Too busy to visit a loved one who’s passed on?

No worries.

Try the drive-thru window at the Paradise Funeral Chapel in Saginaw, Michigan.

They’ve installed a window for your convenience to display the deceased body inside the building. Curtains over the window automatically open when a car pulls up, and mourners get three minutes to view a body as music plays overhead.

Saginaw funeral home 3

Ever notice how some “good ideas” leave a bad taste in your mouth?

Of course you have.

The harder part is noting when your “good ideas” leave a bad taste in someone else’s mouth…

especially when our motive was “I was just trying to serve.”

  • When were you absolutely convinced you were onto something amazing, but then later realized you were being short-sighted?
  • Has anyone ever come up to you and tried to put you in your place on something you were absolutely sure was correct?
  • What is something you critiqued in your church… only to do something yourself that should have been critiqued?

Willing to share any experience on either side of this?

What do you think?

 —  April 8, 2013 — 2 Comments

I love students sharing their stories during our services. To my it is one of the highlights of ministry.

Sometimes I wonder…

Am I using their story in unhealthy way?

Should I be incorporating their parents more in the process?

How many details should they include? What’s too much?

How do I make sure their story isn’t a “how to” guide for other students?

Here’s where I would love your thoughts- what do you think? How do you prep a student to share their story? Do you have a process in place? Do you use any tools?

Do you use the 2nd Greatest Story Ever Told? Should I?

testimony tool


Help a sister out!


Give Every Teen a Voice

 —  March 28, 2013 — 1 Comment

I have mixed feelings when it comes to student leadership groups within your student ministry.  While it’s important to create leaders, to group them risks creating a click within the ministry.  No matter what your feelings are on student leadership groups, it’s important to nurture teens to be leaders.  One of the best ways to do this by giving them a voice.

It’s with a voice teens feel empowered, encouraged and valued.  It’s with a voice that you are mobilizing the next generation.  To give teens that voice you need to:

Encourage Them To Serve: Actions speak louder than words.  Not only does service speak loud but it teaches humility and love.  Allow teenagers to serve alongside of adults in ministry and mission.  They’ll become visible to the rest of the congregation and community, and that’s huge.  If they lead with their actions, you give their actions a physical voice that’s hard to ignore.

Seek Their Feedback: If you speak to teens you need to get their thoughts and input.  To be proactive give them rough drafts of your message, ask them to comment of possible statements you might make.  I do this by going on Facebook and messaging a few teens I know.  Give them permission to share with you what they really think and they’ll support you in your leadership.

Brag About Them To Leadership: If there are teens in your ministry you want to spot light let the rest of your staff (Especially your pastor) know about their hard work.  This will encourage coworkers to recognize the student leaders in your church and they’ll feel like they’ve been noticed.  This will help them feel value beyond youth ministry.

Give Them A Platform: If teens are given the opportunity to share their faith publicly you prepare them for leadership roles in the future.

  • Playing in a worship band.
  • Giving a testimony.
  • Small group leading their younger peers. 

Are all ways of how teens can lead as adults in the future.  Not only are you giving them a platform; but, the opportunity to lead in the same way adults can lead.  This will show them how they can lead in the future.

When teens feel like they have a voice they’ll embrace your ministry more.  They’ll be taking on responsibility to grow the church and have it function at a high level.  When they feel empowered they feel motivated.  When teens have a voice you’ve done your job of mobilizing the next generation.

How do you give teen’s in your ministry a voice?

Chris Wesley (@chrisrwesley)

Loved Doug Fields’ blog post the other day about valuing people. Here’s a little clip of his complete thought – this is something that every youth worker has to work to master when working with a team of volunteers. Good stuff:

2. Give feedback
As a leader, your constructive feedback is vital to an individual feeling valued. Most followers are desperate for validation and they want to be recognized for their contribution. They’ll follow, work and give their heart if they feel like they’re following someone who cares enough about them to give them feedback about their contribution. When you take the time to give specific feedback (even if it’s occasional negative/constructive), you are adding to their personal sense of value. It’s not unusual for a person to work for, serve, volunteer years of service and not get any specific and personal feedback from their “boss”…it’s not unusual, but it’s definitely tragic.

3. Affirm, affirm, affirm
This should go without saying, and unfortunately, many times it does. I know leaders will say, “He knows he’s important to me.” Really? When was the last time you told him? It ought to be often! This is such a basic principle that it’s almost embarrassing to write, but I find it so rare in leaders that it’s worth mentioning and repeating.


I have yet to find a teen magazine that doesn’t include a horoscope section. Most of the girls that I know will glance over their horoscope…I am pretty sure none of them are banking on what they read but I have often wondered if there was any harm or danger in girls reading them.
What do you think? What would you say to a 15 year old girl in your ministry about horoscopes?
Discuss away!!