Tag Archives | discipleship

I’m Not Good at Spiritual Retreats

Once a season I try to get away for a spiritual retreat day. No writing, no texting, no meetings, no people around at all. Sometimes it is to a place of solace like the beach, other times it is just holing up in a coffee shop out of the church’s reach. Sometimes it involves music, sometimes (rarely if I’m honest) does it involve solitude and silence.

Here’s the thing – I’m no good at retreats! I like people. I love busy places, packed schedules and the pace of ministry and life. I’m sure there’s deep insecurity and vulnerability I’m trying to hide in all of that … but I’m also smart enough to know that everything has it’s place. So last Friday I dropped off the grid for a little while. To help us disconnect, my friend Jessica wrote and adapted some really great exercises for this day of retreat. I loved her guiding words at the top of the guide, and thought I would share them with you, too:

• Take your time. There isn’t a lot of ‘content’ because taking your time with each prompt is important.

• Try not to find immediate meaning in your experience. Simply present yourself before God asking Him to help you be open to whatever He desires to give you during (and beyond) this time.

• Distractions. If you find you are distracted by other thoughts or priorities, attend to those first and then begin this portion of the retreat. Attending to the concerns of your heart before entering into this material will allow you to truly focus on this portion of your retreat, rather than continually being drawn to other things in your heart.

• Consider the definition of retreat. The definition of retreat is: the setting aside of an extra-ordinary amount of time to do something for the sake of your soul at an intensity and duration that your ordinary lifestyle doesn’t permit. Remember this definition (repeat it if you must) as you retreat with God.

• Enjoy the presence of God!

Have you ever taken a spiritual retreat? Was it helpful?


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Discipleship = Time + Relationships

Matthew 28:18-20 – “Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age’”.

I have been thinking a lot about discipleship lately. It’s hard. It’s so worth it. I have been thinking about how I myself have become a disciple of Jesus. I have been thinking about how we as a ministry are making sure we discipling students in a way that they would be making other disciples. My office mate and I were talking and he said something pretty great which got me thinking. He said, “I’m not concerned with how many students we baptize, I’m concerned with how many of those we baptize end up baptizing others. How do we get better in this?” Such a great question isn’t it? It’s a challenge we all need to take seriously and step back and look at how we are doing this.

Looking at what a disciple is: 1) someone who is willing to “go”. They knew what they saw about Jesus and had to go out and tell others about Him. We need to make sure our students KNOW what they believe to go out and tell others. 2) Disciples challenge others who believe to be baptized. While baptism is not what saves a person, it is the public confession of allegiance to Christ and willingness to enter into Christian discipleship. 3) a disciple reproduces themselves. While only some believers are gifted in teaching, all believers are called to share what they know about Jesus with others growing in their knowledge of Christ.

So what does this look like for you? How can you measure this in your ministry? I don’t know. I do believe that our small groups are the beginning of where many disciples are started but we always need to be striving to be better. I just know it takes a lot of time and it mostly stems out of a lot of relationships. As I look back on my own journey of discipleship, I can pin point certain people who were instrumental in my faith. They time they spent with me and the things they talked to me about regarding my faith made me who I am today and I’m grateful. Those people were Greg Tisor, who I used to volunteer for and now is a senior pastor and Mike Brook, who is now the college pastor here at Saddleback. They spent so much time and intentional in their relationship with me pointing me to Jesus.

I’m sure many of us can look at our stories and realize the same thing. There was a lot of time and a relationship in which helped us turn towards Jesus even more and I would love to hear your stories! DYM is a family and how do you get to know your family better? You share stories, so share in the comments below:

 How did you become a disciple?

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How To Disciple Like Jesus

When we look at the Gospels we can see clearly Jesus had a small group. He had 12 disciples. Out of this group there was life change, but not only life change but world change. I am currently reading through the Gospels right now and one of the things that stands out to me about how Jesus disciples his group and others around Him was how many questions he asked. His disciples would ask Him a question and He would answer with a question. At first I thought, “How annoying?” But as I began to think about it, it is genius. Getting people to even think about the questions they ask helps to get them to the answer that they are looking for.

We disciple most like Jesus when we learn how to ask our students great questions.

I have tried this the past few weeks with my own small group. They would ask a question and then I would answer with a question back. They would get frustrated because they want the easy answer but what I found is that they would begin to verbally process through the question and they would land on the answer they were looking for. We can readily give them the quick and easy answer but they won’t truly learn. I think if we as a leaders want to try to model after Jesus and how he discipled His group, we need to make our students work towards the answers they are seeking after by asking them better questions to get them thinking about their faith in Jesus.

