Texting is a must. Being available is a must. We live “on call” all of the time. If you work in youth ministry you know the importance of a great cell phone. Students live on Facebook and texting, parents email and voice calling. This thought led me to the poll question of the week – does your church pay for your cell phone? At my church they’ve recently changed from paying for it outright to a stipend plan each month, either way it is an incredible benefit but also a necessary tool. Vote now!

Just an aside: in an economy like we have today, it might be hard for a church to increase salaries of their staff or even bring you on full-time. One idea to still ask for an increase might be to suggest a development account (for books, etc), more vacation time (which costs the church nothing out of pocket) or small wins like a cell phone stipend, mileage, etc.

JG


Just curious if there is a magic price point for summer camp – I realize it will vary among us as far as how long camp is, etc. But I think just knowing the price of camp across the spectrum will be helpful. Vote in today’s poll!

JG




Nepotism is favoritism granted to relatives regardless of merit. I was talking to a youth worker this week who was frustrated by nepotism in her church with favoritism in budget, hiring and leadership decisions. It inspired me to both post this poll and make an ask of you as well: what advise would you give a youth worker who is caught in the middle of church nepotism like this?

JG


I’ve done youth group on different nights of the week throughout my years in youth ministry – thought it would be interesting to get a quick pulse on when you do “youth group” in your context. Vote in today’s poll!

JG




Got a great question this week at YSPalooza in Orlando – do we allow parents to be small group leaders in our own ministry – specifically for their own teenagers? Our answer is yes at our church. We don’t prohibit or discourage it in any way. I do totally get the concept and value the idea of another adult Christian modeling faith and mentoring our children, so I get why some ministries may choose a different way. Vote now!

JG


Quick poll this week asking if your volunteers who serve in Small Groups also serve in your weekly youth group gatherings! In our high school ministry they are completely separate commitments, but we do have some that choose to serve at both (and we are eternally grateful for them!). How about you? Seems like most of the youth pastors I’ve talked to recently have asked for commitments to both the small group and the large group and would be interested to know what you do, and if you’re willing, explain why in the comments. Vote now!

JG



If you have not heard of Polleverywhere it is a killer interactive communication tool.  Create multiple choice or open ended questions/polls and receive live feedback as people vote via text message.  You can present your polls online form their site, download and add in your presentation software (Mac and PC), or embed the poll’s code on your website. This is totally free for up to 40 votes per poll, if you need more that 40 votes you can purchase a larger plan. We hosted an event and wanted to use Polleverywhere so we purchased the 250 response plan for one month, you are not locked into any contracts or surprised by hidden fees.  The polls brought a new element to our teaching, the attendees had fun, and they were brought into the message.

Polleverywhere recently added some cool new features like adding images to your polls.  Instead of asking a question like, “What is your favorite Fast Food Restaurant?” And listing places, you can inset an image or their logo.  This is a pretty cool feature for our visual generation.

Here’s some insight on their new features…


I’ve been enjoying the past few weeks more or less “off” – You Own the Weekend is our annual series where I don’t teach – students do! I’m a firm believer in giving away the platform (maybe to a fault) so students can hear from different voices and diffrent learning styles. Vote in today’s poll and consider checking out 5 Reasons You Should Let Someone Else Teach Next Week.

JG