6 Ways to Encourage Online Giving – Christian Article

Churches are facing a new reality, and no one yet knows when it will end or how it will ultimately affect Christians. Two factors have collided: a rapid freefall in the stock market and the inability to gather for in-person worship. We have some familiarity with the first factor. Many pastors remember the effect of the 2008 market crash. Incomes were reduced and jobs were lost. Giving declined, church budgets were cut, and staff positions could no longer be funded.…

Read More

A Letter to Parents – YouthMinistry.com – Youth Ministry Christian Article

Hey parents, Thank you for the way you’ve reached out and supported what we’re trying to do to stay connected with your students and families during this season. As a parent of teenagers, I understand the responsibility you feel to take care of your family… I’m so thankful for those of you who’ve reached out to me (and I know many others) checking on us, offering to help, and supporting us. You’re setting a great example for your kids. We’ve…

Read More

5 Ways to Save Yourself from Drowning – Youth Ministry Christian Article

Ministry is amazing… We get to spend our greatest energy wading into the deepest pools of others—their triumphs and failures, joys and sorrows. And we have the honor of pointing them toward the Lifeguard/Swim Coach who’s teaching them how to be strong swimmers! But when we’re swimming laps around these pools, we can feel drained and exhausted. Cynicism creeps in—and maybe anger, depression, anxiety, or apathy begins to set in. It’s not enough to count on “staying plugged into Jesus”…

Read More

A Ministry Primer for Navigating the Virus Outbreak – Youth Ministry Christian Article

Sometimes the movement of history feels glacial; sometimes it turns on a dime. And sometimes, today for instance, history shoves us off the subway platform onto the tracks. Now we must learn how to “live and breathe and move” in a world where “pandemic” is no longer a plot device in a film but a present reality. That means we adjust to “life on the tracks” by changing our default habit patterns and broadening the scope of what is “normal.”…

Read More

A 1hr a day reading list to make 2020 a year of theology – Youth Work Hacks – Youth Ministry Christian Article

Did you ever wish you knew more about theology or wanted to brush up on the basics? Maybe you’ve been a youth worker for years, but you skipped training and now you feel like you’re playing catchup? If you start the year right, then you can work in some new reading habits that – with a little commitment – should help you exit 2020 with a firmer grasp on Theology, the Bible, and Youth Ministry. There’s so much you can read,…

Read More

Give Your Volunteers What They Need Most – Youth Ministry Christian Article

It starts innocently enough. She brings sandwiches for a Sunday-night event. She hangs out in the kitchen area, coyly watching all the fun and dreaming of what could be. Over the next few weeks, she strategically positions herself so she’s near the student room. And you smile and assure her it’s fine to hang out—because you’ve definitely noticed her. Conversations ensue. Coffee happens. She’s now working check-in. Smiles exchange. More conversations ensue. It’s becoming more serious. She’s exclusive now. She…

Read More

Yes, Pastors Should Have Friends in the Church – Christian Article

Have you ever been in a room full of people and yet felt alone? Isolation and loneliness are common struggles for even the most extroverted pastors, and they remind us that those called to shepherd God’s flock need ministry too. As a young pastor I was advised to never become close friends with anyone in my congregation. This advice, though intended to protect, only deepened my sense of isolation and despair. I longed for relationships with those I lived alongside…

Read More

Setting Goals in Your Ministry – Youth Ministry Christian Article

“New year, new me.” We’ve all said it… January is unique in that it naturally brings a certain sense of goal-setting to your forethought. Whether those resolutions come to fruition or not can be determined by your mental fortitude as well as a structured plan-of-attack. Your ministry is no different. In student ministry, so much can be managed weekly but many areas of faithfulness rest in setting goals far in advance and executing those goals well. Here are a couple…

Read More

Classroom Management, Part 4 | Mr. Mark’s Classroom – Children’s Ministry Christian Article

Hey friends. Welcome to Mr. Mark’s Classroom. My name is Mark Jones. I am excited to share with you another great tip about classroom management today, because I’ve got several of my own teachers who are really trying to make a great classroom even better. Sometimes we all need a little encouragement with some things to do. The first tip today that I want to tell you is, boys and girls need choices. They need choices. Here’s what happened. This…

Read More

Helping young people process loss – Youth Work Hacks – Youth Ministry Christian Article

The reality Child Bereavement UK report that 70% of schools have a bereaved pupil on their role at any one time, 92% of all young people will experience a significant bereavement before they’re 16, and a parent of a dependent young person dies every 22 minutes. This is not something that ‘might’ come up at our youth projects. It will come up. Are we ready for it when it does? When it gets real After being in youth ministry for just a…

Read More

4 Surefire Ways to Give Volunteers What They Really Need – Children’s Ministry Christian Article

Have you ever stopped to think about what your volunteers really need? Volunteers are the lifeblood of children’s ministry. Every time I talk with other children’s ministry leaders, I realize we all spend way too much time thinking and worrying about volunteers. Do we have enough for Sunday? Where can I find a few more for Wednesday night? But seldom do we pause long enough to wrestle with the question: Are volunteers getting what they really need? We focus on providing…

Read More

Dammit Isn’t God’s Last Name – Christian Article

On the last Friday night of the month, Youth Pastor Wayne Wyatt would suspend the normal Youth Group format in order to have either a sports night or a music night. For the music nights, he would book a band that was known either locally or regionally, but this week was an exception. “We don’t really have a name;” the guitar player told him. Wayne preferred to use bands that had played other area churches so he could contact the…

Read More

What Your Church Needs to Learn from Walmart Pickup – Children’s Ministry Christian Article