Learn how to ask great questions and I think we will begin to see how students learn how to follow Jesus better.

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Always Have Something Handy

I want to read blogs but don’t have time. I want to read that awesome new book but can’t seem to be able to fit it in. I want to be a leader who reads, but who’s got time? I want to grow … but I’m too busy helping everyone else grow. Help!

Now, I actually haven’t ever heard people say those things; we think but don’t verbalize I’m sure. Plus everyone else seems to have figured it out by themselves! So I wanted to share with you how I find great blog posts, how I read great books, and how I record what I’m learning. It as simple this: always have something handy.

One of the cheats I’ve used for a long time to help stretch my time is to always keep a tool or resource handy. I want to be a learner, I want to grow and I need to be continually developed. Rarely do I have time to just dive into a book for an extended time, so I do these simple but strategic things:

Get a great RSS reader
I love Newsbar for the iPhone/Mac that automatically syncs all of the feeds that I subscribe to like magic! It quickly goes back and forth with what I’ve read or not across all of my devices. Really it is a simple little app that keeps me in sync with 250+ blogs that I follow every day. I can quickly scan them all, scroll through a few and dive deeply into 1 or two. Grow by keeping a reader app handy!

Always keep a book in the car
I can’t count the number of times I’ve been stuck in the car after dropping off one of my kids or waiting for something to wrap up. Often times I waste time on Jetpack Joyride or Flappy Bird, but a great investment is to knock out a few pages of a book. Grow by keeping a book in the driver’s side door! David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell is my current jam.

Keep a journal in your laptop bag
A great for you to grow is to record your learnings! Process a problem, manage to do lists, write down a list of failures or a list of improvements you need to make. Moleskin for the win, skip technology on this one. Keeping a journal handy will help you grow!

Call to connect with a mentor
Sometimes when you have a little downtime it’s a great chance to steal a few minutes with a mentor in your life. Because phone is so precious, having a few minutes keeps the connection fresh but also gives both parties an out. I know sometimes when I call someone they decline because they think hours instead of minutes. Don’t have access to a mentor? Get a virtual one by subscribing to a great youth ministry podcast and become part of the team!

So those are a few of my methods to grow in the moments since that’s about all I’ve got to work with. What do you keep handy to help you grow?


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6 Ways to Encourage Small Group Students to Take a Next Step

Here are a few simple ways to help students take a next step in their spiritual growth. We want our small group leaders to help students grow on their own:

Think About the Individual
The large group setting is a more objective, big picture look at Scripture that challenges crowd students. A small group setting is totally subjective, allowing students to be challenged individually because they are known, loved and cared for. A small group leader can think about the individual by reflecting how God has been moving in their hearts. Maybe even replay discussions you’ve had with your students over the past month. Then suggest a resource that fits where God is already moving their heart.

Personalize a Resource
When you find the right resource, take time to write a note in the front of it. Make it personal to them, share you heart why you wanted them to have it and speak into the future you see for them. When you hand a resource to someone, it says a lot – but why not say even a little more and jot a few thoughts inside the cover.

Encourage a Small Step
Last week, we learned to celebrate any step forward in building a relational ministry. A baby step is still a step forward, and sometimes we have to remember that spiritual growth doesn’t come in leaps and bounds. Sometimes, the small steps are huge to a student, encourage a step, no matter the size.

Encourage a Big Step
Blow their mind with something out of their league. Think bigger than they think of themselves. Believe in them enough to challenge them to bite off something huge. Tell them they are up for the challenge and think they can do it. Who knows, it might be just what they need for a burst of spiritual formation.

Offer to go through the study/book/resource with them
What if you did it alongside them, too? Help them know you are serious by offering to walk down the path a little ways with them. Maybe it is reading a few chapters with them, maybe serving together for a few weeks, or texting back and forth with questions and thoughts about what they are reading. “Grow on your own” doesn’t release us from helping students journey some of it together.

Check in after a few weeks
Giving resources away to students and encouraging them to grow is what we’re all about. But better leadership is to offer some accountability and checking in on their progress. The accountability encourages an expectation that they can and will get through this, and you are partnering with them in these steps of the spiritual journey.

Next steps in spiritual growth aren’t easy, but they can be life-changing. What other ways can small group leaders encourage students to take a “next step” in their spiritual growth?


