Categories
Guatemala

Nervous Energy

Nervous energy. I think that’s a good description for the weirdness of a travel day for every short-term mission team, especially high schoolers.

I woke up this morning thinking of the youth leaders and their checklists. At this point, the day they fly, there isn’t much left to do. Count heads, reassure parents, and check stuff off the list.

Categories
Books social media youth ministry

Jim Burns endorsement of A Parent’s Guide to Understanding Social Media

I’m thankful for Jim Burns endorsement of the book I co-authored with Marko. Jim is a youth ministry legend. His decades long ministry has impacted the lives of countless students, youth workers, and parents. I was humbled that he not only read the book and offered this endorsement, he also had me on his radio program. We recorded 2 segments last week that’ll air in January.

Is there a parent anywhere who hasn’t asked, “How do we create a media safe home for our kids?”  Adam McLane and Mark Oestreicher are two of America’s leading experts on teen culture and this book is a must read for parents who want to grasp just how the ever changing world of  social media is influencing their kids. This is my new “go to” book on the subject. 

Jim Burns, PhD

President, HomeWord

I’ll be on the HomeWord radio broadcast January 9th and 10th. Make sure to tune in.

Don’t forget, order 10 or more copies of the book before December 15th and get free shipping at the Cartel store.

This book started as a parent seminar. If you’re interested in having me teach at your church, please let me know.

Categories
Books The Youth Cartel

3 New Books from The Youth Cartel

In the past 2-3 months I’ve earned a Masters Degree in Publishing. OK, not literally. But I’ve had to teach myself how to turn a manuscript into a book you can buy and a Kindle/iBook you can read on an eReader. It’s been crazy hard and fun.

So here are the 3 books we’ve published this fall. (In reverse order)

Leading Up: Finding Influence in the Church Beyond Role and Experience by Joel Mayward

Back cover:

Far too many church leaders find themselves frustrated, floundering, or fired because their dreams for the church reach beyond the job description they were hired to fill. Whether you’re a pastor, an intern, or a volunteer, you’re not the one in charge of the congregation. Thankfully, neither is your boss; Jesus is the lead pastor for every church. His Spirit moves in each of us, and those gifted in leadership can find Christ-honoring practices for leading up- having influence that goes beyond role or experience. This isn’t about manipulation or rebellion, but about humbly participating in the mission of God in your church.

Leading Up is a leadership fable that unpacks a paradigm and practical tools for leading up in your church. Logan is a young pastor with a big vision for Evergreen Community Church, but cannot seem to move any of his ideas beyond wishful thinking. At a significant breaking point, a mentor comes alongside to mentor Logan on his journey of leadership, transforming both of these leaders and the church in the process. Logan’s affecting tale will offer compelling insights for any church leader wanting to expand their leadership skills.

My thoughts: Oh baby, this is so needed in multi-staff churches. I think this would be a great book to work through as a staff team. And if I were overseeing interns, especially those who aspired to be church staff, this would be mandatory reading.

Releases December 1st. Pre-order from the Cartel store. It’ll be on Amazon for both physical copies & Kindle soon. And it should be on iBook by December 1st as well.

Masterpiece: The Art of Discipling Youth by Paul Martin

Back Cover:

Masterpiece. That’s how Paul the Apostle describes us in his letter to the church in Ephesus. We are God’s masterpiece. Most people never hear that one phrase. Even fewer will believe it. Masterpiece: The Art of Discipling Youthuncovers the process of revealing teenagers as the masterpieces Christ created them to be. It doesn’t approach discipleship with a blank slate, sketching with small groups or painting with programs. Instead, it focuses on revealing the art that is already under the surface of every teenager, removing the grime of life and restoring the vibrancy of the true colors underneath.

This book is for youth workers who are tired of canned meetings geared towards the masses. Veteran youth worker Paul Martin shares his process for recognizing individual youth as what they are: God’s masterpiece.

My thoughts: I’m pumped for this book. We, as a tribe, need to think more imaginatively about faith formation and Paul helps us get there. I think every youth worker needs to read/wrestle with this book, I’d love to see it used as a text book for youth ministry students, too.

Releases December 1st. Pre-order from the Cartel store or Amazon right now. (As well as a few other youth ministry websites) It’ll be on both Kindle & iBooks by December 1st, as well.

The Youth Cartel’s Unauthorized Dictionary of Youth Ministry by Steve Case

Back cover: 

Most church people don’t like to work with teenagers. Teenagers scare people. But what do youth workers like you do? You love them. You spend all your time with them. You do your best to listen to heartaches, guide fledgling souls, and avoid dismemberment. You’re like a saint. A saint who drinks a lot of coffee.

