As a new school year begins, many churches launch into a new season of small groups. These small groups could look like anything from a Sunday school class to a weekly Bible study at the local Chick-fil-a. Though these small group environments take on many different names and look very different depending on the ministry context, there are 3 tools that you as a youth worker can employ that will help set up your student small groups for a successful year of discipleship. 1. Cast a Clear Vision Without a finish line, no one knows what it looks like to win. In the context of your small groups, have you defined a clear vision for what the small group is seeking to accomplish? Many times when we think of small groups, we think that discipleship and growth in Christ are the goals. These are the ultimate goals of all ministry,...
As we come into a new school year cycle, many student ministers find themselves staring at a blank computer screen. It is that time again for a plan for mid-week teaching, small groups, Sunday school, and events for the fall. All of these detail and planning items tend to fall at the same time just as you are recovering from the PTSD from that middle school lock-in or the queasy stomach that still haunts you from meals at student camp.
In the middle of this time of transition, curriculum is a great tool to rescue your time, to-do list, and sanity. Today, I want to offer some thoughts on why choosing to use curriculum can help you and allow you to lead a better student ministry.Read more
Burnout is a real threat to youth workers, especially those in bi-vocational or volunteer roles. But delegation is one way we can dramatically decrease our risk of burnout, as well as giving others the chance to become more involved in ministry. Here are 5 tips for becoming more adept at delegating:Read more
Discipleship is the life-long, Spirit-fueled journey of children becoming like their Father. Our students are not alone. The Father draws them to Him. The Spirit guides them and strengthens them. And they have a family around them to journey alongside.Read more
The weariness we feel from doing ministry is different than the tired you feel after doing physical labor. It's a tiredness in your soul. Andy Blanks discusses how weariness can actually be a sign that things are going really well.Read more
What could be better than Tommy and Eddie of The Skit Guys" with Greg Stier of Dare 2 Share in a room together? How about we add a live stream and a microphone?Read more
Every youth worker knows it's important to stay plugged into our students' lives outside of our Bible study time. But I'm going to say something that may surprise you: The main reason for doing this isn't for relationship building. Nope. While building relationships with students is a vital aspect of discipleship, there's a better reason for engaging with students outside of your weekly Bible study time. Ready?Read more
Ministry burnout is real. I talk to thousands of Youth Pastors throughout the year. One thing that crosses denominations, size of churches, and different parts of the country, is the tiredness and weariness that many Youth Pastors feel in their ministry. I wanted to encourage you with six things on how not to grow weary in an environment that is easily tiresome.Read more
Having run groups for years in a clinical setting as a licensed counselor, Brendt Blanks knows that many of the characteristics of running a successful discipleship group are quite similar. Yet, there are some that are unique to leading students in meaningful spiritual growth. Here are seven characteristics of running an effective small group.Read more
Andy Blanks examines some of the challenges we face in leading students to develop good spiritual habits.Read more
Somewhere along the way, we began to communicate to students that the best way (or maybe even the only way) to help introduce their peers to Christ was to simply invite them to Church. But what does this look like if it is the primary objective of our evangelism?Read more
Want to know the most dynamic, most useful, most flexible youth ministry resource there is? The one thing that, if implemented, will super-charge your youth ministry and dramatically transform the lives of your students?Read more
As Christ-followers it seems like the promise of Holy Week, Good Friday and Easter should have us singing in our souls. As you reflect on the provision of the cross and the reality of the empty tomb, here are 99 songs (in no particular order) for your playlist to help you celebrate the Easter season.Read more