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4 Reasons Why We Have Small Groups

Last week I posted about the purpose of our youth group services, thought it might be good to followup with a post about they “why” of small groups as well. Our overarching philosophy is that we want students not to just be exposed to the purposes of the church (that’s the large group) but also have them experience them first-hand. This makes our Life Groups so critical to the discipleship process. Here’s a breakdown of why we do small groups:

A couple of weeks out of the month, the small group does significant and intentional Bible study. The leaders prepares a lesson selected from the materials provided/approved by the ministry, and concentrate on helping their students grow in Christian education and faith.

Throughout the month, the small group leader checks in on their students’ spiritual disciplines and holds them accountable to growing on their own. The idea here is to gently disciple students to a faith that they can take with them beyond high school. The leader looks for spiritual conversations and opportunities to challenge a student personally. Tons of resources are close at hand to help a student take a spiritual step forward.

At least once a quarter, maybe as often as once a month, the entire group spends time serving together. Care for one of the student’s teachers that lost a spouse recently, serve at a local shelter, help someone with yard work, adopt a city block, visit a home for the elderly. The ministry provide tons of options and ideas, but each group has the flexibility and freedom to create their own monthly service project.

Take the night off! Pool party, lazer tag, pizza buffet, world series of poker marathon, sledding – whatever, it doesn’t really matter. Just something super fun and community – no agenda, just life on life happening.


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Download Youth Ministry WEBshow #236 w/Duffy Robbins

Another week, another episode of the Download Youth Ministry Show! This week special guest Duffy Robbins joins the crew! We talk about youth ministry for 45 minutes every week or two, your questions answered every time. Just enough youth ministry so you don’t feel guilty for listening.

As always, thanks to our amazing sponsors who help with incredible giveaways:

Send in your questions to webshow@downloadyouthministry.com to be answered on a future show, too!

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Saddleback HSM Weekend in Review: Volume 239


Weekend Teaching Series: Be
Sermon in a Sentence: God’s plan is for us to be spiritually healthy, transformed into His image, not confirmed to the world.
Service Length: 58 minutes

Understandable Message: This weekend we had video teaching of Kurt Jonhston doing the opening talk of the student version of the campaign. He did a great job introducing the theme of the series and it was fun having a student edit the video all together. The message centered around 6 habits that spiritually healthy people do:

  • Hanging out with God
  • Attending church
  • Being generous
  • Investing in Christian friendships
  • Telling my story
  • Serving others

Element of Fun/Positive Environment: This weekend we played the classic game Is It Really in the Bible? and had so much fun continuing our Olympic-themed game series. We’re starting to get into Winter Formal season, but lots of students were there and serving in lots of areas. Continually impressed by the greeting team creating a friendly environment.

Music Playlist: Alive, Dancing Generation, Closer, Your Love is Enough

Favorite Moment: It was a pretty straightforward weekend, my favorite moment was having the Rwanda missions trip team on stage for commissioning and prayer. A great example to the students in the audience and powerful moment for the students going!

Up next: Worship Together Weekend 50 Days of Transformation (church-wide campaign, week 2 of 7)

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First 2 Years: You Own the Small Group!


Once a year (usually around the new year), I throw a wrench in our small group calendar. Adapted from our You Own the Weekend series, I dedicate a month or so to have my small group be run by the students!

It is one of the most fun things that my group does and we look forward to it every year! I group them into pairs and assign them a passage of scripture (usually there is a theme, like parables or miracles). When it is their week, they are responsible for several things: bringing the snack, running “highs and lows,” leading the lesson, and overseeing prayer requests at the end. Of course I help prep them during the week leading up, but once small group starts it is all them!

Here are a couple reasons why I keep bringing it back:

-It is fun! You Own the Small Group (YOTSG) is a blast and allows students to express themselves and their creativity. Last year, when a group was teaching about the vine and branches, they brought in this HUGE tree branch, shears, fruit–everything! While it was super messy, it was super fun! The things that they do when they teach help make some really special memories.

-It helps the group. If you have ever worked in customer service, you find yourself having extra patience and saying thank you much more often when you go to restaurants. You do that because you know what it is like to deal with how crazy customers can be. This is the same principle. After leading their week, students know what it is like to try to get the group to listen and respect each other and how hard it can be to get people to participate. Students come out of it being a more productive and well-behaved student in group. It pushes them to take ownership in the group.

What are some things that you do to mix up small group?

