Just wondering – are you headed to a youth ministry conference in the next 12 months? Vote in today’s poll! I’m going to be at several of them this year (you can check them out on the Youth Pastor 1st, Speaker Guy 2nd page) including the Simply Youth Ministry Conference – hope to see you there!

JG

Hey everyone from YS Palooza!

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

JG



I am Youth Worker. I am the 99.

I am underpaid and overworked — working a full time job to pay the bills and doing my best to honor God and my students with the spare time that I have to put together the service each week for youth group.

I stayed up late last night talking to a student who’s relationship break-up resulted in their crisis and many tears. I’m up early this morning on my way to work.

I want to be involved in the youth ministry network in town but it’s just not feasible. I need the encouragement, resources, networking, and tools that they offer, but I can’t make it with my work schedule.

I often times compare what I have to the youth worker down the street with interns, a monthly budget, and a youth building and recreation center. It’s not like I’m trying to compete (How could I?), but I sometimes finding myself wishing I had more of what you do.

I’m just as passionate and work just as hard as the full time, paid guy, but I do it after my day job — not as my day job. As a result, I’m burnt out, tired, and sometime — no, many times — feel like giving in.

I apologize for the sensationalist tone and for comparing the average youth worker to the Occupy protest’s 99%. But I’m hoping to catch someone’s attention. As a district guy in our denomination, I’ve come across stories of so many youth workers that have so little to work with. 99% might be too high of a percentage to compare it to youth workers that are not at full time capacity, but in reality, it’s probably not that far off.

I was having a conversation with a youth pastor yesterday that was telling me about their first visit to a local gathering of youth workers. I asked her if it was encouraging and her response was, “Yes, it was helpful hearing about all the different resources and ideas from other youth workers, but I also came away a little bit discouraged at how little I have to work with compared to some of the others. They were sharing ideas that were really cool, but just weren’t feasible without interns and a big budget. It made me feel somewhat insignificant.”

When you stop and consider how many youth workers are part-time or volunteer, it really is the wide majority of us. Many churches want to hire on a full time youth pastor and give them a budget to work with but just don’t have the financial resources to do so. Which leaves a lot of us youth workers feeling a bit stretched thin.

So here’s the thing: if you are the “one percent” — meaning, you are a full time youth worker and you have the luxury of having a ministry budget and other things that the majority of your peers maybe don’t — consider taking care of some of our own.

Thought this little video from YS was clever and rereshing today – youth ministry bootcamp!

JG



Really enjoyed teaching at YS’ NYWC this past week. During my Grande Seminar called Creating a Series from Scratch, the group come up with a great list of sermon topics and series ideas. Thought it might benefit you or inspire you to come up with something great, too!

  • Superheroes
  • In-n-out (of church)
  • Live love. Live loved
  • LinkedIn: Get connected
  • Stressed Out
  • Church History 101
  • I (Heart)
  • I hurt
  • How I Met Your Mother
  • Social Injustice
  • Lair, Lunatic, or lord?
  • Personalities of the disciples
  • Trinity
  • Old Fashioned (manners, tradition, etc)
  • What’s Next? (heaven, hell, etc)
  • Amazing Grace
  • ZERO to HERO
  • The Loser Club
  • Epic Fail
  • Steadfast
  • Family Feud
  • Survivor (dealing with teenage problems)
  • More Than a Song (studying the lyrics and background)
  • Cults
  • Explaining Christian symbols
  • What’s He like?
  • God is…
  • “Christianeze” – understanding church lingo
  • Scary Stories of the Bible
  • Zombies Apocalypse
  • The Other 6
  • Speedbump: Walls, Hurdles and Roadblocks
  • When Life Knocks You Down
  • Heroine of Bible
  • Fearless
  • Discovering your gifts
  • Church for dummies
  • Spiritual disciplines
  • Share your faith
  • Who’s your neighbor?

JG

Hey everyone from NYWC 2011!

Thanks for making our youth ministry workshop so fun this weekend — I enjoyed meeting many of you and here are the links from Every 7 Minutes: Keeping Students Engaged During Your Talk workshops I promised you today:

JG



Hey everyone from NYWC 2011!

Thanks for making our youth ministry workshop so fun this weekend — I enjoyed meeting many of you and here are the links from Every 7 Minutes: Keeping Students Engaged During Your Talk workshops I promised you today:

JG

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:

JG