As I’ve written before, I am immensely thankful for my friendship with Doug Fields who has taught me so much about youth ministry. One of the things I love about Doug is how he pours into the lives of youth pastors & students through his Student Leadership Conference. In fact, I can say that its largely because of SLC last summer that we’ve seen such an incredible year of student leadership within our High School Ministry here at Saddleback. They heard from the best and had a great experience together and came back changed – I couldn’t be more excited about signing up for another year at SLC!

Believe me, I get how difficult it is to train, equip & prep student leaders on a weekly basis. It’s no easy task. It is all about having a servant’s heart first. It all starts there. Once students understand that – it provides a great framework for their involvement throughout the year in ministry.

Whether or not you’ve heard about it before, I can safely say that if you’ve never been to SLC before – you and your student leadership team are missing out. I can’t wait to take my students back this summer, especially because I know what that means for how we’ll start next school year.

Excited to be a part of Doug Fields’ Student Leadership Conference - I’ll be in 2 of the 3 locations (California and Pennsylvania as a speaker and with our student leaders – sorry Dallas, my youngest is graduating from kindergarten) and am pumped to meet you and your best and brightest student leaders, too! Going to be so cool!


Thought that my good friend Neely McQueen had an insightful post on her blog this week about male youth workers and adoring female students. Some very good stuff over there, worth the click over for the whole thing. Here’s a clip:

Are you single?
Does your wife serve in other areas in the church?
Are you young?
Are you friendly?

If you answered yes to any of these questions than there is a good chance that a girl in your youth ministry has had a slight crush on you. Now, don’t get all crazy and start avoiding the girls in your youth ministry just to make sure that it never happens again. Usually, the girl(s) that are prone to inappropriate crushes are the girls who need the most support and encouragement in their life. So, how do you help them and protect yourself?

  • Make sure you are empowering the female leaders in your ministry to provide pastoral care to the girls in your ministry. In the sensitive and powerful moments of ministry it is normal for a very real and deep connection to be formed…if that is happening between a guy and a girl it can be misunderstood as something else. Allow your female leaders to care for the girls in your ministry.
  • If you are married or dating someone…don’t be bashful when talking about your love for them but remember to be appropriate.
  • Set up guidelines for yourself and other leaders…communicate them so both leaders and students know them well.


I just read my friend Neely’s first book – 99 Things Every Girl Should Know.

It’s $5.99 from Group Publishing and would make a perfect gift for the girls in your youth ministry. Neely isn’t afraid to give practical advice about identity, boys, relationships, culture and faith. I’m proud of her, and excited to finally get a chance to read her work. Neely is a champion for identity in Christ for young woman, and I think that message comes across strong in the short read. If you’re looking for a nice book to be able to hand female students who are struggling with their identity/girl issues or just want to give them some encouragement in the journey of becoming a Godly woman, this book would be a great choice.


The latest episode of the Simply Youth Ministry Podcast is here! I was gone doing some high school ministry stuff, but the team got together with special guest NEely McQueen. The show must go on!

Doug Fields, Katie Edwards, and Matt McGill are happy to joined by Neely McQueen to talk about girls ministry. Shes the author of the new book, 99 Things Every Girl Should Know. Topics covered are: German pronunciations, spiritual lessons that are important for girls, how guys can help be role models for girls, girls ministry programs, Jesus punching people, girls and drama, and talking to girls about inappropriate dress.


I’m super excited for my friend Neely McQueen’s new book, 99 Things Every Girl Should Know, which comes out this week from Group Publishing. You may already read her blog about girl’s ministry at and she will be a guest on tomorrow’s live SYM Podcast undoubtedly talking about her new book. Here’s a little more info on the book and the table of contents:

In her book 99 Things Every Girl Should Know, veteran youth worker Neely McQueen shares a wealth of wisdom on becoming and being a girl who knows that she is valuable, meaningful, and loved. That isn’t the message many girls receive from our culture. We live in a world that says we’re only valuable, meaningful, and loved if we look a certain way, dress a certain way, and behave a certain way. God has a different opinion.

With a little help from her friends, Neely shares thoughts that would have helped her better survive the teenage years. These pages are filled with encouragement, inspiration, and insights that will help the girls in your youth ministry–or other girls in your life–explore their beauty, their worth, and their world.

Table of Contents

  • Being BFFs
  • Shh…It’s a Secret
  • Boys, Boys & More Boys
  • Let’s Talk About Sex–and Pregnancy
  • All in the Family
  • Seasons of Being a Girl
  • The Good News About School
  • Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, What’s the Truth About Beauty?
  • The Clothes We Wear
  • TV, Magazines, and Movies…Oh My!
  • Surviving the Digital World
  • Tweets From Friends
  • Hot Topics
  • The War Between Shopping and Saving
  • Just Plain Random
  • The Best Boyfriend Ever
  • Old-School Ladies
  • Women of the World
  • Why Being a Girl Rules
  • One More Thing…