Colton [Email||Twitter]

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Resolutions That Will Not Fade Away

With the new year comes resolutions that we all know will fade. All of the gyms in the country will be empty and barren by January 20th and Starbuck’s won’t have to order extra non-fat milk because everyone will go back to their normal drink. The new year always comes with ideas of new and change in our lives. Same thing with ministry. There are new dreams, prayers, products, games, stuff that are on the cutting edge. Maybe you will try them out and maybe they will help your ministry and maybe you will discover that that thing did not work for your context of ministry. It’s all about trying it out and seeing what works and how God moves through it.

When it comes to ministry, I think new things are great. I love trying new things and re-thinking ways to attempt something. But sometimes “old” still works. Here are some “old” things that have been around for a long, long time I think will never stop being successful with students and us leading them in groups. These are new year resolutions that won’t die out and they will always work.

Leader Spiritual Life – When the leader is spiritually healthy, chances are the ministry is not too far behind. There are so many things we let get in the way of our spiritual growth because it’s “ministry” related. Don’t let business keep you from being spirtually healthy and don’t let business hold you back so you can hold your ministry back. It’s a cliche, but “Speed of the leader speed of the team” and I’ll add “Speed of the ministry”.

Caring Adults – Having a team of caring adults who also pour into your students of your ministry will never go out of style and it will not ever fail. The more Godly voices we have pouring into our students the better. We know this. When a student can come to services or a small group and literally feel the love from many caring adult leaders, it’s a win. Keep building it. Keep adding them.

One-on-One Conversations – Services are great. Sermons are great. Camps are great. Events are great. But what makes them awesome are the opportunities they provide for one-on-one conversations with students. It’s the conversations we have with students that make the difference. That is where the discipleship happens. And just a side note: the more caring adults you have, the more one-on-one conversations you can have more often.

Teaching Jesus – The Gospel will never die out. It never fails. As long as we teach teaching the Good News of Jesus we will keep seeing student’s lives change. I’m addicted to life change, as I’m sure you are as well. Keep it Jesus-centered in teaching and curriculum and I’m sure this year we will see many lives changed by God.

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First 2 Years: 4 Secrets to Listening Better


I’ve been really passionate about listening recently. Mainly because there aren’t that many people that do it. One problem is that I don’t think people know how to listen well. The other problem is that I don’t think people understand the power of listening well. I used to think that I was a great listener until I had two incredible and life-giving conversations with a mentor of mine that changed everything for me. Not just in how I encountered my own brokenness, but in how I encountered the brokenness of others. Here are four of the qualities I have noticed in great listeners:

Be slow to speak. We are in ministry for a lot of reasons, one being our addiction to life change. We love seeing students’ testimonies unfold before our eyes. But the problem with that is we sometimes try to cut corners and expedite the process. When students tell us about an issue, we can be quick to give life advice and layout a plan to make it all better. But most times, people are just looking for someone to listen to them. Let them ask you for advice. Have them talk far more than you. Some of the best conversations I’ve had were with people that spoke maybe 15% of the time.

Make them your world.  One of the most valuable things you can give someone is your time, but we cheapen that gift when we aren’t fully present. Whether it is checking your phone every five minutes or thinking about what you need to get done next, it can be such a struggle to make someone our world for just an hour. You want someone to open up to you? Be all in.

Ask Questions. Two of the biggest needs teenagers (and people in general) have are to feel known and to feel understood. One of the best ways to help meet these needs is to ask intentional questions. Ask questions that lead to discovery and for you to better understand them and for them to better understand themselves. In the midst of tragedy most people aren’t great at identifying their thoughts and feelings, so ask questions that help navigate them towards some kind of clarity.

Find the “why?” There is always a reason behind what we do. Never settle for what’s on the surface. It is impossible to compartmentalize our lives. Everything is connected to everything. So when something like an anger issue surfaces, the actual problem isn’t the student acting out, the real problem is something much bigger.  Find that “bigger” thing.

What are some qualities that you would add to this list?

Colton [Email||Twitter]

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Death as Discipleship

Our American culture does not handle death well. We don’t know how to grieve or how to be with people in their despair. Uncomfortable with silence, we attempt to fill it. When we do, we often say something dumb that only heightens everyone’s discomfort.

Unfortunately, church people seldom handle grief better than the world around us. What’s more, in our effort to shelter teens from death, we’ve unintentionally removed our chance to model for them how to grieve with and for others.

Thankfully, this doesn’t have to be the case.

