Playbook Unlimited // Search Results For: Creating Family
As a youth pastor, you connect well with students, but sometimes it's a little intimidating and a genuine struggle to relate and connect to their parents. But, it's important to remember that parents need you too! Parents are just kids who grew up and had kids. It's so important that we as leaders communicate the "I like you" vibe, choosing to partner with the parents.
In this Youth Leader's Coach, "A Youth Leader's Guide To Understanding Parents," I share 14 different ways to help you make your student's parents your allies in youth ministry. We must remember, we never take the place of parents no matter what. The more deeply we understand that, the more we work towards building bridges and not blowing them up.
I like baseball! But there's one position that especially intrigues me...it's the CATCHER! Why? I sometimes wonder what's going on...in his head BEHIND THE MASK. But I often wonder the same thing in church...what's going on behind everybody's "mask"? You know...the one we easily throw on to cover up the reality of REAL LIFE for us."
In this Source I talk about the key to getting behind each other's masks...even our own. How do we do that? Through real, authentic community. Through allowing a select few to do life up-close to us through LIVING small groups, just as Jesus did in the New Testament.
This iVolunteer resource is a COACHING RESOURCE for volunteer youth leaders who want to be the BEST they can be!
Group Magazine did a survey of 10,000 youth and young adults, asking them what the #1 thing was they were looking for in a church. The top answer from an overwhelming majority was "a welcoming, warm environment." The honest truth is, if you "fail the friendliness test in ministry...you've failed." This isn't surprising as we live in a culture of shallow friendships and broken families.
Often our leaders have great intentions, but they don't have a clue where to start. Listen in to this iVolunteer, "Creating A Sense Of Family In Your Ministry," as I share one of my favorite stories that will help your leaders visualize the importance of creating a sense of family. I also give them seven pragmatics to start putting steps behind launching and developing a friendship culture in your youth ministry.
Building A Family,
If your calendar could speak, what would it say? If you look at a typical youth pastor's weekly schedule, often times you'll find a great deal of time being spent creating a "fast-paced, high-tech, entertaining youth service." However, according to Group Publishing's "Cool Church Survey" of 10,000 students, it ranked dead last in the importance of 10 factors that influence a student's commitment to church.
What was #1? "A welcoming atmosphere where you can be yourself." So, in this Youth Leader's Coach, listen in on seven strategic elements in building a Christ-honoring, welcoming environment. Refuse to fail at this youth ministry success test, choose instead to up the ante when it comes to the friendship/family tenor of your ministry.
Unfortunately, we live in a society of broken families. Instead of being surrounded with unconditional love and acceptance, teenagers often face homes devastated by divorce and absent parents, or houses filled with arguments and discord. With such shattered trust in today's youth, there has never been a greater need to be more than just a spiritual leader, but rather, a spiritual parent.
So, we must stop and ask ourselves if our ministry is a safe place where these teenagers do feel loved and accepted. Is family a part of our youth group's heartbeat? Listen in to this Youth Leader's Coach, "Cultivating The Father Heart Of God In Your Leadership," as I share my heart on becoming a conduit of the Father Heart of God in your own life and youth ministry.
In our desire for church growth, it seems that more and more leaders are falling into the category of "CEO," and have forgotten their call to be the "shepherds" of God's people. Though it's true that both are important in leading a church, Scripture and Jesus' example show us that fulfilling the role of a "true shepherd" is of the highest priority.
In this Youth Leader's Coach, I share seven principles that will help you "Cultivate The Heart Of A Shepherd" in your youth ministry. So, put on your running shoes, and let's go "chase" some sheep...together! There is no greater calling!
It doesn't matter how great you are at communicating or loving teenagers, unless you get good at recruiting and keeping volunteer leaders, all of youth ministry will be an uphill battle.
The size and strength of our volunteer leadership team plays such a pivotal role in determining the success of our ministry. Experience tells us that our youth ministry will never grow larger than our leadership base can handle. For it is imperative that we are able to care for the students the Lord entrusts to us.
