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447941: Simple Student Ministry: A Clear Process for Strategic Youth Discipleship  
Simple Student Ministry: A Clear Process for Strategic Youth Discipleship 

Here are the key ideas of Clarity, Movement, Alignment, and Focus that will transform any over-stimulated youth program into a simpler, more results-oriented spiritual development process. Fun is still allowed, by all means, but the ultimate emphasis on maturing faith is simply essential.

Sunday School Lesson Plans

Youth Ministry Tips

40450: First Two Years of Youth Ministry First Two Years of Youth Ministry
By Doug Fields / Youth Specialties

In this sequel to his bestseller Purpose-Driven Youth Ministry, Fields offers 10 valuable steps to beginning a successful program. You'll learn the importance of going before God, focusing on relationships, communicating your desires, identifying your personal values, developing and teaching your purpose, pursuing leaders, evaluating and creating programs, and more. Ideal for veterans or first-timers. 208 pages, softcover from Zondervan.

This page contains a smattering of tips for youth ministry. Sometimes just a little tweak of what you are doing will make all the difference in your results.

1.Read each tip carefully. Before rushing on to the next item, briefly evaluate your youth ministry to see if you are implementing the suggestion described.

2. Determine where and in what form the suggestion could best be used to improve your youth ministry style and results.

3. Finally, print this page. Write a note to yourself detailing how you will implement the change and track the result.

466106: Indispensable Youth Pastor Indispensable Youth Pastor
By Mark Devries & Jeff Dunn-Rankin / Group Publishing

Youth Ministry is one of the most rewarding professions in the world. But it also can be exhausting, overwhelming, captivating, tedious, energizing, demanding, and stressful. Are you prepared?

Veteran youth workers and consultants Mark DeVries and Jeff-Dunn Rankin want you to succeed--whether you are trying to land your first youth-ministry role, wishing you had more love for the job you already have, or seeking strategies to lock in your dream job.
That's why they have written The Indispensable Youth Pastor to peel back the curtain and reveal the truths about youth ministry. they want you to understand and prepare for the unique challenges that accompany this calling. Otherwise, you're likely to be blindsided and overwhelmed by situations that a well-prepared youth worker will handle with ease.

Focus your youth ministry:

Many youth pastors have an idea of the basics they believe constitute youth ministry: a mid week meeting that includes a game, music, and lesson; a Sunday school class; some outings throughout the year like summer camp, a mission trip. All these are great but few youth pastors ever stop to digest whether the implementation of those basic elements will get the result they want. Fewer still have even determined the specific needs of the kids or developed a strategy to meet those needs.

After close scrutiny you might find out that your mid-week youth group event causes more harm than good by placing just another thing in an already hectic schedule for the kids and you. Read about hitting the pause button on my blog.

John Maxwell is an expert at that. He makes planning so simple. Tap into his giftedness with this book:

200406: Put Your Dream to the Test: 10 Questions to Help You See It and Seize It Put Your Dream to the Test: 10 Questions to Help You See It and Seize It
By John Maxwell / Thomas Nelson

When initially conceived, our visions are often little more than vague hopes. Maxwell shows you how to transform ambiguous dreams into purposeful action plans! Let his 10 field-tested questions equip you with practical and powerful direction, inspire you to act with confidence, and guide you in creating clear and compelling pathways to achieving your goals..

Sometimes a planning meeting is needed.

If you don't have the ability to plan or the vision required to see the end from the beginning you need help. Ask for help. Gather a group of interested adults, elders, other leaders, and parents. Digest their felt needs and desires. Make a list of your kids. Determine each individuals needs. Devise a youth ministry that meets those needs.

Bible teaching is always good but it's possible that other issues are inhibiting the learning process: Bad parenting, divorce, emotional issues such as anger, substance abuse. You probably feel ill prepared to handle these issues but there is help out there. You may have to spend some time addressing these issues before your teaching ministry can be effective.

282495: The Youth Worker"s Guide to Helping Teenagers in Crisis The Youth Worker's Guide to Helping Teenagers in Crisis
By Rich Van Pelt & Jim Hancock / Zondervan

Crisis-management expert Van Pelt and respected youth worker Hancock unfold step-by-step plans and biblically based advice for managing scenarios from substance abuse to natural disasters. You'll learn how to respond quickly and effectively to crises; balance legal, ethical, and spiritual outcomes; forge wide-ranging preventive partnerships; bring healing when damage is done; and much more. 291 pages, softcover from Zondervan.

Don't be a Lone Ranger:

"Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines."
1Corinthians 12:7-11(NIV)

Each of us has been given special giftedness for youth ministry. Some of us have several spiritual gifts. But, none of us has all the spiritual gifts. However, all of the spiritual gifts we need are usually available within the body of believers with whom you are working.

