I remember the days when I was a die hard for never canceling Sunday night youth group. Then a trend towards family sensitivity birthed in ministry and it became cool to cancel for MD and FD. (Even tho FD was an easy one to skip since that’s a key summer youth trip travel time anyway).

So don’t meet Sunday night. However, here are some quick last minute ideas for helping your youth celebrate their moms:

1) Have your kids make quick yard signs for the moms, throw the kids in the church van and ding-dong-ditch each mom. Do it on Saturday.

2) Have each student bring in a dozen cupcakes and serve on a pretty table for the coffee fellowship time at church Sun. am.
3) Have youth group cookie baking day on saturday, bag asst cookies in pretty bags, tie w a ribbon and have ur students hand them out to all the women at church Sunday.

But don’t meet Sunday night!!


Doug Fields, Josh Griffin, Katie Edwards and Matt McGill return for episode 160. The gang quickly jump into your questions about: Doug’s blog, a volunteer dating students, teaching help, picking volunteers for events, student leadership conference, depression and suicide, and feeling bad about leaving a ministry.


Doug Fields, Josh Griffin, Katie Edwards and Matt McGill return for episode 160. The gang quickly jump into your questions about: Doug’s blog, a volunteer dating students, teaching help, picking volunteers for events, student leadership conference, depression and suicide, and feeling bad about leaving a ministry.

New In-Betweeners

 —  May 4, 2011 — 1 Comment

Over the last 10-15 years there has been a lot of discussion around the teens and tweens (those in between elementary and jr high stages). The discussion has been a good one and one of which I addressed 8 years or so ago in an article for YouthWorker Journal called, Missing Both Ends. However, this last week at The Orange Conference I did a seminar that I called, “The New In-Betweeners” where I talked about college age people. My point was not to coin a new term for those in this life stage (however I did do that with another term in my upcoming book, Worlds Apart), but rather to just talk about how they are in-between so many areas in their life. Here was the description for that particular seminar:

Leading, interested in, a parent of, bewildered by or have volunteers that are college age? Want to know more about the (actual) lives of these young people, what cultural shifts have taken place to affect them and how it affects you? With no real solid footing in any one thing college age people find themselves in-between just about everything. And this impacts, well, just about everything. This seminar paints a picture of insight into their minds and hearts so that you can understand what they need and desire from you, your church, or your ministry.

I obviously had limited time, so in this seminar I listed at least 4 areas college age people are “in-between” in:

  1. Themselves. They are between having an identity in/with their family structure (whatever that might have been) and who they are as an independent adult. My key point for this section was: Who or what we identify ourselves in will drive every aspect of our lives so as spiritual leaders we must lead people toward a spiritual identity.
  2. Convictions. They are between the convictions and assumptions of their family and their own. My key point for this section was: Faith convictions are cultivated in, with and by relational connections.
  3. Life Directions. They are in between their childhood where they were, by default, following the direction of their parent(s) and the life direction they will choose as an individual. My key point for this section was: How a person lives today will become how they lived their life.
  4. Church Structures. Unfortunately college age people are finding themselves in between church structures. Most church contexts minister to people up through high school and then parents and beyond, leaving college age and singles wandering the land of in-between. My key point for this section was: If people don’t have a sense of belonging in the church they will lose their identity in the world.

The Life Book was a sponsor of the Simply Youth Ministry Podcast the other week – I had never even heard of it before but was totally impressed by the book and the movement. If you want free books (essentially Bibles) for every student in your youth group, and potentially even enough for the surrounding high school students – check out their website today. Awesome mission and awesome vision.


The Killball Cup deserves it’s own promo video. The last dodgeball event of the year. Of course, this video from some local HS students still takes the top honors for Best. Dodgeball. Video. Ever.


The movie adaptation of Bethany Hamilton’s life Soul Surfer was #7 at the box office this weekend! Bethany’s story is incredible and clearly points to her faith in Jesus Christ. As of right now, there have been over 10,000 commitments to Christ through the movie’s official outreach site, SoulSurfer.com. How amazing is that?

If you or your youth group kids haven’t seen it yet – as always if we want more movies like this we need to vote for them by buying tickets. I met Bethany Hamilton’s youth pastor, Sarah Hill, at a conference I attended a few months ago. She is an incredible woman and I asked her a few questions about the movie and her role as a youth worker through this crisis. Here’s some of our discussion:

1) Tell me about your part in Bethany Hamilton’s story?
I am a youth leader on the Island of Kauai. I have been here doing ministry for 10 years and Bethany was a precious young girl in my youth group. We did discipleship together and would surf together and just have a great time hanging out. After she was attacked by the shark her brother Noah called me after he got the news. As I picked him up to head to the Hospital, I was asking God to help me understand how he could have a plan in this happening. As Noah, held his head out the window, the Lord began to minister to my heart. That is where the Lord brought Jeremiah 29:11 to my mind. From that moment on I felt Gid wanted me to really help support and walk Bethany through this time of her life.

2) What was the scariest moment?
I think the scariest moment was waiting for the ambulance to get to the hospital. We were not sure how bad it was or even if Bethany would survive.

3) Going through all of this — did you ever imagine how God would use it?
After go spoke Jeremiah 29:11 to my heart for Bethany I felt Him impress that although Bethany had always been a light for Him he was now gonna use her as a voice. I had no idea that within two hours i would see this come to pass. While Bethany was in surgery we had every media outlet calling the hospital for an interview. Jesus always knows the outcome of our situation. He is faithful to use them and when we surrender all to Him, we can take a deep breath knowing He has a plan.

4) What did you think of the movie? Did Hollywood portray you well?
I am so proud of the movie. I think it definitely tells Bethany’s story. I have heard so much great feedback and hears so Many incredible stories of how the movie has inspired others. I feel they did a great job getting an accurate portrayal of me. It was great being on set and having the opportunity to read and help with the script.

5) What encouragement would you leave other youth workers with, too.
To make sure they are taking those personal time out to hear from Jesus. So often we get so busy and so bogged down dealing so many hurts and family needs around us that we put ourselves on the back burner. You can’t lead publicly where you are going personally. Jesus himself knew how important that was as He too went to be alone with the Father.


Taffy has been the Student Ministries Worship Pastor at Saddleback Church for nearly 11 years. He will be bringing a group of students from Saddleback Church to help lead and teach a Worship Clinic. FREE!!!

Location: South Bicayne Baptist Church – North Port, FL
Date: May 7
Cost: FREE!

This clinic is for students, youth pastors, volunteers, worship pastors, or anyone who is involved in leading worship.

8 essential things that will be discussed:
1) Students leading worship music
2) Moving “worship leaders” to “worship pastors”
3) How to start and maintain student bands
4) Student band dynamics
5) Developing hearts of the students leading worship
6) Drums, bass, electric guitar, and keys
7) Student stage presence
8) Expectation and commitments of students in a band

9:00 — Welcome
9:10 — Time of Worship
9:30 — Taffy (8 Essentials)
10:45 — Break
11:00 — Workshops and QandA
12:00 — End

If you’re interested, plan on attending, or would like more information please contact Taffy via email: taffy@saddleback.com