Best Youth/Student Ministry

Jeremy Zach, a youth minister since 2002 and youth ministry blogger, recently shared his list of common characteristics found in great youth ministries.  His list of seven shared attributes includes three that are not directly about the youth/students: maintain and train amazing and healthy leaders, engage 25% of their parents, and invite the senior pastor into the student ministry. So What? Zach is right: great youth/student ministry is never ministry in its own silo.  Effective Read More …

Wisdom for Boys

For those that do not regularly speak to teenagers, opportunities to give talks to those in this age group can prove especially challenging.  On the occasion of preparing to give an extended presentation to a group of teen aged boys, Roger Olson shared a working outline.  Among his list of ten items are it’s good to be a boy—and a man, they need to ignore the stereotypes of “manhood”—whether those come at them from their male peers or from the media or anywhere, and they should talk Read More …

The Role of Youth Ministry

Doug Franklin, president of LeaderTreks and seasoned youth minister, recently blogged about a common problem in youth ministries in our consumer culture: expectations.  Franklin suggests that parents rather than youth ministers or those volunteering in youth ministries should serve as the primary faith influencers of their teenaged children. So what? What is the point of youth ministry? Put differently, why does your congregation engage in ministry in an age specific manner to students Read More …

Being Teen Online

Zone Alarm recently posted an important infographic: The Secret Life of the Online Teenager.  While more than 4 in 5 teens use social media and more than 95% of all teens are confident in their ability to stay safe online, the details of their online behavior offer parents, educators and other caring adults reasons to monitor the online actions of teens.  More specifically, 69% openly reveal their physical locations 32% of teen girls and 24% of teen boys chat with strangers 28% download Read More …

Top 10 Characteristics of a Healthy Youth Ministry

Kenda Creasy Dean, an ordained United Methodist pastor and Professor of Youth, Church and Culture at Princeton Theological Seminary, recently blogged about the characteristics of a healthy youth ministry.  Her Top 10 list: Jesus Lots and lots of parents who are growing in, and living out, their love of God and neighbor (and who are aware that this matters to their kids) A senior pastor who is crazy about young people A supportive congregation where people actively seek God and that Read More …

The Influence of Technology

"The Family and Technology Report" is one of the Barna Group's latest publications.  The report is based on research conducted in partnership with Orange, which is part of the reThink Group. "The innovative study included nationwide interviews among parents and 11- to 17-year-olds from the same households, allowing comparisons between the parents and the tweens and teenagers who reside in the same home." Recently, Church Juice's Jerod Clark discussed the study's five findings and provided a Read More …

What Kind of Parents are a Part of Your Youth Ministry?

Recently, Andy Blanks wrote an insightful article for churchleaders.com about the four types of parents present in most youth ministries.  He names and explains the  four categories of parents in reference to their views on discipleship: Christ-followers Making Christ-followers.  These parents understand that the biblical model of discipleship calls for the chief disciplers to be mom and dad. Students are taught the basics of a vibrant faith-life; but not just in words only. These parents Read More …