So, grab a cup of coffee and join me as we tackle perhaps the number one challenge in all of youth ministry, "Effective Recruitment Of Volunteer Leaders."
Some topics are so engrained in you, they become part of your LEADERSHIP DNA. This topic would be one of them for me. I'm excited for the conversations it will prayerfully spark when your Alliance group is together. If you know me, you probably already know what I'm talking about.
This ALLIANCE, "Effective Small Groups Made Easy," talks about what I believe to be the greatest pragmatic tool for discipleship and growth. And in truth, I'm not telling you it will be easy, but as a bit of a leadership coach, if I can point you one direction to make the FOCUS of your programming energy...this is it! For those of you who already HAVE a small group ministry, this ALLIANCE can give you the tools for a most valuable RE-booting of your groups.
Let me share the top 3 reasons why I think small groups fail:
1. They are glorified Sunday School classes with a "talking head" instead of being highly interactive and relational.
2. People don't spend enough energy on the steps I am suggesting.
3. They QUIT too soon!
So let's take a run at dialoguing on 10 pragmatic guidelines to help you and your Alliance group, launch or re-launch a THRIVING small group system. My prayer for this ALLIANCE resource is that it helps your Alliance group take their youth and young adult ministries from being ministries WITH small groups to a ministry OF small groups. There's a really BIG difference between the two.
Youth ministry and parenting teens are different, but not competitive. What if there was a way for parents to be proud of sending their kids to youth service and then not pull them out during the altar call to finish homework? There are many bridges that can be built to incorporate families into youth ministry and help both thrive. Let's figure that out!
It's a sad fact that the average American child will spend more time in front of the TV by the age of only 6...than he will spend talking with his father for HIS ENTIRE LIFE. And the truth is all of us unconsciously attach feelings that we have of our own earthly father to our concept of our Heavenly Father.
In this month's Source, "Freedom From The Father Wound," I talk about one of the biggest...if not THE biggest...challenges we face in ministry...overcoming the FATHER WOUND. The majority of our students, and even many of us, have a wound that we received from our earthly father. Even many students that may seem to have a "perfect" family life have things that they have buried deep inside of them. Through some personal sharing, some memorable stories, and key impacting Scriptures, this Source allows students to hear how they are ACCEPTED by their Heavenly Father, regardless of what they have experienced here on Earth.
We take our fun title from Adele's popular hit song, "HELLO! " Because our amazing Heavenly Father wants to say "HELLO...from the other side! " every day to us through His Word. In a culture that doesn't really prioritize relationship with Christ, this is an incredible topic to help all of us star, underline time with God in our lives.
In this month's Source, "Hello...From The Other Side," I'm sharing 3 ingredients for consistent, motivational time in the Word. I also share 16 fun ways to make the Word of God COME ALIVE in our own personal lives and end the evening with a story that's one of my personal favorites!
You'll love this resource! It's a special love gift from my heart to yours from a recent message I shared during our college days, "Experience," with Master's Commission Atlanta. It's for far more than potential college students though, as it's a topic that students of all ages deal with...family. Family can be pretty broken these days, but my reminder to our students is to say, no matter your story or your family, your past does not define you. People can always disappoint us, but there is a Heavenly Father who never will and because of His love, He has placed destiny and purpose on all of our lives.
In this month's Source, "In Search of a Real Dad," I'm pulling parallels from the life of Mephibosheth and the movie Antwoine Fisher, as I take a run at sharing the Father heart of God for all us. It's been so pivotal in my own personal walk with Christ and let me just remind you my incredible youth leader friend, His love carries you to His table.
Grateful for His Father's Heart,
In this month's Source, "Ride or Die," I'm sharing 4 keys to friendship success with our students in an effort to up-the-ante on our life groups. The title is pretty obviously taken from the Fast And Furious movies, starring the late Paul Walker. It just means, "You're my friend WHATEVER THE PRICE TAGS. I'm sticking with you NO MATTER WHAT."