2-day shipping.24-hour pickup.Instant delivery. Our society is getting faster. And faster. And faster. And odds are that you know it, too, because you’ve tried these things or even expect these services. Walmart has rolled out Pickup services at over 500 of their stores. This allows users to choose all of their groceries online and then pick them up at their local Walmart making the time you spend in-store non-existent and much more flexible in the privacy of your own home. For moms…

Read More

10 Great Books Every Children’s Ministry Leader Should Read – Children’s Ministry Christian Article

Reading. Most of us have every intention to read more, but few of us actually read much. But reading is one of the easiest and best ways to grow ourselves. And as leaders, we have a responsibility to grow ourselves in order to lead well. Statistics show that reading by leaders is in decline. In fact, the lack of reading on the leadership level has declined to the point that some might consider it a crisis. Michael Hyatt, in his article…

Read More

How to Make Learning Second Nature in Children’s Ministry – Children’s Ministry Christian Article

Last year, after almost 20 years of working in children & family ministries, I started a church. Alongside an amazing group of friends, we created a dinner church experience—where adults & children gather on Sunday nights for dinner, communion, a brief sermonette, and a cake benediction. After a year of dinner church, and a lifetime of writing children’s ministry curriculum, I’ve noticed something: Learning seems to happen best when you’re sitting at a table across from someone you know and…

Read More

5 Essential Qualities You Want in Every Member of Your Leadership Team – Children’s Ministry Christian Article

Leadership matters in your ministry. In fact, your ministry will only rise to the level that you and your leadership team can take it. Think about that statement for a moment. It has possible implications for both expanding your ministry beyond it’s current state, but also for limiting your ministry to little more than it is now. Leadership will raise your ministry, or lower it. In either case, it’s true. If you are a high capacity leader who can develop…

Read More

When Sunday Evenings are Hard – JIM MARTIN – Christian Article

For many ministers, Sunday evenings are hard. You finally go home after an exhausting day. If you are not careful, your mind and emotions can take you places that are not good. You wonder, am I really making a difference? What’s the use? You think about those biting words of criticism. At the time, the words and tone stung. Now, hours later you find yourself rehearsing these words over and over in your mind. You may be focused on a…

Read More

How to Maximize Your Ministry Potential – Children’s Ministry Christian Article

I’ve always had an insatiable appetite for more. Satisfaction is hard for me. I have a burning desire to accomplish more, do more, reach more, and… well, so much more. This passion has fueled me to improve and get better. It has helped me work smarter. It has helped me maximize my ministry potential. And when I say, “maximize,” I mean to bring increase as much as possible. Personally, that means I have to maximize myself and what I do…

Read More

Equipping Your Volunteers to Be Their Best – Children’s Ministry Christian Article

Children’s Ministries thrive through the support of volunteers who are at their very best–volunteers who are passionate, love serving, and whom we know are going to show up. However, in order for them to be at their best, we must be prepared to give them the resources they need to get there. More often than not, these resources are intangibles that come through our intentional leadership and love. Here are the things I’ve found they need to have from you…

Read More

Do You Love Your Church? – Youth Ministry Christian Article

I hear some pastors and staff and volunteers talk sometimes and from what I hear there are some serving in churches and they don’t love the church? To me that would be like working at War Mart and hating Wal Mart. I would be miserable and that misery would show in my job performance. I’m working through 1 Thessalonians and this morning I read this:9 But we don’t need to write to you about the importance of loving each other,…

Read More

Summer Break – Andy Lawrenson – Youth Ministry Christian Article

Life is hectic! Who isn’t busy this summer? One of the things I enjoy in life is posting here to my blog. It has been a while since I posted. I have found that I have been pretty busy this summer. What has happened so far this summer? In June I traveled with our student ministry to the island of Eleuthera on our mission trip. While in Eleuthera our students helped Camp Bahamas prepare for summer camp. Side Note: By…

Read More

Reproof Is a Pastor’s Gift of Love – Christian Article

In the logic of Scripture, reproof is a gift. In the logic of certain secular mindsets, reproof is an act of oppression. For one kind of secularist, even the word “sin” is intrinsically oppressive. It implies, the secularist suspects, that you think you know the standards and I don’t. You, therefore, hope to use them to lord it over me. You want to control my behavior. This view makes sense from the perspective of a flat, two-dimensional world, where contests…

Read More

Church Growth – Andy Lawrenson – Youth Ministry Christian Article

Church Growth I see many “free” video courses pop up on social media about church growth. “Is your church stuck at ___ (fill in the blank with the number) and you want to grow past _____ (fill in the blank with number). There are a lot of church growth strategies and ideas floating around out there. Here are two ways to grow a church: (in my opinion) Step One: Faithfully SharingBecoming a Great Commission Community. Church members sharing their faith…

Read More

Digital Discipleship Made Simple – Children’s Ministry Christian Article

The final instructions that Jesus gave his disciples before ascending to Heaven was simply to “go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19). The question that follows is simple: How are we to go and disciple others? When my grandson was about a year old, he would take a cell phone, hold it sideways, then slowly spin it around from the back to the screen, and keep rotating it. Everyone was perplexed by this action until I realized that…

Read More

Living with cancer as a volunteer youth worker – Youth Work Hacks – Youth Ministry Christian Article

This brave and honest anonymous post has been written by a youth work volunteer who recently was given the all clear after treatment for cancer. We hope this will be an encouragement to anyone walking through similar challenges.   Cancer: In August 2016 I was diagnosed with a Hodgkin’s Lymphoma which is a type of blood cancer. It meant that I had to have lots of different treatments and medications and trips to the hospital and in turn meant that…

Read More