I’ve posted in the past about the importance of having legitimate roles and responsibilities for the volunteers in your youth ministry – you can check out some great guest posts about it in posts like 1-Sentence Job Descriptions and Mission Critical Jobs. This week Geoff Stewart offered up his student ministry’s volunteer roles brochure to share with everyone. Download it here!


Congrats to Jeff Stapleton, random winner of the contest this week for 2 tickets to the Simply Youth Ministry Conference in Chicago this March. Get to the Windy City for some youth worker training with 3,000 of your closest friends, too!

Jeff Stapleton at 10:31am September 2
I’m a youth minister just beginning my third year in a small East Texas town. The resources and support from SYM (newsletters/products/podcasts) have been huge in my development as both a teacher and a leader. To learn and worship with other youth ministers is a tremendous encouragement, and something I look forward to. I hope to make it to the SYM conference one way or another…and get the chance to sit in on an epic live podcast. Thanks for all you do Josh!


In the process of finishing two books on the topic of Jesus. Here are a few thoughts:

The first, Jesus Manifesto:Restoring the Supremacy and Sovereignty of Jesus Christ by Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola, is a challenging read simply exalting Jesus above everything else. They contend that a complete emphasis on Jesus would completely change the world – if we can introduce people to the real, life-changing Jesus, everything else will follow. Lifestyle will follow. Church growth will happen. Discipleship will happen. Simply teach Jesus. Not sure how much of it I’m ready to go after, but preaching and teaching Jesus has to be what the church is all about. Definitely lives up to its subtitle elevating Jesus to the highest place. Pretty academic read, you’ll want to break it into chunks and not speed read for sure.

The second book I’m tackling is Humanitarian Jesus: Social Justice and the Cross by Ryan Dobson and Christian Buckley, and it is a much more accessible read. It attempts to tackle the social Gospel and evangelism question, giving a brief history of the concept and conflict of the ideas of sharing Jesus. The first half of the book is written by the authors, the second is interviews with people in key churches and organizations that are attempting to be the hands and feet of Jesus. Good stuff, drives me to my current thinking – the Social Gospel must be both social (helping people) and Gospel (spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ)! There are many books on this subject, this one probably isn’t the most academic or comprehensive, but by far the most current.


Kurt Johnston and Jason Pogue discuss kicking off a new year of small groups. ;

A couple days ago I posted about Simply Youth Ministry’s huge contest called [doug's] Dumb Idea. They are giving away a total 30 Free mission trips to our Week of Hope program, free registrations to the Simply Youth Ministry Conference, and copies of LIVE Curriculum to 3 lucky youth pastors. Simply Youth Ministry just posted video of the day I found out…

This is video of Andy Brazelton and I discovering the contest.

Go here to sign up for the contest!

Good luck!

David Hughes IS soccer. Funny video to illustrate dedication and investment – David spoke in our entry-level service last weekend in HSM.


Guy Talk Girl Talk

 —  September 7, 2010 — 1 Comment

Have you tried this curriculum?

I had the privilege of working on the girl side of the curriculum for 1 and 2. It was so fun to develop a bible study that was targeted for girls only. We were able to really dig deep into relevant topics like image, girl politics, gossip, family, emotions, internet…while focusing on what God’s word has to say about those topics. Lots of fun.
If you haven’t seen them yet- download a free sample here.

Tonight I had the strong urge to write a blog post about saying goodbye in youth ministry. It hit me because we’re going through it again – first Robby (leaving HSM to be a lead campus pastor for a regional Saddleback) and now Becka (leaving HSM at the end of a fantastic 2-year internship). I wanted to post to be about how saying goodbye is just part of the gig we’re called to, that we have team members, volunteers and graduating seniors that eventually leave our life and we have to be OK with that.

Then I did a quick search of the blog and realized that I already wrote that exact post just 2 months ago (Saying Goodbye is Part of Youth Ministry). So tonight, in my sorry of saying goodbye again, I wanted to focus on how saying “hello” is part of youth ministry, too:

Hello to incoming freshman
This is the time of year when freshman are coming into your high school ministry for the very first time. As your students go back to school and rubbing shoulders with their friends, expect some new faces to show up. Make it a point to seek out new freshman and be particularly welcoming them into your community.

Hello to great volunteers
The beginning of the school year is when new volunteers, particularly small group leaders, typically enter the ministry. Take the time to make them feel welcomed, trained and encouraged as they begin their time serving students. Your relational investments and the community you build could help keep them around for years.

Hello to great members of the staff
As hard as it is for us to say goodbye to great team members – even staff – it gives us a chance to see God putting the pieces together for what is next.

Every goodbye is a chance for a new hello. As you mourn the loss of a great senior class just a few months ago, pour into the new freshman. As you think about that long-time volunteer who finally steps away, remember the new team forming for the next season. And when you have to say goodbye to a great pastor on staff, remember God is about to introduce you to who He has next.