Hey everyone from NYWC 2011!

Thanks for making our youth ministry workshop so fun this weekend — I enjoyed meeting many of you and here are the links from Every 7 Minutes: Keeping Students Engaged During Your Talk workshops I promised you today:


This weekend we’re kicking off a brand new series in our high school ministry called Facebook Official. It is a 5-week series on friendships, relationships, love and sex. Here’s the series arc for the next month in HSM:

Week 1: You Have a Friend Request [me]
I’m kicking off the series talking about friendships and how the depth of Christian community and faith changes how we interact with our friends and neighbors and affects who we friend and those relationships. This weekend will include a strong Gospel presentation and the ultimate friend, Jesus.

Week 2: They Kind of Guy I Want My Daughter to Marry/The Kind of Girl I Want My Son to Marry [Doug Fields]
Doug Fields is on for week 2 to share about boyfriend/girlfriend relationships. He’ll go over character qualities that he looks for in the kind of person he wants and prays his kids will marry.

Week 3: How to Live Happily Ever After [me]
I’m jumping in for week 3 to talk through true love and how to have a love that will go the distance. How do you know if you’re in love? How will I know if she’s the one? Is there more than one “Mr. Right” for me? Love and marriage is hard work, and this week we’ll look at what it takes to make love last.

Week 4: The Sex Talk [Doug Fields]
Purity, lust, and sex. It will be promoted heavily and be one of the biggest weekends of the year. SO excited!

Week 5: Pulling it All Together [me]
Pull all of these messages together in one final challenge and call to action for students to live a life in close relationship with Jesus that will change their relationships with everyone else. A close relationship with Jesus changes our friendships, changes our dating life, changes our marriage and changes our sexual desires. The message will probably include some sort of takeaway that pulls all of these messages into something memorable to remind students of their commitment.


The New HSM Blog

Josh Griffin —  October 5, 2011 — 2 Comments

We’re in the middle of relaunching our High School Ministry’s blog (HSMBlog.com) this week. It is still a work in progress, but thought you might like to see where we’re headed. So excited about this!


A youth worker I spoke to recently at a conference asked a great question – who are the people cheering me on? Who is loving on me as a youth pastor, appreciating me and filling me with encouragement? Youth ministry can be a lonely place – vote in today’s poll about who surrounds you.


I’m on my way to work with a few church ym’s in Indiana. Word on the street there says they’re deep into Autumn. I’m excited about fall foliage, pumpkins, patches and corn mazes, scarecrows, etc., ’cause we don’t get that in Houston.
So in 3D in a half-dream state, small church YM and the calendar season are merging into one inside my sleepy head. Here’s what I’ve come up with:

1) Like the falling leaves, some YM programs have to die before new ones can sprout up. Its about trusting that growth will happen, even when we don’t see it yet.

2) When pumpkins rot, it usually starts w/ one tiny spot left unchecked. The spot grows and grows till the rotteness takes over and the whole thing explodes at your feet. Lesson? Cut out any tiny rotten places in your YM before it gets bigger.

3) Scarecrows are meant to frighten animals away from the vines in a garden. Good for a patch; not good for a youth group. Scary, grumpy people can frighten students and their parents away from getting connected to The Vine.

4) Both October and youth group events usually mean there’s candy involved.

Your turn! Why don’t you add some more similarities? Now build some lessons around these and there ya go!


Posted By Kurt Johnston

Since it is still toward the beginning of the school year, and the small group season is still fairly young, I want to give away some small group video curriculum!

Here’s how to win: leave any comment, and at the end of the day Wednesday we will randomly pick a winner. The prize is your choice of any TWO of our 5-week video curriculum.

Game on!

The start of the new school year has meant that the process of reintroducing myself to our local high school’s Administrators has begun as I re-explain my motives and purpose for visiting the high schools. It is a lot of work, but the fruit that comes of it is immeasurable. Here are 3 reasons why we do it.

Encouragement & Support: Showing up at a high school, walking down the hallway and remembering a students name is a powerful thing to them. You are telling them that they matter. They might be having a bad day, but you arriving on their turf, just to visit, can provide a huge boost. Pulling them aside and praying for them or just being interested in what is happening says a lot to a student that feels invisible in a school of 2000+ people (this is assuming that every youth goes to a school of 2000+). Talk about being like Christ, showing up where people are at, in their school. It’s really enjoyable to see students in “their natural environment”

Connection: Showing up in the school gives me face time with students I would likely never have the opportunity to spend time with, and for a student that has not shown up at our program for a few weeks, it might be an opportunity to reconnect, check in, and find out what is going on. Perhaps there is something they need prayer about. Just this week, I went to a local school to meet up with a student that was struggling to transition into High School I met up with her and happened to bump into another student (God moment) who just moved here and was in the same boat. We hung out, ate lunch, they swapped numbers, and the rest, well, we’ll see…..

Conversation Catalyst: We do not hand anything out while visiting school, nor do we invite anyone to our youth group because that is not my role. My absolute favorite bi-product of visiting the high schools is that I will often meet groups of two or three of our students and inevitably one or two of their friends who are not connected to the Church. We shoot the breeze, talk about their weeks, how school is going etc., give them a high five, and that’s it. But what happens after is incredible, because afterwards I often here, these words.

“Who was that?”

“Oh, that’s my Youth Pastor, Geoff”

“Youth Pastor? You go to church?”

“Yeah, I do……..

I don’t always know where those conversations go, if they end quickly or carry on, but I do know that many friends of students that I met have started attending our youth group, gotten connected, and given their lives to Christ.

Visiting the high schools can be time consuming, and for some really intimidating, but what an encouragement we can be to students, and from what I have seen even help important conversations about God happen, just by being there. Make time for it. It’s incredibly important to be in the schools if they are willing to let us in.

Geoff Stewart is the Pastor of Jr & Sr High School for Journey Student Ministries at Peace Portal Alliance Church and regularly contributes GUEST POSTS to MTDB. Be sure to check out his Twitter stream for awesome ministry goodness. Want to get in on the fun and write up a guest post yourself? See how right here.


Neely McQueen —  October 4, 2011 — Leave a comment

Oh Stereotypes! What do you do with them? I cringe at times by their overuse and I use them freely in my speaking/writing. Talk about confusing!



Maybe what really bothers me is the “spin” given to the stereotypes. Maybe they don’t bother me when they are used in a way that is helpful versus hurtful.


What do you think of stereotypes? Specifically related to gender…what’s your thoughts?