All posts in student ministry

Do Big Events Really Count?

We just completed two huge events in our ministry—Easter weekend and West Coast Baptist Youth Conference. After many months of diligent prayer and preparation by a large team, God gave us a great week of decisions for Christ and personal life-change. Over the course of both events we had at least 200 people trust Christ…

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Re-Igniting Apathetic Teens

Recently, a youth pastor asked about some thoughts on how to respond if the youth group is apathetic. My first thought was, we live in a spiritually apathetic world—apathy toward spiritual things is rampant, even among Christians. It’s nothing new, and as long as we serve in ministry, we will be fighting apathy. It’s what…

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Great Books for Christian Parents

Frequently someone asks what books I would recommend on youth ministry or parenting. They are generally the same books. While there are some good books on youth ministry, the most helpful to youth ministry are those on the family. Whether you are a parent, a youth pastor, or a pastor, I would urge you to…

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Problems with Fun-Focused Youth Ministry

Is your youth ministry Bible-focused or fun-focused? It’s easy to focus more on making the youth group fun than on making it biblical. I’m all for having a good time with students in the right context, but we have a much higher calling. How easy it is to fall into the trap of spending more…

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10 Things Teens Won’t Tell You (Part 1)

Have you noticed that teens are tight lipped? For a myriad of reasons—usually intimidation being the biggest—they really find it difficult to talk to adults at times. This is especially true with parents. In every home, there is a spiritual battle against authentic communication. Let’s face it—the devil doesn’t want parents and teens to truly…

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Transforming Teens—From Kurt Skelly

If you work with young people, I want to encourage you to read the blog series “Transforming Teens” by Pastor Kurt Skelly. This is presently a seven-part series of articles that examines how Paul mentored Timothy. It is insightful, well-written, and helpful for anyone who is mentoring young lives. These articles highlight seven critical qualities/steps…

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Thoughts on Effective Youth Ministry

A frequent question: What are some keys for effective youth ministry? While I’m certainly not the authority, here are a few thoughts that I’ve seen the Lord bless (not listed in any particular order)… A Strong Local Church—Jesus died for the church. It is His divine authorized institution for His work on earth. A youth…

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7 Big Parenting Mistakes

Here’s a short list of mistakes that all parents can make when it comes to seeing, understanding, and biblically responding to the spiritual growing pains of life. (This is as much to myself as to others.) Stop and think about it—and pray for godly wisdom in responding to the issues of your children’s hearts with…

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Struggling Teenagers? Don’t Give Up Early!

Have you had a student come through your youth group, graduate, and not mature spiritually the way you hoped? It seems no matter how we pray, labor, plan, or serve—there are some that graduate and drift spiritually. What about trying to help a struggling student, only to feel like you’re spinning your wheels? Gauging by…

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Youth Ministry Idea: Developing Leaders

Quick post for youth leaders (with the spirit of idea sharing) related to developing servant leaders in student ministry. J. Oswald Sanders’ classic book Spiritual Leadership is one of the great reads on the subject. It’s worthy of revisiting on a regular basis. The first time I read this book, I was in 8th grade,…

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The Top Questions of Young Christian Singles

Throughout the year, our ministry to College and Career and Singles brings us into counseling, retreats, and venues where young Christian singles are airing really good questions. I have previously shared the details behind our Q&A times (both for teens as well as singles) and also the top 15 questions that teens ask. Here’s the…

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10 Ways to Lose a Teen’s Attention

Quick post—the top ten ways to completely bore and disconnect with those you teach: 1. Say something not worth hearing—This is basic, but if you want people to listen, start by saying something worth hearing. The number one reason we lose the attention of those we teach is that we’re not convincing them that what…

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Suggested Family Cell Phone Guidelines

Seems like kids are getting cell phones younger and younger these days! This post is one I’m only doing because of requests. Several years ago, as our boys became teens, we decided to get cell phones for them—primarily so we could get a hold of them in relation to school and youth group outings. It…

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Top 15 Questions Christian Teens Ask

Recently, I posted about our Q&A times with students at teen camps and retreats. Over the past five years, hundreds of questions consistently revolve around the same themes. If you are a parent or youth worker, this list might help you get into their heads. It is a general consolidations of hundreds of questions. Here are…

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The Power of a Question

Helping Others by Asking the Right Questions Not long ago I was on our church campus on an off day. As I left the building, headed home, there was an unfamiliar man taking photos of our buildings. Trying to be hospitable and also cautious, I approached him and kindly asked where he was from. He…

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Getting Teens to Air Their Questions

How an Honest Q&A Time Can Help Your Students This week we’ve been at teen camp with 275 of our teens from LBC. It’s been a great week! One of my favorite aspects of camp is something we instituted a few years ago called “Answers to Tough Questions.” It’s a one hour Q&A time before…

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Beating Post HS Challenges (3)

(This is the third in a series articles about the first big tests that high school graduates face. We’ve been studying them in our senior Sunday school class and I hope these ideas will be helpful to you or those you influence.) The Challenge of Freedom—this third challenge speaks of the increasing freedoms that always…

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Beating Post HS Challenges (2)

(This is the second in a series articles about the first big tests that high school graduates face. We’ve been studying them in our senior Sunday school class and I hope these ideas will be helpful to you or those you influence.) In the first article of this series we visited the challenge of a…

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Beating Post HS Challenges

(This is the first in a series articles about the first big tests that high school graduates face. We’ve been studying them in our senior Sunday school class and I hope these ideas will be helpful to you or those you influence.) Have you ever seen a train wreck? There’s not a much more vivid…

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A Glimpse Back at Spring Banquet

A Special Memory for the Senior Class of 2009 Last Monday we had the privilege of hosting our Senior High teens and many of their parents at Spring Banquet 2009. It was an amazing evening, featuring a delightfully decorated “Grand Ballroom” at the Disneyland Hotel. The students arrived at church at about noon, dressed their…

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