As I write this, we are in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. This significant event has brought the entire world to its knees. I remember so well where I was 19 years ago...
I think Jesus Himself was a "CONNECTOR" before He was a "CORRECTOR." Remember how He dealt with the woman at the well, the tax collector found in a tree, and the lady exposed in adultery? He took time to personally connect with their feelings before he began to share His specific advice...
What is it that kids are really looking for in their youth leaders? Through my years in youth ministry, I've learned that a youth pastor with lots of charisma and a highly entertaining youth ministry are great...but today's "over-entertained" youth are looking for something more...
Ever done one of your counseling sessions on the top of your church roof with a feather pillow in your hands? I did. And looking back on that crisp fall afternoon, I think Jesus was probably smiling...
People often ask me how to GROW their ministry or how to PREACH with more skill. Rarely, if ever, do people ask me how to LISTEN more effectively. But I think INTENTIONAL LISTENING is one of the greatest gifts you can ever give to another human being. And today's church world seems to be much more focused on TALKING than on LISTENING.
"Jesus became flesh and blood and moved into the neighborhood..." He didn't just come to visit and leave a prophetic word…He did life with them. And that's what true discipleship is.
If you want to earn the right to speak into the lives of your students and people around you… learn how to be fun!
APPLICATIONS ARE BEING ACCEPTED NOW FOR THE CADRE!
This year marks the 15th year since I began opening my home to the men and women of the Cadre. Since I began the Cadre, I've been honored to host more than 1,000 amazing youth leaders in my living room.
Coach Joe Newton was a high school track and cross-country coach who coached for 6 decades...
Becoming a person who helps others heal through difficult times requires not being enamored with your own solutions. Relax, your divine teaching moments will come when you've earned the right to speak loudly into the lives of others. But the less frequently you sit down and sincerely feel what's going on inside Mary or Herman or whoever, the less frequently those moments will come.
Once in a while I come across someone with a lot of leadership potential but they are hesitant to grow because they were previously "hurt" by another leader who offered to help them grow in their leadership abilities but failed to give them the time and support they needed to reach their potential.
Just the other evening, one of my seniors in high school said seriously, "Jeanne, we need to talk. I'm really confused." Somehow, I knew intuitively where the discussion was going. "I have to make some major decisions about where I'm going to college," she continued, "and I'm really confused about how to know God's direction in all of this."
If you’re going to be a real leadership trainer, it is taking a deeper interest in your volunteers, at least key ones and pouring your gut into them that will make a difference.
To say excitement is in the air in anticipation of our first year students coming in next week would be a huge understatement! Regardless of what the year holds, I'm ready to give my heart away yet again. While the 9-month journey with most will be incredible, four decades in youth ministry tells me that one or two will break my heart.
There will be times in your "youth family" when you will have to deal with emotional issues such as accidents, death, illness, divorce or any of the things that happen in life when you ask the question, "Where were You, God?"
Regardless of where we stand in the pecking order at home, at work, or at the church, we all serve someone. Many of us in youth ministry submit to a senior pastor or if you're a leader you might look up to your youth pastor. Through the years I've always sought to be the armor bearer for others and practice the principle Zig Ziglar always reiterated – "You cannot hold a torch to someone else's path without bringing light to your own."
Contrary to popular belief, staying up all night with teenagers, jumping on trampolines, driving bumper cars, playing basketball with a raw turkey, and chasing pigs no longer entice me. Yes, as you laugh, it is true I did each of those things. But let me be quite truthful... those things are not my idea of fun. Yet if you watched me participate in any of those activities, you would never guess I was not having the time of my life.
We are trying to reach a generation that has seen very little commitment to standards and morals from their parents. So we should not be surprised that the word "commitment" is a nice word on a spelling list, but rarely seen. Our kids so want to be committed and here are a few ways that we can help them live that out.
We just came off of our 3rd Year Intern Advance and will be leaving on Thursday for our 2nd Year Advance... in between we’re doing a huge outreach tomorrow night. It’s during these times, as I stand at the front of the room looking at all the amazing diverse faces starring back at me, I’m reminded of who is in my midst... particularly the Stephens and the Drews. Allow me to share their story…