The next time your youth ministry faces a loss, view it as an opportunity for discipleship. Don’t just surround the grieving family with your love and care. Instead, equip others to do the same.

Rather than attend the wake  alone, arrange a time for those in your youth ministry to go together. Doing so gives you an opportunity to console the distraught, disciple students through the grieving process, and powerfully communicate your ministry’s presence, care, and love to the grieving family.

Prior to the wake, meet in a neutral setting. Thank students for caring enough about the family to attend.

Since not all students have experienced death before, prepare them for what they’re about to experience. Talk about what they’re likely to see as well as visitation etiquette – signing the guest book.

paying respects to the family, standing before the coffin, etc.

Remind students that what matters most is their presence.

Help students avoid saying something dumb by giving them other options. Since a grieving family is never doing well, tell them to avoid asking, “How are you doing?” Encourage them to instead say, “I’m so sorry for your loss,” or “I’m praying for you.” Such responses are always appropriate.

Encourage students to look at pictures of the deceased with his or her loved ones. Doing so gives you a point of connection, a way to learn about the deceased, and a way to invite loved ones to share stories using simple prompts like “Tell me about this picture”.

Validate students’ emotions. Recognize that death affects students in a multitude of ways, regardless of how well they knew the deceased. Give students permission to feel whatever they’re feeling. Remind them that just as they are there for the grieving family, you’re there for them.

Go with students to the coffin and model how to respectfully pay their last respects.

Repeat the aforementioned steps with regard to funerals or memorial services.

In the days and weeks following a death, model what it means to show continued care for the family. Organize a meal train. Get together with kids to make meals for the family. Reserve time in your youth ministry’s gathering to write cards for the grieving family.

While dealing with death is never easy, by taking these steps, we can powerfully disciple students and give them tools to use for the rest of their lives. In so doing, we’ll show them how to tangibly bear Christ’s love to the world by entering into and grieving with the brokenhearted.

Jen Bradbury has been in youth ministry for 11 years. She’s the youth director at Faith Evangelical Lutheran Church in Glen Ellyn, IL. Her writing has appeared in YouthWorker Journal, The Christian Century, and Immerse. She blogs at ymjen.com

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Discipleship: Intentional Journeying

Sermon series, camps, devotionals, and information. I think we all can agree on how important these things are when it comes to planning out certain things in our ministries. Sermon series on the weekends or midweek, camp themes and speakers, small group curriculum and devotionals that go along with it. There is just a ton of information that needs to get to our students and it’s important for us to get it to them. In a sense, it’s part of our job to create this for our students. But not only thinking about just getting it to them, it’s how we are getting it to them.

When it comes to our sermon series and camp themes and curriculum, we need to realize information does not lead to transformation. More information does not mean more transformation. We need to be intentional and prayerful. I was talking to a pastor on our staff who runs and organizes retreats for a living. He is a master. I got to pick his brain a little bit about our upcoming winter retreat and he said somethings that I never have even thought of before when it comes to planning a retreat. It was amazing. I thought a lot of what we do as youth workers and how we are passionate about getting information about certain things to students. As we do we need to know not all students are at the same place. Some are more mature than others. Some or ready to go deeper. Some are not. My conversation with him just got me thinking a ton about the discipleship process and the journey we as pastors take our students on. This is not an exhaustive list, but just some thoughts as I was debriefing our lunch:

  • I don’t need to be the one to give them all of the information.
  • I do not need to give all the info in one sitting.
  • Take students on a journey. Start them off and then through a series think about where you want them to land.
  • My job is to set up our leaders so they can facilitate discussion with their groups of students. Even though I’m the one speaking to them, their leaders will be following up with them and doing the follow-up conversations. Set them up well.
  • I want students to know that being honest with God is okay. Make it clear to them because some of them don’t know that’s okay.
  • I want them to know that not having a mountaintop experience… is okay. Depending on where they are in their faith journey, it will happen sometimes and sometimes it won’t.
  • I don’t want them to feel in love with an experience but I want them to fall in love with God.
  • Silence is okay sometimes. Don’t fight it.Sometime what comes up in the silence are not distractions, but the very things God wants to deal with in your life.
  • There is a difference between a retreat and an escape. Many student look at a retreat as an escape of what is going on at home and they need to get away from it and “recharge”. A retreat is to retreat to God, not escape from home.
  • Am I doing it because I think it’s cool? Or am I doing it because I really think this activity or lesson will cause great conversations later with leaders.
  • Am I doing this because I think it’s cool? Or have I really thought about it and prayed about how this is best for my students and their faith journey while they are listening to me teach or go through a camp I put on?

