A few weeks ago some of our student leaders created a ministry called “Encourage” who’s goal was very simply … to encourage other students. One of their first projects was leaving thank you notes on the office door of people who worked at the church. It is always nice to get thanked for serving and it was a great start. Their next project was MUCH bigger – putting sticky notes with a message of encouragement on the lockers of everyone in their high school. Some of the messages:

  • You can do it!
  • Thanks for being you
  • You matter
  • You are awesome
  • Smile!
  • Have a great day!
  • Try your hardest
  • You put the kind in mankind

And while the challenge was huge, they did it! And it sent ripples through the school and even the administration noticed the project and loved it. Not sure where the encourage ministry goes from here, but sure do love them thinking creatively and helping others be encouraged.


PS: How cool is this followup picture (edited to remove IDs) a couple of weeks later?

Hey everyone from NYWC 2011!

Thanks for making our youth ministry workshop so fun this weekend — I enjoyed meeting many of you and here are the links from Every 7 Minutes: Keeping Students Engaged During Your Talk workshops I promised you today:


We had a ton of camp decisions made this summer – just like you will or did. I enjoyed what Mike Calhoun posted today on his blog about making camp decisions stick. He would know, he’s led an amazing camp for what seems like forever. Here’s a clip of his thoughts, worth heading to his site and reading the rest:

  • Remember, decisions don’t change your life, they change your direction. Students should never walk away from a commitment service thinking they are done. They are just beginning.
  • Realize that students are capable of making life-changing, lifelong decisions. Do not discount decisions made by your younger students.
  • Being emotional does not discredit their decisions nor does the lack of emotion. Some students are wired to be more emotional than others. This is not about emotions; it is about facts.
  • Don’t assume the students know what to do following their decisions. This is typically an awkward time for them so help with clarification.Help the students answer the question… “What’s next?”
  • Don’t overload them with the details of the next ten years; help them one step at a time.