The Simply Youth Ministry Conference is coming up March 7th-10th and you do not want to miss out. Register (here) Check out Kurt and I as we discuss what makes SYMC so great!!!! You will also learn of our great love for dates!!!! ha Enjoy!!


kurt & ac

I surprised Kurt this week with a rapid fire Q&A. I wanted him to tap into his 20 plus years of experience. Here’s the list of questions. 1.Balance ministry and life? 2.Ask for more budget or a budget? 3.New position, new church what do I do first? 4.Staff dating each other? 5.Regain trust after a moral failure? 6.Stress of ministry? 7.Disruptive volunteer/parent/student?

Leave questions or topics you would love to hear us discuss in the comment section or email us at

hope it helps

ac & kurt

lets talkWe’ve all had conversations that we wish we didn’t have to have. The reason tough conversations are so tough is because they are awkward, unpredictable and we want to be liked by all and happy. So Kurt and I give two tips each on how to navigate these types of conversations.

I know there are more so I would love for you to leave a tip, and help the simply youth ministry nation become better at tough conversations.

Also, can someone teach Kurt how to do a proper drum roll. I don’t think a drum roll makes that sound. ha

hope it helps


lets talkKurt and I discuss culture and that is exactly what it was a discussion. So hopefully a few learnings pop out as we discuss culture. Our conversation ranged from Miley Cyrus to Darryl Strawberry. We talk about it all. Now, right up front you will learn two things:

  1. How Kurt dances his way through youth ministry.
  2. How the word twerking made it’s way into the “Let’s Talk Youth Ministry bit archive.

If you have a topic you would like us to talk about send us an email to


hope it helps

ac and kurt

lets talkFInd out the TWO volunteer trainings Kurt and I would do if we could ONLY do TWO trainings each!!!

Also learn two things about us you probably didn’t know. One has to do me surfing and the other has to do with whether or not Kurt reads my blog posts.



What would be your top two volunteer trainings?


hope it helps

AC and Kurt

I returned late Saturday night from a once-in-a-lifetme experience. Last week, I spent seven days in France talking about youth ministry with a group of German youth workers. That alone was amazing, but what sent this event over the top was where the training took place; in France….on sailboats…on the French Riviera.

When I first heard about it, I thought what I’m sure you are thinking right now: “A youth worker training event on yachts…on the French Riviera? Yeh, right! That just sounds like a vacation disguised as something legitimate!” But I was wrong. My week sailing the high seas in close quarters with 15 other youth workers proved to be one of the best learning experiences of my life. One of the things I decided to do was to see how many sailing lessons also applied to youth work. Here are a few:

- The Journey Is Just As Important As The Destination. Every morning we would set a new course for the day, usually with an island as our ideal destination. But what I discovered was that as wonderful as the islands we ultimately arrived at were, it was the journey that was the best part! While we sailed we had to work together, adjust course, etc. We laughed together, told stories and learned from each other.
Take Away: As I lead my youth ministry don’t be so focused on the “destination” that I miss out on the joys of the journey!

- A Good Skipper Is Key! Our boat was made up of a bunch of eager, but inexperienced sailors. We were willing to learn, and worked hard at the various tasks involved in sailing a boat in open water. But everything relied on our skipper who was much wiser and experienced. He knew where we were headed and how to get there. He knew when to let us run things and when he needed to take control. He knew what was safe and what wasn’t. We quickly learned to trust him and follow his lead.
Take Away: Am I a leader people feel confident and safe in following?

- No Wind Doesn’t Mean No Movement. One day…for the entire day…the wind was absolutely dead. We totally lost momentum, and no matter how we tried to adjust the sails etc. we simply couldn’t get the wind to propel the boat. But we had to make progress so we did what nobody on a sailboat wants to do; we started the engine! We didn’t get to our destination they way we had hoped and planned…but we got there.
Take Away: There will be times in ministry where things seem to go dead; we simply lose momentum. In those moments I have a choice: Let my ministry drift or see it as an opportunity to “start a new engine”.

- Flexibility Is Key. I quickly learned flexibility was the key to enjoyment and success on the trip. We had to adjust our schedules and plans according to the wind and weather report each day. We had to drop anchor in a harbor for the night because the marina was full. We spent an entire day on land because the winds were too severe to sail. Over the course of the week, not a day went by that didn’t present some sort of challenge to our planned agenda. So we adjusted.
Take Away: In youth ministry, planning is vital. But an equally important quality of a leader is the ability to adjust plans to reflect the current reality.

Youth ministry is like sailing….who knew!?

Howdy friends!

Take a look at the Top 3 Articles from this week! We encourage you to check out all of our articles and awesome authors, but here are the highlights this week from Kurt Johnston, Brooklyn Lindsey, and Tony Myles.


1. 3 Reasons It’s Good that Your Senior Pastor Doesn’t Think About You by Kurt Johnston

3 reasons


2. 5.5 Ways to Really Connect With Others  at Work by Brooklyn Lindsey


5.5 ways


3. Scouting Alternatives by Tony Myles


Scouting for Alternatives


Have fun reading and engaging homies! Enjoy the weekend.

– Amber



The Youth Cartel’s Middle School Ministry Campference has become one of my favorite events of the year! If you work with young teens in a paid, part-time or volunteer basis we would love to have you join us for three days of learning, laughing and encouragement with others in our “tribe”. The campference is just that: A camp combined with a conference, which is what makes it so unique. If you want to join us, it’s almost too late…but not quite! You can get details and register right here.