Find a Safety

There’s a position on a football team that is somewhat unique - the Safety. The Safety plays defense and stands towards the back of the field, the furthest away from the football that you could imagine. The...

When Volunteers Don’t Follow Through

Adult volunteers are vital to successful youth ministry. What happens when volunteers let you down? Here are some suggestions for addressing this important challenge. Let them know how valuable they are. Do...

Managing Exits

If you spend even a short amount of time in youth ministry, you quickly discover one recurring theme is that people are leaving you all the time. If you're a middle school minister, you say goodbye to your eig...

Doing Things You Don’t Want to Do

What do we do with the stuff we don't want to do? Everyone—whether grade school student, college student, first-time mom, mailman, telemarketer, professional athlete, CEO or youth pastor—from time to time ...

Failure to Thrive

There is a medical term related to children called “Failure to Thrive.” At least I think there is. I don’t know if you know this, but I’m not a doctor (though I promise I’m a youth pastor)!  I’ve ...

Making Space

Recently, a pastor friend of mine read for me Judy Brown’s poem “Fire.” Brown does a masterful job of capturing what our job as youth ministers should be: making space for God to do His work. She uses th...

Managing Rejection

If you were expecting something other than rejection, you probably should consider a different profession. It is par for the course, a when and not an if.

Managing Confrontation

"I cannot wait to have that difficult conversation with that friend of mine, the one where I have to tell him how much he's upset me. It's gonna be the highlight of my week. I just love confrontation!" I be...