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The challenge is preventing summer camp from being a one-week “adrenaline rush” experience. How do we take one of the best tools in our ministry toolbox to the next level? We need a plan for building on the decisions and the experiences to extend the benefits? Summer camp plays a vital role in the overall strategy of any student ministry.…

This past week two of my spiritual mentors died on the same day. I had the privilege of preaching one of their funeral services. One of them led me to Christ and taught me how to preach, the other taught me how to live a genuine Christian life. Both of these men’s influence will continue into eternity because of the…

The timing between waves was erratic, definitely not an exact science. The ocean would swell—anticipation would ebb and flow as the right wave would fail to materialize. Occasionally an impatient surfer would launch out on an imperfect wave simply from boredom. Watching the surfers from the distant shore was intriguing. Their commitment to the task was obvious by the cost…

We often define churches by their size, music quality, architecture or notoriety of the pastor. Elaborate facilities. Multiple staff members. A plethora of programs. Is this how we define church? Is it about all of these things? The answer can be “yes” and “maybe,” if these things are contributing to the main thing. The main thing is not bringing a…

So be honest: do you think Youth Pastors are Overrated? Do you think they get too much attention in churches today? When I mention Youth Pastors, do youth camp pranks, noisy kids in the sanctuary and the crazy colors they paint youth rooms come to mind? Whatever your reaction may be, perhaps you just don’t get all the fuss over…

I love duct tape! My philosophy is “If you cannot fix it with duct tape…then throw it away.” Oh, and by the way, multi-colored duct tape is for sissies. I’ve been told it was created for heating/air condition vents but it did not work. So duct tape works on just about everything except what it was invented to do. I…

Matt’s eyes were huge as he entered the conference. The sea of youth leaders in one location exceeded his expectations. He felt confident this would be the place to discover the qualities of the "Perfect Leader for Student Ministry." The plan had been to interview enough student leaders in three days to build a profile of the “Perfect Leader.”  His…

“Good enough is the new perfection” captured my attention as I read the words on the sign. I found it to be extremely intriguing and simultaneously troubling. Was this meant as a joke or an excuse? I admit to being a perfectionist--or  shall I say “given to excellence”--from time to time, so let me tread carefully. However, lowering the standard…

Meeting people with a passion for student ministry energizes me. Knowing they understand the struggles of youth work while maintaining a long-range vision for the rewards of their investment is refreshing. I enjoy late night talks, Starbucks coffee breaks, discussions after a conference seminar - or anywhere else I can connect with student leaders. I always come away challenged to…

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