Even with all that coffee in you and with the mighty hand of God shoving guiding you, sometimes the pressure, church committees and annual budget meetings can make you feel like you are gonna explode. Don’t do that. It’s gross.

Instead: breathe deep. Allow yourself one of those “snort” church giggles. You can even hide this book inside your Bible (just bow your head and you’ll look like you’re praying). Go ahead and laugh. We won’t tell anyone.

My thoughts: This book is hilarious. It “gets us.” Plus, how many books in our world can you say… “Oh, I’d totally buy that to read on the can.” Everyone who reads it thinks it is hilarious. If you have a youth worker in your life it’d make a great Christmas gift. And if you’re a youth worker… well, you need to have it because our job is so weird that sometimes you just need to laugh at yourself.

This released October 1st, so it ships immediately. It’s available on the Cartel store and Amazon. It’s also available digitally on Kindle and iBooks.

So how many books are you guys gonna do?

Yeah, starting a publishing business has been crazy fun and we think we’re going to keep doing it! We’ve got 4-5 more books/curriculums in the hopper and we’re talking to a fair number of folks about future stuff. In theory, we’re planning on doing 6-10 titles in 2013.

Categories
youth ministry

Infographic: Why Youth Ministry Must Decentralize

Infographic: Paid youth worker ratio to American 10-19 year olds

Click here to view or download full-sized version

Source: U.S. Census Data

Challenge

You cannot reach 427 10-19 year olds with 1 paid youth worker. We have 40 years of data which tells us this is impossible. The way we currently do things is part of the solution but we must think differently to engage more of our societies 10-19 year olds.

We must decentralize our role, invite more adults who minister to teenagers already to the table, and multiply our effectiveness.

The cause of Christ is too important to continue on with another 40 years like this.

My invitation to you is simple: Join us. Help us innovate contextual means for decentralizing our role and impacting more 10-19 year olds. I am not alone, there are thousands who think like me. Together we can write a new story of youth ministry.

Ready to dream about your ministry, again? (Instead of just surviving.) Join us next week at The Summit.

Categories
The Youth Cartel youth ministry

Join us for Open Seattle

I’m getting really pumped for Open Seattle next week. If you live in the Pacific Northwest we’d love to have you. Yesterday, we extended the regular registration deadline until next Monday– so you can still get in for $25!

What’s Open Seattle?

Open is an experiment. It’s asking the the youth ministry world the question… “What would happen if we completely flipped the script on a youth ministry training event?

  • What if a national organization gave leadership to local organizers?
  • What if front-line youth workers were favored in speaker selection over those on the speaking circuit?
  • What if we took chances instead of playing it safe on the stuff we present?
  • What if The Youth Cartel didn’t have to fly its name out front, but instead lifted up the names of its partners?
  • What if none of the speakers got paid? What if I didn’t have to get paid to help organize it… I just did it for a fair share?
  • Speaking of money, what if a local YM charity was benefited financially?
  • Heck, what if we just posted the full event budget online for anyone to see?
  • Why not record everything and then share all the sessions with the community on a central website… so no matter where you live you can have access to training resources and the freshest ideas out there on the ground?
  • What if we perfected the thing and just kind of open-sourced THE WHOLE THING so we can help people who have been to one organize one themselves?
My hope for the answer to all of those questions is… I think that the best ideas will be given a voice. My hope is that when front-line youth workers get an opportunity to share what they know and even their big, crazy ideas with a group of people just like them… that it’ll spur on more ideas and spark new innovations with the net result that we’ll reach more teenagers with the Good News.

So yes, it’s an experimental thing. Originally there was a lot of risk. It was really hard to explain the overall concept to the first few partners– Jeff at SPU, Brian Aaby at YouthMark, Mark Moder at Youth Dynamics. But as we kept talking about it this idea really took off. They made the idea even better.

At this point in preparation– I’m not feeling this is as big a risk anymore. Actually, when I look at the people who are presenting and the folks who are coming I don’t see a lot of risk. Now I just see an awesome, affordable, innovative event. 

We’ve got two tracks of learning. One is training, it’s full of great stuff as a refresher for the paid person and covering a lot of bases for your volunteers. The second track is all about ideas. It’s got some stuff in there that’ll cause you to scratch your head or write stuff down or just plain want to wrestle the speaker at the after party.

For $25 You Get

  1. 16 sessions
  2. A free t-shirt
  3. The ability to say you were at the very first one of these. (We’ve got two more planned for this school year, one in Boston and one in Paris.)

In 2013-2014 we hope to add 6 more of these as we beta test the concept… 4 more in the United States, 1 more in Europe, and 1 Lord willing, in Canada.

I hope to see you next weekend on the campus of Seattle Pacific University. And if you can’t make it there, I hope to see you at an Open event soon.