We’re excited to announce our 2017 themes for YouthWorker Journal!

YouthWorker Journal publishes a monthly digital magazine, and a quarterly print magazine. We also publish fresh content weekly over at the YouthWorker Blog. If you work with teenagers in a church or parachurch organization and you’ve got some good ideas, we want to hear from you.

Here are the 2017 themes for Digital YouthWorker Journal. We’ve included a small amount of text to get you thinking, but feel free to be creative and think outside the box with your article ideas. If you’d like to submit an article idea, send an email to timbaker1@gmail.com.

Deadlines: We’d like to see your article idea about eight weeks before the issue publishes (IE, proposals for the June issue are due April 1). Generally, articles are due one month before the issue publishes.

And remember, we publish non thematic articles on our blog. You’re welcome to send us a blog idea any time.

January: Small Group Ministry

How do we create and manage small group ministries in youth ministry? How do we train volunteers to be effective small group leaders? How do we create community in small groups? What effect does small group ministry have on teenagers?

February: Managing & Training Volunteers

What are the essential qualities to look for in volunteers? What are some current tools we can use to train them? What expectations should we have? What is the most effective method for recruiting volunteers? For training them? What do you do when a volunteer stops being effective? 

March: Mission and Missional

What are the effects of the missional movement on youth ministry? What is a transferable process for planning a mission trip? What kind of mission trips best exemplify the mission of Jesus? How do we engage teens to live missionally? How can we create youth ministries that are focussed on their local neighborhoods instead of neighborhoods in other countries? 

April: Boundaries & Healthy Living

What does a healthy youth worker look like – body, mind and soul? Why is physical health important in doing the work of ministry? How do we prevent youth ministry from encroaching on our personal time? What are some strategies for regaining our spiritual and physical health? Why do we often default to workaholism? 

May: Fun and Games

Why are games important in youth ministry? In what way are games an effective tool for reaching students? How can we use technology in youth ministry games? Is there a psychology of games in youth ministry? 

June: Effective Planning for Youth Ministry

What are some strategies for effective long-range planning? What is the next step after we create a long range plan? What is a simple, easy to implement strategy for planning a year long event calendar (one that you can actually accomplish)?

July: Reaching Fringe and Marginalized Teens

How do we identify marginalized teens? What barriers are there in engaging with marginalized teenagers? What are the primary causes that move teenagers to the fringe, and how do we address those causes?

August: Teaching

How do we become effective teachers? How do we measure the effectiveness of our teaching? How do we effectively address learning styles? How can youth workers become better teachers? What are some new ideas for message prep? What topics are essential to address in youth ministry programs? 

September: Local Service

How can teenagers participate with other citywide organizations in local service opportunities? What are some examples of working models for teen entrepreneurship? What are some simple ways teens can serve their churches? 

October: Using Technology for Ministry

What are the best tech tools for practical ministry? What are the best attendance tracking programs? How can technology help engage teens, create community and enhance our practice of youth ministry? Where can youth workers go to find inexpensive tech tools? What social media platform is most effective for reaching teens?

November: Staff Connections

What is our role on a church staff? How can youth workers live into a professional staff model without losing their “youthiness”. What do we do when we feel marginalized by other staff members? 

December: Moving Teens into Leadership

What are the steps to creating a youth leadership team? What can youth workers learn from parachurch organizations who run on volunteerism? What requirements do you put into place for teens who lead? How do you know when a teen is ready for leadership? What is the goal of teens leading in churches? 

About The Author

Tim Baker has been working with students for twenty-five years. He's the author of over twenty books, a professor of Biblical Studies and Youth Ministry at LeTourneau University, Director of Student Ministries at Trinity Episcopal Church in Longview Texas. Tim is the Executive Editor of YouthWorker Journal. @timbaker1

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