m just about to cross 2,000 youth services I’ve played some part in — and I’m so grateful to know that God is working even when……

  • ProPresenter crashes in the middle of your message and at the worst possible moment
  • Your worship lyrics are riddled with misspeellings (<– I left that one in for you)
  • That funny game left a permanent stain in the old sanctuary carpet
  • You thought for sure the movie clip didn’t have THAT word in it
  • You were outnumbered at an event when your volunteers flaked out
  • There is a distinct odor in the church van that may never come out
  • Your small group was so out of control you feel the need to offer to repaint the host home’s family room
  • The tears from that student after your message … were because her boyfriend just broke up with her
  • The sermon you thought would be a homerun was a bunt at best

If it all goes wrong, if your talk tanks, if you feel that your youth ministry isn’t working … rest assured: It isn’t working. But God is.

God loves to show up when we’re down. He seems to specialize in being very present when He seems so absent. He’s there … He’s changing your students one botched program at a time. When your mission trip has an epic fail or your small group has a night (or several nights) of endless blunders … know that God is up to something big and your best attempts to stop him won’t work. He is working in spite of you, to see your students transformed.


New Year Announcements from Saddleback Church on Vimeo.

Fun little twist on announcements this past weekend in our adult services. We planned a family service for the whole family and let people know it was going to be fun right out of the gate!


Posted By Kurt Johnston

Last night I shared a short message with our junior high and high school volunteers. Here is a brief look at those thoughts:

The big picture idea was that God often allows unexpected things to show up in our ministry path…and these things usually provide a couple of opportunities.

1. The story of the good Samaritan reminds us that people will show up in on our path and provide unexpected opportunities for MINISTRY.

2. The story of the Israelites and the Red Sea reminds us that obstacles will show up in our path and provide unexpected opportunities for the MIRACULOUS.


As you journey along your ministry path this year, my hope and prayer for you is the same as it is for the men and women on my team: That when God puts an unexpected opportunity to minister or an unexpected obstacle in your path…you would be willing to take action and see what God does through you!

Kurt Johnston’s New Year’s Eve message from Saddleback Church on Vimeo.

Here’s part 2 of the video message from our New Year’s weekend adult services at Saddleback. Kurt Johnston, our Student Ministries pastor.


Follow Up?

 —  January 5, 2012 — 2 Comments

I would love your help!
I am working on our team’s follow up plan.
What do you do with first time attenders? What’s your plan during the program and after the program?
Whose providing the follow up- students or leaders?

Thanks for any tips! You’re the best!

Messin With Santa #1 from Wildside Junior High on Vimeo.

Messin With Santa #2 from Wildside Junior High on Vimeo.

Messin With Santa #3 from Wildside Junior High on Vimeo.

A series of fun videos that our team helped create for our Wildside (junior high) ministry. A tribute to Messin’ with Sasquatch commercials. Fun.


I really want to know; I’m working on some national conference stuff. As smaller church youth ministry is becoming more of a visible sub-ministry area, I want to stay on top of what challenges other youth workers face getting to youth workers training conferences. So…answer away! PLEASE!