I’ve accepted an exciting responsibility from my senior pastor–probably the biggest project I’ve ever worked on.

My calling is to identify, challenge, and help develop the next generation of great leaders: people who will plant churches, become pastors at our regional campuses, or lead large ministries within Mariners Church.

The person that I’m looking to hire will need to fill the following general position: reach out to lost high school (or junior high) students, help them build their faith, and identify students who will become leaders. Would this type of ministry excite you? Might you be the kind of leader we need?

For you, does influence come naturally? When you walk into a room, no one wonders if you are a leader. You’re not insecure, you don’t have to be the center of attention. Instead, your confidence and convictions move you to motivate others.

Do you have a message that you’re bursting to share? You have the ability and the need to teach others. To quench this expression of your gifts would be to deny who God has called you to be.

You are always on the move, looking for opportunities to leverage. Failure isn’t an option, it’s inevitable because you’re constantly trying new things. This is a secret to your success.

For most people, rules are a wonderful necessity. But for you, rules are mere suggestions and the only way to discover a good rule is to break it. If you’re not given latitude, you’ll take it.

You’ll have plenty of time to hesitate and second-guess when you’re in a nursing home. Until then, life is all about TAKING ACTION. PROVOKING assumptions. INTERRUPTING the ruts. It’s all about making a massive impact for the Kingdom of God.

You aren’t just a self-starter, you have the ability to motivate others to become self-starters. You’re able to set things in motion for the kingdom.


Everyone can lead, because everyone can serve. This is, of course, is what Jesus taught. However, this position isn’t for everyone. I’m looking for leaders who lead leaders. This isn’t just BUZZspeak.

Our church is committed to developing leaders for the next generation and I’m looking for the right people.


The next step is to fill out an application at http://www.marinerschurch.org/job-openings.

Matt McGill is the Student Ministries Pastor at Mariner’s Church in Irvine, CA. You can check out his resources on Download Youth Ministry and his blog at Love God, Love Students.

One of the best summer camp rules videos I’ve ever seen. Matt McGill in rare form – how did I just stumble across this now? Genius.


Hey everyone from NYWC 2011!

Thanks for making our youth ministry workshop on small group leaders so fun this weekend — I enjoyed meeting many of you and here are the links from the 99 Thoughts for Small Group Leader trainings I promised you this weekend:


I’m reading Steve Gladen’s new book, Small Groups with Purpose: How to Create Healthy Communities. He’s one of the pastors on staff here at Saddleback and has been heading up the adult small group ministry pretty much forever. If you’re interested in learning how we do small groups, you’ve come to the right place – Steve does a great job of walking you through the model we use and gives some clear reasons why we’ve chosen it and it works for us. Keep in mind this is primarily for our adult programs (you can read more about our student ministry take on small groups in Doug Fields & Matt McGill’s Small Groups from Start to Finish). If you’re looking for a tool to help challenge you in the area of small groups, look no further than right here. Leader training, infrastructure, host homes, health assessment, evaluation, successes and failures – all in the book.

If you’re looking for a quick look at how small groups work at Saddleback (while you’re waiting for your book to arrive from Amazon), check out Saddleback Small Group FAQs or 8 Reasons to Join a Small Group.


It’s back to school season – and for us that means we pour a ton of effort into our fall kickoff weekend, our first big series and the launch of small groups. Thought I might make some recommendations for some great youth ministry resources that might help you as you head into the start of another year.

Small Groups
Must have: Small Groups from Start to Finish by Doug Fields & Matt McGill
Solid: Small Group Strategies by Laurie Povich
Worth the price: LIVE curriculum

Fall Kickoff Weekend
Must have: 1 Minute Bible by Doug Fields
Solid: Spin That Wheel from Digital Stache
Good video: FAITH by Youth Ministry 360

The 1st Teaching Series of the Year
Must have: 1 Month to Live by Doug Fields
Solid: All My Belongings by Jeff McGuire
Worth the $10: Exposed! God’s Plan for Sex by Kurt Johnston

For your volunteers
Looks great, never read it: How to Volunteer Like a Pro by Jim Hancock
Shameless plug: 99 Thoughts for Small Group Leaders by me! Told you it was shameless
Worth the price: TOOLS: Team from Simply Youth Ministry

For your own personal growth
Must have: What Matters Most by Doug Fields
Solid: Sustainable Youth Ministry by Mark Devries
Worth the price: the Simply Youth Ministry Conference in Louisville, KY March 2012


Matt McGill doesn’t blog much, but when he does it is super solid. I’d say this post, Seven Ways to be Despised by Your Students, is his very best so far. Here’s a clip of it, head there for the whole article (worth the click to see his fancy graphics alone):

The first way to be despised is to teach WITHOUT encouragement, rebuke, or authority–a total strike out. Ultimately, this kind of teacher has nothing to say. When listeners tune in and find nothing but static, they will eventually tune out.

The second way is to teach with encouragement, but LACK correction and authority. It is a great thing to lift others up! However, sound teaching is more than telling people what they want to hear–and it’s made all the more worse by lacking conviction.

The third teaching pairs encouragement with authority, but skips over any correction. It is not enough be passionate and positive! Everyone carries guilt because of the mistakes we’ve made, and these need to be addressed.

The fourth teaching mistake is to encourage and rebuke without any sense of authority. This teacher says all the right things, but lacks the right confidence.


Doug, Katie, and Josh all managed to make it to the show on time, however Matt couldn’t make it. Did the show survive without him?


Welcome back Doug Fields with his co-host, Katie Edwards, and his co-co-host Josh Griffin. Dont forget the star of the show Matt McGill. This episode has some crazy stories and questions, so make sure you listen all the way to the end. We have a revenge of the nerds segment to kick off the show listening to Matt go on about Settlers of Katan board game. That ends quickly and they answer your questions about Parent / Student activities for incoming students, weird volunteer stories, using Facebook to confront a student, communicating with students from a past ministry, Cell phone / Internet rules during youth group, medical marijuana use by volunteers and telling parents about students sex life.