Category: youth ministry

  • My Favorite High School Graduation Speeches

    My Favorite High School Graduation Speeches

    Enjoy these five minutes of nerd fame.  Those five minutes when the smartest kid in the school demands to be listened to. Let’s start off with the basics… Let’s take it to the next level though, OK? This kid has a future… in stand up.  If in doubt appeal to what’s hot! Gotta toss in […]

  • Youth Group isn’t THE Answer

    Youth Group isn’t THE Answer

    By now, everyone has heard about the latest Pew Research. Religious “nones” continue to rise in America: 16.1% of population in 2007, 22.8% in 2014: — PewResearch Religion (@PewReligion) May 13, 2015 Last Fall, I stood up at The Summit and presented complimentary data. “Youth Group” Reaches Few Programmatic “youth group” reaches 5%-10% of any […]

  • Toward a Bigger We

    Toward a Bigger We

    Last fall I had the pleasure of presenting at our event, The Summit. Here’s the basis of what I’m arguing in this video: Our definition of youth ministry is too small. We (youth workers) make the mistake of thinking that we are the experts, that we “own” ministry to adolescents. This counters a realistic strategy […]

  • 5 Weeks Until Open Grand Rapids

    5 Weeks Until Open Grand Rapids

    Ah… winter. A quick scan of social media reveals that folks living in Michigan, Northern Indiana, and the Chicago area are completely sick of winter. The supreme irony of our living in San Diego is that we’re Midwesterners who love a good midwest winter. We’d get 6 inches of snow and Kristen was ecstatic about […]

  • Shrinking the Job

    Shrinking the Job

    I first learned this lesson as a young pastor. But it applies to me today just the same. In 2002 I left my job in Chicago, moved my family across the country, and started a job as the youth pastor in a small community in Northern California. The first week was spent cleaning out my […]

  • Keep Youth Ministry Weird

    Keep Youth Ministry Weird

    Youth ministry is weird.  When planning a worship service for adults you’d never think, “We need a big group game to get people laughing.” Or, “Let’s have a sleep over right here in the church.” A little too weird for most adults. But awesome for 8th graders. It’s pretty rare that adults will show up an […]

  • The Truth About Screens

    I had an article featured as the cover story for Group Magazine’s January/February 2015 edition entitled, The Truth About Screens. Little old me. The cover story in the biggest magazine in youth ministry?  That’s cool, especially when you consider… I got a C+ in AP English in high school. I got a B in both semesters of […]

  • Welcome to Dystopia

    Welcome to Dystopia

    Welcome to Dystopia I made this video because I’m sick of the narrative. In the United States, the media portrays that we believe teenagers are incapable. They are a sub-human species guided by whims, under the influence of violent video games, and likely to drop their pants to take a selfie of their genitals at any […]

  • Spectacle: Making things go boom in youth group

    Spectacle: Making things go boom in youth group

    At last month’s Summit, Chanon Ross (Director of the Institute for Youth Ministry at Princeton Seminary) talked about the concept of spectacle as it relates to adolescent culture, literature, and ultimately faith development. Spectacle isn’t something I’d really thought about before Chanon’s talk. I won’t steal his thunder, you can watch it for yourself. Of […]

  • 3 Practical Investments in Women in Youth Ministry

    3 Practical Investments in Women in Youth Ministry

    Sometimes we do things at The Youth Cartel which are revolutionary… which really shouldn’t be all that revolutionary. This is the case with some of the stuff we’re doing right now for the women in youth ministry tribe. Here’s three things we’ve done which act as practical investments. But this isn’t a brag. It’s an […]