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 talkaboutym@gmail.com.


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.

lets talkWe went to the email bag with this topic. Remember email us at talkaboutym@gmail.com with your questions or topic suggestions. This is a topic that needs more attention and dialog. We decided to talk about it in the context of our on ministry.  Also, we probably give the best advice that we have on the topic towards the end.  Let’s keep the conversation going. We would love to hear how you approach this topic within your ministry.


hope it helps

kurt & ac

lets talkKurt and I deviate from our usual structure (the good, bad and #smh) and we give you our TOP four tips on speaking to students.  We know that for some speaking my come easy, and for others speaking can be a challenge.  So for some we hope these tips confirm and strengthen what you already know, and for others we hope these tips encourage and give you more confidence in the work God has called you to do.

What’s your number one teaching tip you would share?

hope it helps

kurt & ac

Okay, I’ll admit it; there are things about junior high ministry, and junior highers in general, that I just don’t like. It’s the stuff that I’ve tolerated for 25 years because of my love for, and calling to, this wonderful age group. Here are just a few things that make me cringe:

– The “Steal The Cute Boy’s Hat” game that girls love to play. You know the one: Girl steals boys cap and boy proceeds to chase said girl all around the youth room. Why do I loathe it so? I have no idea.

– When a junior higher, usually a girl and usually one with sticky hands, sneaks up from behind me, covers my eyes and makes me guess who it is. I know it’s a way of showing endearment, but yuck. Of course, if I was just a little taller my eyes would be out of reach which is why my junior high ministry buddy, Scott Rubin, has no idea this ritual even exists!

– The relentless questions by some students that just don’t need to be asked! Hey, I’m all for inquisitiveness and discovery…that’s a really fun part about working with young teens. But I’m not talking about that stuff; I’m talking about the kid who, while at camp, fires a barrage of unimportant, or previously answered questions: “When is lunch?”, “What do we do during chapel?”, “Why isn’t there any fruit loops?”, “How long is free time?”, “What do I do if I get bored?”, “Am I allowed to get a drink of water on my own?”. You know the kid I’m talking about.

– Close Talkers. I’m apposed to close talkers of all ages, and I think the habit starts in junior high when students are dying for attention and want to make sure they are getting it….in an up-close and personal way. So, in an effort to prevent them from a life of extremely awkward conversations (of course, close talkers don’t find it awkward AT ALL), I simply don’t tolerate the practice. I’m cringing just thinking about close talkers.

– That game they play at the table at camp…the one where they move their cups around and stack them to some sort of beat. I’m sure this dumb game has a name, but I’ve never stuck around in its presence long enough to learn it.

I’m sure there are other things that make me cringe, but those are the ones that came rushing to my fingertips as soon as I started to type.

Here’s your chance to vent (it feels pretty good, and it’s okay to do once in a while…). What about junior high ministry makes you cringe?