Here’s a clip from Taffy’s talk this past weekend – this part focuses on the cost of discipleship and being sold out to Christ.


Posted By Kurt Johnston

Jason Pogue, who creates our junior high ministry’s weekend program, stumbled upon what I think is one of the funnier “bits” we have done in a long time. A trademark in our ministry is to utilize several “characters” in videos, on stage, etc. throughout the school year. Typically, we will have two or three characters per year (some of the stronger ones last much longer…) that rotate into various aspects of our program throughout the year.

Below, you will see a new bit called “What’s Up? Wildside.” that we are using to introduce our students to our new staff members, summer interns etc. Cheesy….classic JH ministry material!

I think I may be overreacting and I need you to help me out!

Yesterday, when I was driving home from picking up my kids, I noticed a sign for an apartment complex…it caught my attention because it said…”SEXY Kitchens.” And I cringed. I dislike the word sexy. I dislike it when we overuse it. I know several people in ministry who use it all the time to describe programs…and when it happens, I totally cringe. But I think the issue is with me…I think I may be overreacting.

I think it bothers me because it makes the word sexy…casual. If a kitchen can be sexy what’s wrong with a 7th grader being sexy. If a youth ministry program can be sexy…

I don’t know…I am sure I am totally overreacting. What do you think? Please put me in my place!!

A couple weeks ago we hosted a parent panel as part of HSM’s How to Raise Your Parents series. We had students text in their questions and they are a goldmine. Here is a selection of the questions that students texted in over that weekend. Some pretty insightful stuff in here, I think. If you’re wondering what your teenagers are asking, here you go:

  • why do parents pick favorites with their kids?
  • how do you tell your parents your tired of them fighting?
  • how do I tell my parents how to let go?????? Seriously
  • what do you do when your parents dont give you a reason for not being able to do something besides saying” because i said so”
  • views on sexting?
  • how do you help a parent who refuses to live by christ and accept him?
  • If parents were hurt by the way their parents raised them, why would they raise their own kids like that?
  • my mom is very hypocritical to me and how i treat her. how do i handle that?
  • if you were born a guy but then changed yourself to a girl, then became a christian, would you change yourself back?
  • When parents r extreamly stressed out and it feels like they take it out on you wat do u do?
  • is it ok to not like your parents
  • how can i say back off without actually saying back off
  • my parents are in a bad financial situation and are always stressed and its taking away from the time that we can be bonding with our family what do I do
  • my dad is extremely lenient with me and sometimes I feel like he doesn’t pay attention to me or doesn’t want to…how do I get him to see me?
  • “Why do parents always punish their children for negative actions but seldom even notice the positive or beneficial actions?”
  • If your son/daughter came out as gay how would you react?
  • how do I still be a kid in a household where I’m fulfilling a parent’s role?
  • if i messed up sexualy or with drugs or drinking should i tell my parents even if they will never find out
  • why do parents get mad when we don’t listen but when you don’t listen to us it’s ok?
  • im super close to my dad but i dont really get along with my mom. Is it ok to talk to my dad about how to deal with the relationship with my mom?
  • do you think its okay for parents to read your texts?
  • How can we as son/daughters make the sex talk less ackward when mom and dad aren’t great at it?
  • why do we always have to keep our rooms clean?
  • should my parents be friends with me on facebook
  • what would you do if your child said they did not believe in god?
  • Do you have sex?
  • my parents won’t let me go to parties after dances. I want to go and i’m strong in my faith what should i do to show them i’m ready
  • How do you tell parents who are closer to parole officers than parents to let you have more freedom?
  • my parent smokes marijuana he doesnt know i know but they incourage me not can i confront them?
  • if my dad is a football worshipper and lives for football but i want to quit, how do i tell him?
  • how do parents feel about us having friends that do drugs/drink if i dont do it.
  • I like a guy he’s a mormon…he has not tried to convert me…is it ok if I start dating him?
  • I’m so close to graduating, but still have so many rules like I’m a kid. Why not let me grow up a bit?
  • I did something really bad, how do i start regaining the trust of my parents back… can u give me some action steps?


Today’s BIG news isn’t that a congressman tweeted pictures of his underwear or that Bentley was a jerk on The Bachelorette or even that Doug Fields has left Simply Youth Ministry behind and moved over to YS.

Today’s BIG news is that there’s a girl in my home town of Katy, TX, who is in a BAD way and headed down the wrong road. The BIG news is that a teenager in the LA area gave in and joined “the club”…and it ain’t the country club. The BIG news is that regular Joe’s and Jill’s leave work tired everyday, but still head to their church so they can hang out with teenagers. The BIG news is that youth workers EVERYWHERE are all too often dying “on the vine” desperate to connect again to “The Vine.”?

Now that’s BIG news. Let’s get over ourselves, our youth ministry careers, the latest youth ministry gossip? and get back to work, friends.? There are some kids who just might not make it otherwise.

Curious how much you use skits in your youth ministry. Vote in today’s youth ministry poll!


“Slipping through the cracks” is a cliché term used for many things, but unfortunately it’s all too familiar in our churches. Mostly it’s come to define what happens to many kids as they transition out of high school youth ministry.

Ministries intentionally reaching college-age people cannot solve the entire issue, but the lack of them certainly contributes to the drop-off during this transition. Most churches have yet to embrace a ministry specifically to this life stage, leaving them without guidance and often feeling unwanted and detached. They don’t fit in our traditional ideas of student ministry anymore, and they certainly don’t feel like adults.

Means vs. End
The evaluation of whether or not a high school ministry is successful must include how it helps students transition into adulthood. Without embracing this idea, we hinder the growth and maturity of our young people.

Once our kids graduate from high school ministries, many disconnect. Yet our actions scream, “We don’t care about you anymore! You don’t belong in our church! You’re not important enough for us to address your life stage issues!” Of course we would never say that and our heart certainly doesn’t feel that way, but our actions seem to be speaking louder than either.

Is the point of our high school ministry to get students to come, or is it a small part of the life long discipleship process of individuals? Is our high school ministry the end, or is it a means to a greater end? For both questions I hope…[read more]

On Saturday I went to U2- it was awesome and…amazing (I am lacking words to explain how cool the whole experience was…)! We were down on the floor – pretty close to the action.

While standing there I couldn’t help but think about girl’s ministry…(first, 2 of my small group girls were at the concert and they texted and called me plus I am kind of weird about girl’s ministry…I think about it a lot…call me a freak…if you want).

Anyway, about U2 and girl’s ministry…here’s what caught my attention:

1. People want to be where the action is…when we first got to the concert we easily found our place up front by the stage but as time got closer and the excitement of U2 coming out grew, people began to push and fight to get closer to the stage. We want to be where the action is…we want the best seats. As for girl’s ministry…if you have something (anything) happening just for girls…if there is action, there will be girls. If you build a program for them…they will come. Create a specific ministry to girls and watch it grow.

2. Girls care about caring. Part of what U2 does is raise awareness about issues…ONE, Red Campaign, Amnesty International. This year they focused some time on Amnesty International and they had some of of Amnesty’s volunteers/staff walk out during a song holding lights. I couldn’t help but notice that a majority of those volunteers were girls/woman. Girls want to care about something…and if we don’t point them to something bigger, something important than they will care about silly little things that don’t matter and create drama. Let’s point them to something bigger…kingdom living…because they want to care!!

I am sure there was more to learn…it was U2! Have you ever learned a lesson about ministry when you weren’t anywhere near a church? Tell me about it!