Someone just asked me, “Jonathan, we’re looking for a new youth pastor. What would you look for in a youth pastor?”
What would you say?
Kids like them?
(Those are the ones I hear from people frequently.)
To be honest (see what I did there?), none of those three above make my top three Continue reading “Top 3 qualities I’m looking for when I hire” »
Valentines Day is rapidly approaching, romance is in the air, and there’s no better time to talk with today’s young people about sexual intimacy, specifically the “sexpectations” that many young people face around this holiday.
Don’t worry, we’ve got some helpful resources for you to have these conversations, both for YOUTH WORKERS and PARENTS Continue reading “Sex and Valentines Day” »
It’s almost Super Bowl time… and that means our annual BIG GAME Quiz!
For those of you have been following TheSource4YM.com for the past few years, you probably look forward to the fun little FREE resource we provide every year called the Super Bowl “BIG GAME Quiz!” (I just posted it HERE). This quiz is a fun little party game you can use at your Super Bowl party at your church or your home. People fill out the quiz as they enter your party, predicting scores, catches, runs, etc., then you fill out the results during the game and tally up the winner (and PLEASE… remember to tally up the answers during the game because that’s how the quiz works). Continue reading “Fun Resources for the BIG GAME” »
Some youth workers aren’t very good at math.
Let’s do a little simple math from my new SKINNY book about recruiting volunteers.
If you lead a youth ministry and you take an honest look at the time you spend with teenagers each week, you could go out on the front lines and spend 20 hours a week with students by yourself.
You put in 20 hours, and reap 20 hours of impact.
20 = 20
Or you could take that same block of time, spend 10 hours with students, and 10 hours a week developing Continue reading “The Math We Miss” »
It’s the most effective question provoking discussion with teenagers. Three simple words: Was he right?
Whenever you encounter something debatable or controversial, just ask the question. Don’t lecture. Just ask and be quiet. It gets young people talking and adults listening… something beneficial to any adult/kid relationship.
It’s like this:
You read an article about Bruce Jenner… like this one: The High Cost of “Sexual Freedom” on “Caitlyn” Jenner’s Family, an article sure to stir up a discussion with opinions on both sides. Then ask the question.
Was this author right?
Maybe throw another article in the mix, an article with a slightly different tone. Like this Continue reading “Was he right?” »
Last week a brand new set of books hit the shelves that are SO SKINNY…. any youth worker can read them!
Yeah, even that one intern!
Group Publishing had a creative idea of grabbing 6 authors on 6 vital youth ministry subjects. I was blessed to be one of those authors—writing “The Skinny on Volunteers.” Then Mark Oestreicher wrote Continue reading “They are just so… SKINNY!” »
We were bored and looking for something to do for the day, something… different.
20+ years as a youth worker, I go back to my youth worker connections when I want to do something fun with my girls and their friends, so that’s why I called my friend Craig over at Rock-N-Water here in NorCal. So Monday, seven of us went white-water rafting on some Class III rapids.
So fun!!! Continue reading “Somethin’ a lil’ different with my teenagers” »
A few weeks ago I talked with a group of middle school students about sex. As always, it was intriguing to notice the diversity of maturity around the room. I saw a 75 pound 6th grade boy who looked like he was plucked straight off the elementary school playground, sitting next to an 8th grade girl who looked like she was ready to leave for college next week.
How do you address a crowd with this kind of diversity in maturity? Continue reading “Diversity of Maturity in Middle School” »
Remember all that hype about the 5%?
I think I heard it like this. “Do you know that only 5% of Christian students actually keep their faith when they graduate from high school?”
Someone said it once, printed it, and it became “research.” I’ve heard all kinds of numbers, some of them unbelievable, some of them from solid research and really sobering. But numbers aside, anyone who has worked in youth ministry for any length of time can attest to one undeniable truth: too many kids walk away from their faith, stop plugging in with other believers or stop attending church after high school.
So that begs the question, how do we help kids grow in their faith so they continue their faith journey, growing and fellowshipping after graduation? Continue reading “Growing After Graduation” »
This week I received a great question in the form of a tweet, one I’ve been asked repeatedly about mentoring young people.
Youth pastor Brandon asked me about developing today’s student leaders. He finished reading my book, Ministry By Teenagers, and was challenged by my emphasis to provide an adult mentor for each student leader. His specific question was Continue reading “Developing Student Leaders” »