the three vital practices of today’s youth pastor

“How can I become the best youth pastor possible?”

Wow! Talk about your huge questions! I just received that exact question in an email. Well, actually, he asked…

Can you please give me your best advice on how to become the best youth pastor possible? The students deserve the best and so I want to give it to them. Even if you just want to give me a Top 10 list of books that would help me, that would be helpful.


Trent, Wow, how to summarize youth ministry… in one email. That’s a big question. I’ll simplify it to three vital practices and then link a bunch of helpful reading as requested

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Posted in Youth Ministry Philosophy, Youth Ministry Planning | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

voices unheard

An overweight boy called “lard-ass” daily.

A girl physically assaulted because she liked the wrong guy.

A crowd of kids taunting a kid with a prominent red birthmark on his face, “Hey Kool-Aid!”

An overweight girl named Carla heartlessly labeled Cowla, trying to simply navigate around campus without being mooed at day after day.

These are just some of the voices I’ve been hearing… and the common denominator I keep finding

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Top 40 Youth Ministry Blogs

It’s always nice to be included in a list of great influencers… and I was humbled to be in the mix in this year’s Top 40 Youth Ministry Blogs list posted last week (even though they somehow think we only post 1 post per month… hahahaha).

Some great blogs on this list. A few of my favorites:

Greg Stier’s blog– because Greg is probably one of the best equippers in youth ministry, and he loves Jesus so much it’s freaking contagious!

The DYM blog– because the DYM resources rock… and let’s be honest… Doug and Josh are fun!

The CPYU blog– Walt’s always bringing youth culture insight that makes you think.

and some other good ones as well.

I’m just glad to be included with such amazing people in the Kingdom!

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Mom, Is Justin Bieber a Christian?

It’s a question kids are asking, and a question Moms don’t quite know how to answer.

Similar to the question, “Mom, is Chance the Rapper a Christian?” …you can’t help but wonder, who am I to even answer that question?

But it’s being asked.

Maybe we’re confused because we’ve read about Justin’s troubles with the law (from 2014 granted) or heard him singing and collaborating on some pretty worldly tracks (okay, maybe that’s a little more recent)… and then moments later we see him unashamedly dancing to worship music or posting a powerful Instagram post praising Jesus for “changing me from the inside out.”

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I just got a facelift

No… not my actual face…our websites!

I guess a New Year means a new look. We’ve been busy working behind the scenes to make free resources even easier for you to find. So enjoy the new look and new top bar navigation for both our PARENTS page and YOUTH MINISTRY page. If you are making a difference in the lives of kids… we want to make your job easier!

We want you to be able to get the free resources you need just a click away. So enjoy our…

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Most Popular Posts of 2017

I can’t always predict which of my articles will resonate with you all as readers—some of these caught me by surprise. But here are the top 10 trafficked blog posts you guys read this year. (Can you guess which one was No. 1?)

10. Here’s my sex talk
A complete script of my newest sex talk to young people

9. The rise of the non-believing Millennial
Pew Research provides a current breakdown of faith among today’s generations

8. Teen summer bucket list goes viral
A glimpse at a teens summer bucket list and what it reveals about our culture

7. Where kids actually adopt their values
In a world where kids are exposed to an increasing amount of lies, how can we teach truth?

6. Porn in plain sight
Dissecting Snapchat stories

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Over 4 hours a day

America loves their music… which is probably why the average person over 13-years-old now listens to over 4 hours of music per day. That’s an average of 47 minutes a day more than they did last year alone.

The question is… what kind of music?

Every December we wrap up the year with one final Youth Culture Window article unveiling every No. 1 song of the year. This year there were 12 songs that hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot 100… and half of them were rap/hip-hop.

Any guess as to what the common theme was this year?

Take a peek in our newest Youth Culture Window article, The Biggest Hits of 2017.

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The Top 10 Apps of 2017

The year-end is almost here, and that always triggers our look back at the most popular songs, apps, books, posts… of the entire year.

We’ll start by looking at the top 10 free apps downloaded from the iTunes store in 2017… with Snap up at the top once again.

No, Snapchat wasn’t actually No. 1 like last year, but Bitmoji was, which is owned by Snap (nice purchase!), slipping Snapchat into No. 2 (I guess consumers missed the memo that Snapchat was having a rough year). And no… Pokemon Go didn’t make the list this year. (Pokemon who?)

Here’s the top 10!

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Fires a little too close to home

The fires are raging once again here in California, and it’s hitting where both my daughter’s live. Luckily, they both came home (up here in NorCal).

Here’s a quick satellite shot of the fire raging from Ventura toward Santa Barbara.

My oldest daughter is on mandatory evacuation

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Imposing our ideas of Jesus

A Northeastern village in Spain was the home of a magnificent fresco painting of Jesus on the church’s wall.

Time took its toll on the painting…

moisture on the wall caused it to fade.

In 2012 an elderly parishioner named Cecilia Gimenez acted on her own to restore the project… tragically failing in her attempt.

The results?

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Posted in Discussion Ideas, Evangelism, Faith | Tagged , , | 1 Comment