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3 Ugly Truths About Weekend Retreats

We've all been there. We've either put on weekend retreats or have thought to put one on before. I know that Weekend Retreats can be the most important date on your youth ministry calendar and some of the most intimate and crucial time spent with your students. But, as with most things in youth ministry, Weekend Retreats also have a messy and ugly side that you have to combat. If you want to put on your weekend retreat, or if you want your next one to be better than your last, then you need to know and understand these three ugly truths. Plus, we'll share with you just what you can do to overcome all three of them.   1. Peer Pressure Will Affect Your Sign-Ups  I guarantee, 9 times out of 10, this is what will happen when you open the registration for your next event: You excitedly open your registration list. The following...

5 Things to Focus on in the New Year

As we begin the new year, I want to go over five things I believe all youth workers should focus on to get the most out of 2020. I'm not calling them resolutions because resolutions themselves are a one-time firm decision. These are goals that will require a year's worth of decisions to reach. Not only can you meet all of these goals, but I believe each of these will allow you to make 2020 matter!

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The Best Online Articles and Training Posts of 2019

We hope that 2019 has been a fantastic year for you and your youth ministry. We consider it a blessing to have come alongside you in your ministry and equipped you with a number of Articles and Training posts throughout the whole calendar year. Although we hope that every post has been beneficial to you, there were a few that stood out to you and other youth workers like you. And, in case you missed some of them, check out the best Online Articles and Training posts of 2019!

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Recruiting Volunteers for Your Retreat

Events are essential, and they are such a vital part of student ministry. Although there are some aspects of retreats that we can't control, there is one crucial aspect that we can control: recruiting adult volunteers. No matter what size ministry you operate, you can always benefit from people helping you. Some leaders have led alone, but the best thrive with help around them. Before we dive into the article, I want to take a moment to speak to those of you who do operate alone. Thank you for the sacrifice you make, and for the countless hours and energy, you have poured into these students. The hope is this article might provide you with some helpful tools to start bringing others into the ministry. If you are someone reading this who operates with a team or group of volunteers, then our hope is this article helps you do this...

Merry Christmas from YM360 (2019)

Isaiah 9:6 (ESV)For to us, a child is born,    to us a son is given;and the government shall be upon his shoulder,    and his name shall be calledWonderful Counselor, Mighty God,    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. May your Christmas be spent celebrating that God loved all of mankind so much that he sent his Son to live among us.Merry Christmas!Team YM360Aaron, Andy, Amy, Angela, Anna, Anna-Kate, Brett, Finn, Hannah, Jake H., Jake R., Laurel-Dawn, Lauren, Lee, Les, Lindsey, Robbie, Roger, Terrance, and Will.      

How Do You Reinvent a Game that Already Exists?

Games are the universal language between adults and students. Games grant people an opportunity to step out of their routine to show a different side of themselves. Here’s the problem with games: coming up with them. We’ve all witnessed incredible games before, and we’ve also seen those games which flopped upon arrival. But how do you re-invent a game after it has become stale? Robbie and Jake want to show you today!

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How to Use Christmas as a Youth Ministry Reboot

It seems like when our schedule gets a bit lighter during the Christmas season; we can often get less done. We want to spend a few moments today talking about how you can head into this Christmas season with an intentional spirit to use this month as a youth ministry reboot.

We believe there are four things you can do to give your ministry that extra energy when 2020 rolls around!

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The 12 Songs of Christmas

You’ve heard of the 12 Days of Christmas, but what about 12 of the most popular international Christmas songs? In keeping with the Christmas spirit, we’ve compiled a list of Christmas themed songs from around the globe (including an excerpt of the lyrics!). You may recognize more than you realize. Enjoy!

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The YM360 Christmas Vault

The YM360 Christmas "Vault" is full of free lessons, games, party ideas, devotions for youth workers and students. Don't miss these incredible resources!

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Launch Pad Events Vs. Mountain Top Events

We’re all familiar with the metaphor: Sometimes, as Christians, we experience “mountain top” events. As a youth worker, we often hope the events we plan will be mountain top events. We hope that when we design a retreat weekend or a camp, these events will be moments where our students experience God’s presence. That’s not a bad thing to hope for. But there is another side of mountain top events that can be slightly problematic. Let us tell you what it is and how you can overcome it in your student ministry.

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The Honeymoon Phase has Worn Off!

It is inevitable. Eventually, the shine and the glow of your small group is going to wear off. What do you do once that has happened? Andy and Robbie have some tips to help you get the shine back!

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Want a Strong January? Don't Miss the Sports Pause

Today, I want to make the case that all youth pastors need to hit November with the same energy and hype as August. Why? Because of the Sports Pause. Don't know what the Sports Pause is? No problem, let me tell you.



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Free Thanksgiving Lessons and Games for Youth Ministry

Check out the YM360 Thanksgiving Content Page -- a page devoted to giving you free lessons and games to use in your Youth Ministry.

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How to Get Along With Parents Who Don't Like You

Unfortunately, we won’t always like everyone we do life and ministry with. And they won’t always like us. This is just human nature. We know this, and we strive to overcome it. But it can be particularly tricky when that person who doesn’t like you is a parent of one of your students. Ouch.

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I Thought I Signed Up for Youth Ministry Not Office Work

At times, youth ministry can feel more like office work, rather than worshipping with students, ministering, playing fun games, and hosting lock-ins. We wanted to take a moment to help you take a fresh look at how office work isn't meant to inhibit your ministry instead of enhancing it. Read/Watch/Listen by clicking here!


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Your Teenagers Think the Bible is Boring. Here’s How to Change That

Study after study shows that the overwhelming majority of Christian teenagers in the US aren’t reading their Bibles. Only about 1 in 5 have a regular, meaningful relationship with God’s Word. Most Christian teenagers rarely touch their Bibles, with another nearly 1 in 5 who report never reading their Bibles at all in a given year. For the American Christian teenager, the Bible simply isn’t something that is holding their interest. When we consider that the Bible is the MAIN way God has chosen to make Himself known to us, this is a particularly alarming truth. How can students follow what they don't know? I believe that as youth workers, we’re in the perfect position to change that.  How do we do it? What can we do to help students develop a passion for God and His Word? The good news is that I think it's actually much more straightforward...

The Importance of Christmas in Youth Ministry

Christmas is an excellent time to refocus your students on the true meaning of the holiday season. Jake and Andy talk about why and how you should make sure not to miss the importance of Christmas in youth ministry.

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Getting the Most out of a Youth Ministry Conference

It's conference season in youth ministry! Regardless of denomination, in the next few months, there are many youth ministry conferences that you will be apart of or be invited to. Here is some wisdom about how you can make the most of your time spent at a youth ministry conference.

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3 Reasons for Emailing Your Students' Parents Weekly

As Youth Workers, we know it is important to communicate with our students' parents. I am challenging you to begin to do this weekly. Over the years as youth pastor and now as a parent of two children in the youth ministry at my church, I value good communication from the youth ministry. 

What started as 3 reasons turned into 4. Don't worry, you won't have to pay extra for the 4th one. 

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5 Tips for Happy Youth Ministry Volunteers

Recruiting leaders to serve alongside you in your youth ministry is tough work. Once a volunteer says, "yes" and begins serving, I challenge you to help make them happy. It not only helps them stay serving in your ministry longer but also will help them serve more effectively. I bet when you are happy serving at your church, you do a better job then when you are unhappy. Right?

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