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“I’ve tried everything!” I frequently hear these frustrated words from well meaning people who want to make an eternal impact on the lives of students.    They work hard trying various approaches but are unable to grasp the illusive key to successful ministry. Over the last thirty years, I have observed some of these valiant efforts which I call “erroneous youth…

I was stunned . . . did she realize what she was asking? How could a caring, loving person be so cruel? I don’t believe I am addicted or that I really spend as much time as she thinks on my Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, FiledBy or texting communications tools…do I? Just before Christmas my wife asked me if I would…

If churches could hire youth leaders from the WANTED section of a newspaper, what do you think the ad would say? WANTED:  Stereotypical Youth Leader; must be 21-25 years of age, have an engaging personality (but be submissive to deacon board), possess the ability to attract lots of students (and keep them from annoying the senior saints), play games (like…

Perhaps you remember the commercial of the rugged cowboys riding across the prairie ropes in hand. Due to historical reference you think they are herding cattle but then as the camera pans out, your senses are momentarily confused as you see thousands of   .  .  .  .  . cats.   I really do not remember the point of the commercial but…

Someone has said that a rut is just a grave with the ends knocked out. My take-away from this statement is that whether you are in a grave or in a rut, your horizons are limited. It is so easy to become comfortable with the routine and familiar. One of my greatest challenges is to keep growing and learning. The…

I spoke at a church Sunday to honor a dear friend of mine who is retiring. I met Tom Hammett more than 35 years ago and have had the privilege of watching him Pastor the same church for 33 years. I was moved by the people who shared about various aspects of Tom's life and ministry. I listened with an…

Have you ever heard any of the following "Christian Maxims?" "If you are going to talk the talk then you need to walk the walk." "Do as I do is more powerful than simply do as I say." "If you want to have followers then you need to be a leader." Or my favorite: "Your life is so loud; I…

Youth Ministry 101: Balancing Family and Ministry One of the things I enjoy the most about my ministry is teaching college students. I teach a course each fall at Word of Life Bible Institute entitled, "Developing a Biblical Philosophy of Youth Ministry." I think it is imperative that we help students to think through their "principle centered" philosophy before they…

Back When the World Was BIG! When I was young I would visit my Grandmother and stay with her for days on end. I loved being there because she made me pound cake with chocolate syrup for breakfast. (Yeah, I have always been into health food.) She played the role of grandparent very well in that I got away with…

So you've read The Greenhouse Project. Maybe you even loaned it out to a friend (why not be a real friend, and buy them a copy...) Perhaps you find yourself wondering how you are going to transfer the truths from these sixteen chapters to your student leadership. Let's be honest: It's a big book. The Greenhouse Project has sixteen different…

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