—  December 14, 2010 — 4 Comments

The team made this sweet-but-simple bumper video this week as a bumper before the message.


We used this video for a countdown video to set the mood for our I <3 Christmas series this past weekend. It was perfect!


Our ministry is not just about youth missions – we are truly a youth ministry organization. And as a youth ministry organization it would be a huge mistake to not mention the best youth ministry conference in the country – Simply Youth Ministry Conference. SYMC is not just about big names at the general sessions, or great training by “experts”, it’s about conversations over coffee and spending time with like-minded people who just as passionate about youth ministry and students as you are. It’s the best time of training and support that I know of. If you’re looking for or feel you need a few days away from ministry to just fall in love with ministry again, SYMC is the place for you.


Hurry up and register. The next registration deadline is January 15. Go to www.conference.youthministry.com for all the details.

UPDATE!!! Here’s an awesome video that helps you understand how this conference can truly help you and your ministry.

big church help

 —  December 13, 2010 — Leave a comment

I helped this week with the video for big church…I lended them my voice.

Am I the only one that feels totally surprised by the sound of my own voice? In all fairness, I did have a stuffed up nose!

Holiday Survival Guide: Store Clerk Vs. Shopper from Overlake Christian Church on Vimeo.

Doug Fields, Katie Edwards, and Matt McGill are happy to joined by Neely McQueen to talk about girls ministry. Shes the author of the new book, 99 Things Every Girl Should Know. Topics covered are: German pronunciations, spiritual lessons that are important for girls, how guys can help be roll models for girls, girls ministry programs, Jesus punching people, girls and drama, and talking to girls about inappropriate dress.

This week during HSM’s end of year meeting I encouraged my team to be better at conflict. Being the people-pleasing giant that I am … it doesn’t come naturally to me either. I’m OK with letting some things go or not saying the last 10% in an effort to make peace and keep friendships. The challenge is to rethink how avoiding conflict doesn’t help – in fact actually it hurts relationships. Here’s why a little dose of conflict might be good in our youth ministry culture:

Conflict allows people to grow
Observations and constructive criticism left unsaid is a missed opportunity for someone to grow. When you avoid conflict you marginalize someone’s growth and cap their leadership. Say the tough things so they keep getting better and as a team you become more effective. Not saying it is selfish, especially if it is done to preserve your position or status.

Conflict kills the undercurrent of negativity
The worst part about avoiding the tough conversations is that you’re still going to have the easy conversations with someone else about that person. Too much avoiding people and addressing problems leads to isolation, dysfunction and eventually loss. Keep the team happy in the long run by having a few painful days among the way. The long view of health will push you to push for it on a daily basis.

Conflict follows Jesus example
Jesus wasn’t afraid of conflict. Neither was Paul, Peter and other leaders of the early church. Conflict makes sure we stay on task, onboard with the vision and forces us to truly love and care for each other and the church.

It is never easy … when it is you’re probably broken. But it is a necessary part of leadership.


Every week we have the opportunity to impact the lives of the teenagers that step through our doors. Let’s make the most of it. Their view of God is often shaped by what we say, how we respond, and what we do. Are they getting a clear picture of the God we are in love with? A few things that have been floating through my head lately:

- How well we listen to and engage our kids will have a great impact than how well we speak or talk.

- Somewhere in your youth ministry is a teenager who need to have a conversation with a caring adult. Will you be that adult?

- Sometimes you may only get 30 seconds with a teenager. If so, let it be 30 seconds where they felt absolutly cherished and treasured.

- You have one shot to be the youth pastor God has created you to be. One shot. Don’t get distracted by your insecurities or by the numbers or by what the other person is doing down the street. Focus on what God wants to do in YOUR ministry. Follow His lead.

- Don’t over entertain but under challenge.

- Be willing to call greatness out of your kids.

- Don’t give out of an empty tank. Nurture your relationship with God. Nobody should care more about your own spiritual growth than you do.

- If yo’ure frustrated because your kids aren’t doing something … lead them to do it. It’s not that “My kids won’t do ______________.” Rather it’s “I haven’t led my kids to do _____________.”

- Be positive. Start talking to yourself rather than listening to yourself.

- Let your kids know that you are proud of them. Teenagers don’t hear that enough.

- Your story may be exactly what they need to hear.

Every week we have the opportunity to impact the lives of teenagers. What an awesome priviledge. Let’s make the most of it.

Rich Yauger is the pastor to teenagers at Grace Community Church and believes in teenagers.You can check out his blog right over here.

Job Position: Youth Ministry Cheerleader

Job Description: Encourage, build-up, affirm, applaud, bouy, comfort, strengthen, console, revitalize, energize, refresh, inspire and praise youth workers in your church.

Job Requirements: A heart and passion to encourage those who are working with the youth of the church. Spiritual gift of encouragement helpful but not required.

What would happen if this job description appeared in your church bulletin one week or in your local newspaper? What if such a position existed? What if there was someone whose only job was to affirm and build up youth workers?

Youth ministry is exhilarating, fun and unbelievable. It’s easy to get discouraged though since growth is often slower than you would like and you’re often in a role of planting or watering seeds without always getting to see them bear fruit. I know that for me, it’s often easy to lose sight of the forest while I’m focusing on the tree (planning a night, getting permission slips, cleaning up the broken lamp) that’s right in front of me.

I find myself wondering what would happen to my energy, passion and excitement if I had someone who was consistently reminding me what the forest looked like. This person would have no responsibilities to challenge, push, stretch, correct or mold. There are enough people that do that, are great at it and their presence is very much needed. I’m talking about someone who only encourages. How much different would your leadership team look like if there was someone who did nothing but affirm them? How much more effective would your ministry be if that person focused on energizing the leaders? Imagine the trickle down effect on your students if there was someone whose only job was to refresh leaders!

I recognize that encouraging leaders on my team starts with me and I like to think that I’ve gotten better at it over the years. Our team has put a special emphasis on spiritual gifts this year and using the gifts God has given you to serve. Encouragement is honestly one of the those gifts that I wish I had but struggle with sometimes. I’m a checklist driven, task master most of the time. I’m stunned by the possibilities of what my ministry would look like if I had someone who was skilled at encouragement and was passionate about using that gift with my leader team.

Anyone interested?

Buz is a special education teacher who passionately loves his ladies (wife and 2 daughters). They live in Spokane, Washington and you can check out his blog right here. His guest post was exactly what I’ve been feeling all week. Thanks, Buz!