Anyways, my hope in sharing my thoughts on this would be you would get to thinking about how you go about discipleship as well. Are you just spouting out information or are you really being intentional with how and why you are doing the series you are doing, the theme of camp you are doing, the devotional you are doing? Whatever it is, I’m sure it’s great and I would love to hear about what exciting things you have planned coming up.

Fell free to share below what you are most excited about in ministry right now when it comes to discipleship.

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5 Reasons Why Youth Groups Avoid Teaching on Certain Topics

I’ve taught hundreds of lessons in front of teenagers, but at times … well, I avoid certain topics. I know the biblical mandate to teach the “whole council of God” and I’m in – but there are certainly some reasons I skip over certain passages or topics I shy away from. Here are 5 reasons I don’t cover something in youth group:

It isn’t part of my discipleship plan
Here’s the primary reason I choose not to teach on a certain subject: it isn’t part of my discipleship plan for my students. I genuinely think it is OK to not teach on every verse of the Bible before a student graduates. It is OK to choose not to teach on a topic before they leave your ministry. You HAVE to make choices … and choices are good and reflect your prayers and your planning. Choices are different than avoiding something.

It is a topic I’m not an expert in
Right now we’re having an apologetics series – and in this first week  our guest speaker had MY head spinning! I want my students to understand the foundation for their faith and even some of the deeper evidences for Jesus and our faith. But some times I leave it off the teaching calendar because it is easier for me to talk about something I’m more familiar with. And that’s OK, just make sure your students are hearing from someone who is an expert in that field!

It is a controversial topic
The Bible is filled with some culturally-disruptive perspectives on lots of topics. It is and has always been an upside-down, counter-cultural message. Often times youth workers are close to pop culture and the teenage world, so these topics seem abrasive or show us as out of touch, old school or close-minded. The honest truth is just because something isn’t popular isn’t true. Have the integrity as the primary teacher in youth group to stand up for what the Bible stands up for.

It is an area I’ve failed in
This is a terrible reason to not teach on a subject! In fact, I would suggest that your failures could serve as the strongest warning to others not to follow the path you’re on. Does it mean opening up yourself to your students? Does it make you vulnerable to blowback from parents and disappointment from contemporary Pharisees in your ministry? It sure does … but I know God is honored when we shine His light on the darkness of sin.

It is a subject I currently struggle with
You avoiding a subject you struggle with in your faith is a sure fire way to make sure your students struggle in that same area and learn to suppress is from their community, too. How naive, that as the leader of a ministry, we not go after the stuff that trips US up! One warning: be careful how much you share and never, ever teach about how you have complete and total victory in an area. Let’s be honest, we’re all one knucklehead decision from being another fallen youth worker.

What other reasons do we avoid certain topics when we speak to teenagers? Share one in the comments!


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How to Lead Young Men

HowtoLeadLooking for good training material for your volunteers? Check out this awesome blog by Brandon Andersen. Mentorship has been something that has really been on my heart recently and a mentor of mine sent me this to read. The article presents 8 things that every mentor should be thinking about when investing in the young men in their ministry. It is full of wisdom that both affirms and convicts. Here is a great excerpt from it:


Every guy wants to be something special, a hero, a man among men. In my experience, I have noticed a similar pattern when young men set out on their own. First, they pursue happiness, pleasure, and fun. Often this leads to partying, adventure, or a lazy pursuit of comfort in things like video games. When that dries out, they pursue meaning, usually in relationships, achievements, or causes. They let the meaning of their life rest on people and situations that will ultimately fail them. So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. 2 Timothy 2:22 The point is, man’s purposes are vapid, shallow, and fleeting (Ps. 39:5Prov. 16:2) Often times leaving a lot of destruction in their wake (1 Tim. 6:9). Man was made for the purposes of God, and this desire is etched in our souls (Gen. 1:26–28). In the words of Pink Floyd, man would rather have a walk-on part in a war than a lead role in a cage. The war is the story of the kingdom of God, from creation to new creation, and it requires sacrifice for God’s glory, not ambition for our own. Invite them into the bigger story of God reconciling all things to himself (Eph. 1:7–102 Cor. 5:11–21).

Don’t just limit this article to guy’s ministry because I believe many of these ideas are great for mentorship in general (no matter a guy or girl). What are some points that you would add to this blog? What are your tips on mentorship?

Colton [Email||Twitter]

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