I worked with a youth pastor who could get kids into worship with his gift for music like I'd never seen before. In contrast, however, he was a poor teacher and even worse planner. I am a good teacher but musically challenged. We made a pretty good team. But neither of us was good with games. Are you starting to catch my drift? We went looking for a game player and found him.

Building a team with the abilities you need is essential. Read my blog entry: "Don't underestimate the value of old folk in youth ministry" for more on this topic.


287773: Connect: Real Relationships in a World of Isolation
In this practical book you'll learn the importance of connecting with students on an individual basis and get helpful ideas on how to engage a variety of students in meaningful dialogue.


465280: The Volunteer"s Back Pocket Guide to Events & Retreats: Necessities for Volunteer Leaders  
You'll discover how to prepare yourself for all kinds of youth-oriented activities: summer camp, winter retreats, back-to-school celebrations, holiday banquets and parties, and every other creative event your youth pastor has added to this year's calendar.

670290: Youth Ministry Nuts & Bolts, Revised and Updated: Organizing, Leading, and Managing Your Youth Ministry Youth Ministry Nuts & Bolts, Revised and Updated: Organizing, Leading, and Managing Your Youth Ministry
By Duffy Robbins / Zondervan/Youth Specialties

Budgeting, staff relationships, conflict resolution, parent involvement . . . Nobody goes into youth ministry because they want to think about these issues---but many bail out because they didn't! In this freshly updated edition of his fun and practical guide, veteran youth pastor Robbins offers time-tested wisdom on the behind-the-scenes mechanics of successful ministry.

Too much on your plate:

Frequently a youth pastor is hired as an associate pastor too. Tight budgets cause elder boards to think they can get more for their money by making the youth pastor take on more duties. Volunteers can easily limit their responsibilities just by saying no. As a hired pastor you must think hard about your job before you say no. Today is that day.

Make a list of things you are doing that have no effect on the spiritual growth of the youth in your group. Today you are done mowing the grass, shoveling snow, and washing windows (unless you like to). Discuss this with your spouse. Next, find a volunteer to take over these duties. If you were hired to do these things specifically you must discuss a change in your job description with the leadership of the church.

Consider getting a regular job and volunteering as a youth pastor. You might get paid more. You'll be able to call your own shots. The time constraints will force you to have a lean but effective youth ministry. You'll be able to support your own ministry. It's working for me.

How to Volunteer Like a Pro: An Amateur's Guide for Working with Teenagers

How to Volunteer Like a Pro: An Amateur's Guide for Working with Teenagers

Have you been called to work with teens in your church? Grab this first-ever how-to manual for volunteer youth workers! A former youth minister and now a volunteer himself, Hancock shares his expertise to empower you to tackle the challenges you face head-on---and experience success in the ministry God has called you to.

Get Down with the kids:

I don't mean "get down, get jiggy". I mean get your body down to the kids level. Join them. Do not stand poor_class_settingabove them or preach from the stage. They get enough talking to at school and home. Get down with them and talk with them. Your body position and posture subconsciously indicates your feelings about the kids to the kids. In the typical youth setting shown on the right, the good youth group settingleader is separated and above the kids. What does this indicate about his feeling towards the kids? Is it any wonder we get the blank stares and poor participation in a setting such as this? In the picture on the left the leader is sitting with the kids, actually a little lower, the kids are facing each other and the conversation is lively.

52581: Ministry of Nurture

Ministry of Nurture Duffy Robbins/Youth Specialties

How can you build a faith into your kids that will stand up to real life? That's the question that youth ministry veteran Duffy Robbins poses in this book. Fortunately, Robbins not only asks the question; he answers it definitively in this sensitive, in-depth, and practical look at building real-life discipleship into your kids.

"The number one goal of youth ministry is not tithing, church membership, voter registration, political mobilization, retreat attendance, recruiting teenagers to invite their friends, denominational involvement, or T-shirt )light bulb, candy, spaghetti, cookie, Christmas card, glow-in-the-dark posters of the pastor) sale. It is helping young people develop love relationship with Jesus." -Duffy

no one deals like we do!


Recycle printer cartridges here.

Plan a few spiritual retreats for yourself.

My favorite activity is camping. I go by myself to a favorite spot. Two nights is enough for me. That allows one whole day for prayer, reflection, and relaxation. The prayers are frequently "listening" prayers. The hikes, fishing, reading, napping are things I do for refreshment feeling that God is doing tthese activities with me. It's great to be surrounded by things God created.

My wife, however, usually has her spiritual retreats in a condo. It gets her away from the distractions of home. She also feels safer than being in the wilderness. Plus, it gives her the opportunity to go in bad weather or the winter. She takes her favorite music, devotionals, and easy food. She goes for a week at a time, comes home really refreshed.

Whatever you can do plan to do it before a hectic schedule crowds it out. Read this entire article on my blog.
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