Friendship is a huge deal in the spiritual formation of teenagers. Proverbs 27:17 & 19 tells us, "Just like iron sharpens iron, so does a man make his friend sharper...Just as water mirrors the look of one's face, so does one man mirror back the heart of his friend." This is a great resource to raise the bar for friendship evangelism in any youth family.
Ride or Die,
Youth Ministry Basics is eight pragmatic teachings with informative "how-tos" that have consistently made significant differences in my youth ministries over the years.
Small groups have always been the greatest pragmatic tool I've used in all of my ministires for creating family, discipleship, and growth. In fact, they have never been youth ministries WITH small groups. Instead, my ministries have always been a youth ministry OF small groups. But though many of you may agree on the importance of small groups, launching and maintaing them isn't always easy.
This Youth Ministry Basics Resource will be a valuable tool if you already have small groups in place and want to re-boot them, or if you are looking to start small groups in your ministry. It will walk you step by step through putting systems in place for getting your groups started strong, how to run a small group, and answers many of the most common questions I get asked. It really is true that, "life change happens in circles, not rows."
Paul said it best in 1 Corinthians 4:14-15, "I am not writing this to shame you but to warn you as my dear children. Even though you have ten thousand instructors in Christ, you do not have many fathers." Don't those verses pierce your soul?
Not only that, but let's take it a step further. While there are a lot of great youth communicators and youth ministry CEO's out there, the years have taught me that it's not been my communication skills or the size of my ministry that people I've impacted reference, but "how the Jesus Christ inside of me made them feel" as I became an adopted "big sis" or "spiritual mom."
Bottom line, one of the most eternally significant things you can do is to stir up inside of you the heart of a spiritual parent. In addition to hearing some sobering stats, listen in and get insight on how to live this out.
How do we...me, you, all of us...allow ourselves to be slowly "taken" by the Enemy? There aren't any of us that haven't, in some regard, let him wreak havoc in our life. Sometimes it's just mind games in our head, while other times it's a result of gradual compromise and unforgiveness. Spiritual deception has always been a slippery slope. One that the Enemy walks us down so gradually and convincingly that we often barely realize we are on the journey.
While the Enemy's M.O. is that of a thief, Jesus has come to give us life and life more abundantly. Using the movie "Taken" as our backdrop, John 10 as our Scripture and the song "You Are For Me" as our anthem, in this Source we are given a fresh reminder of the Father's pursuing love for us. He is a Father that has shown Himself faithful to do whatever it takes to "find us."
Jesus casts His vote "for us" on the cross, the Enemy casts his vote against us, but we cast the deciding vote.
My vote is in,
More important than creating an amazing weekly service, God calls youth pastors and leaders to be spiritual coaches and spiritual parents. Kids could care less about how much you know, until they know how much you care. The three most important things we can give our kids are Time, Talk and Touch.
In this session, Marty Darracott, Pastor of re:Generation Youth Church in Flowery Branch, GA shares his own experiences from when God first called him as a "reluctant" youth pastor to an incredible spiritual voice to this generation of young people today and what God has taught him along the way.
This Source, "The Challenge: Fighting For Your Family," was one that I developed years ago while I was still a student in Bible College. It was during that time, while studying for the ministry, that I was desperately praying for my own parents' salvation.
Most of us, including your students, so passionately want to make a true difference in our families and friends to hopefully bring them to a relationship with Christ. In this message I give some pragmatic principles that you can share with your team so they can begin to positively affect their families through faith!
While listening to this message, you'll hear me become painfully transparent about my own struggle in bringing my parents to the Lord. I allow my team to get a glimpse of my honest vulnerability because I believe "You lead people through your strengths, but you connect to them through your weaknesses." May I challenge you to allow your gang to see you a little more transparent.
And once more, thank you for allowing me to share this time with you.
Your "long-distance" cheerleader,