Doug, Matt, Josh, and Katie return to the studio for more of your questions. Topics include: the best way to teach a purity series, and letting go of past church experiences.

JG

An interesting discussion came up on last week’s Simply Youth Ministry Podcast (episode 144, click here to watch it). The discussion was about giving your students an incentive (money, discounts, prizes, etc) for bringing their friends to church. The team seemed pretty much opposed to it, but I didn’t see it as a big deal. Curious as to what you think? Vote today!

JG



Here’s the latest episode of the Simply Youth Ministry Podcast. Enjoy it – just recorded another one today, too!

JG

Matt McGill over at Love God, Love Students had a great post about the discussion he leads with his small group guys. Thought some of these tips might come in handy for a volunteer training in your future:

  • I don’t ask questions because I know there are “three or four” correct answers…who knows what insights will emerge?
  • we can’t interrupt one another, cause it’s hard to share and harder when we’re interrupted
  • there will be silences…you may feel it’s awkward
  • I’ll be learning along side you, and sometimes I’ll be quiet after a response trying to understand it better, I’d rather understand a new thought than have my next “agenda item” ready to fire off
  • Some thoughts will be half baked, and sometimes we’ll start taking and then not know how to end the thought
  • I don’t answer very many questions…I don’t really need to because usually we come to the right answers together…this is really frustrating for some

JG



Doug is super excited this week, and Josh, Matt and Katie are trying to figure out why. Turns out its all about the 00 hall of fame taking shape on the wall. After reviewing all the members of the new wall, Doug has a short discussion with special guest Nadim about Joshs new book. Then its time for your questions on: finding mentors, parent meet and greet ideas, how to help a student whose cutting (with a special video from Marv Penner), getting a job with only volunteer experience, and how to deal with volunteers drinking beer while out with students

JG

Matt and Doug always deliver god youth ministry content – their Youth Ministry Daily (free) email is loaded with great insight and challenges. This week they’ve been tackling church politics, and it is not to be missed. Couple things: 1) read this sample of their stuff (full article here) and 2) go subscribe – it’ll take 3 simple clicks and worth it.

//FOCUS ON A NEW DEFINITION
Politics can be redefined as “one’s ability to gain support.” When you redefine politics in a positive light, it can become something that builds up the body rather than breaking it apart. The Church is a body, and each part needs one another. Work to gain the support of other people in your church for the ministry where God has called you.

//SPEAK UP
Let people know what’s going on in your ministry. Communicate vision, events, and milestones worthy of notice and celebration. You don’t need to hire a public relations firm and blitzkrieg your church with all that’s happening within your youth ministry. But, you can work to keep your ministry in the minds (and hearts) of your church without overwhelming them. You can’t gain the support from people if they’re in the dark about the happenings of your ministry.

//SPEAK OUT RARELY
A wise leader knows how to pick his/her battles. If you’re always fighting, your ability to gather support will diminish. You can’t win every battle. If you think you can, you act like a bull in a china shop, instead of a human in a china shop (where there’s a lot less breakage).

JG



There are a couple of questions I get quite often from youth workers thinking about making some shifts in their specific youth ministry context. I thought it might be good to share my typical answers to them in case you were wondering the same thing or looking for someone to dialogue about them right about now. Here you go!

I need help with small groups! Happy to help – start with a search on the blog for the term “life groups” or “small groups” and browse through a bunch of the stuff I’ve written about them for the past couple of years. Hopefully something in there is what you’re looking for. You can also contact Jessica Torres, the HSM small groups coordinator here at Saddleback. She’ll work to answer specific questions you may have and let you in on the trends we’re seeing and stuff that is and isn’t working that might be helpful. You might also want to consider picking up the great book Small Groups from Start to Finish, by Doug Fields and Matt McGill. It is a great tool that can help you navigate launching groups in your youth ministry, too!

I’m thinking about starting a youth ministry internship at my church! That’s awesome – we need more churches helping the next generation of youth workers to get their hands dirty and serve in the local church. Check out everything we do here at Saddleback for internships – you can get most all of the info on what we hope and plan for our interns to experience by clicking here. You could definitely send your best and brightest our way – we’ve been blessed to really help a bunch of youth workers get their start with 2-years of jam-packed experience. And you can also email Jamie McNeff who can walk you through other specific questions you may have, too.

JG

Another brilliant entry in the Matt McGill Sports Instructional video series.

JG