• Celebrating History This Easter – ON MISSION Insights

    Celebrating History This Easter

    I love history. Specifically the Civil War. I remember in high school reading countless books about the Civil War for more than two years. I took tests, wrote papers, but it wasn’t until I saw it that it became real to me. We took a class trip to Washington D.C., visited Gettysburg and the surroundingContinue reading →

  • Money and Offerings

    Finances in the church

    It goes with the territory!  Quite of few of us pastors would probably list last on our job descriptions the need to help the church raise money for the regular offerings and special projects. We do not like to ask for money nearly as much as we like to ask for conversions or growth inContinue reading →

  • When You Pray For and With Your Youth Ministry, Remember These Three Things

    When You Pray For and With Your Youth Ministry, Remember These Three Things

    Prayer is a powerful tool in your ministry. Wait. You knew that. After all, Jesus prayed. The apostles prayed. Scripture tells us of some crazy things that happened when people prayed. Cool. My guess is that you already pray for all your students, leaders, and volunteers. Beautiful. What else? Could greater intentionality of prayer takeContinue reading →

  • 3 Disturbing Cultural Trends Youth Pastors Need to Address: Part 2 – What Now?

    3 Disturbing Trends

    Whether it is the most recent school shooting, the lyrics of the latest Drake album, the newest Netflix series that raises concern over explicit content marketed to teens, or even the drama surrounding the Covington students; make no mistake, culture is warring with itself. As I mentioned in my last article, the church is literallyContinue reading →

  • 3 Critical Steps to Becoming a Great Mentor

    3 Critical Steps to Becoming a Great Mentor

    It used to frustrate me to my core. Teachers and youth leaders that always seemed to have graduates come back to visit. During my first few years of teaching at various times of the year, college students would come back to visit their favorite teachers. But that isn’t what bothered me. As a new teacher,Continue reading →

  • 4 Essentials to Recruiting Committed Volunteers

    4 Essentials to Recruiting Committed Volunteers

    You want nothing more than to create a long-lasting ministry—a ministry that has a solid foundation in Christ, one that fosters excellent relationships, and one that you can look back on year after year and celebrate lives changing. It is a ministry experience we all want. But there is one vital piece of that experienceContinue reading →

  • 3 Disturbing Cultural Trends Youth Pastors Need to Address

    3 Disturbing Cultural Trends Youth Pastors Need to Address

    I really like Jesus, but I have no intention of following him.” I was dumbfounded, but that is what they told me. They sincerely believed that to be a Christian only meant they had to like or appreciate Jesus and some of the things he said. Jesus was nothing more than sort of a model citizen andContinue reading →

  • 3 Essentials to Effective Student Discipleship

    3 Essentials to Effective Student Discipleship

    The process of making disciples is not passive. It is active. We should never ask our students to sit complacently in a chair for thirty minutes or more and absorb while we, as leaders, wax eloquently from the stage. Learning is about engagement. Therefore discipleship has to be about participation as well. At first, IContinue reading →

  • The Health of the Pastor: Pastorpedia

    Health of the Pastor - Pastorpedia

    “Taking care of number one” We should, we must, we can—take care of number one. Ourselves. That phrase above is usually used in a negative way, with good reason, it defines a selfish way of life. We all know we cannot help others very well or over the long term if we are not healthyContinue reading →

  • Is The Bible Still Relevant?

    Why We Shouldn't Abandon the Bible

    John S Dickerson, in his book, Hope of Nations, comments that “Any ministry or family that abandons the authority of Scripture (no matter how noble the argument for it) is one generation away from abandoning Christianity entirely.” The Bible. The story of God’s pursuit for His people has weathered countless cultural storms for more thanContinue reading →

  • Healthy Youth Ministry Habits To Start The New Year

    Healthy Youth Ministry Habits To Start The New Year

    I have been told that it takes 21 days to change a habit or start a new one. Tis the New Year season for new habits. But rather than be the awkward person in the gym—the newcomer that isn’t sure how to use the machinery, who isn’t aware of the unspoken gym etiquette, and whoContinue reading →

  • The First 30 Seconds of Meeting Someone

    The First 30 Seconds

    At CE National we often repeat a great phrase that encompasses our mission and vision. Living ON MISSION. However, I often find it odd that when I speak of living ON MISSION (we even write it in caps, so you don’t miss it), what we mean is often lost. So then I add, “You know,Continue reading →

  • Four Challenges Young Church Leaders Will Face

    Four Challenges Young Church Leaders Will Face

    I was recently asked to give a talk to a classroom of ministry students at Trinity International University.  The topic was on some of the challenges they will likely face as they enter church leadership. Kind of a broad topic don’t you think? I first considered that every generation has challenges awaiting them on theContinue reading →

  • Dig In: Tips on Communicating Christ in a Post-Christian Culture

    ips on Communicating Christ in a Post-Christian Culture

    Recently, I attended a gathering of youth workers from all across the country. I love these times because I get to reconnect with old ministry friends and make plenty of new ones. But during my time there, my conversations, and others I caught wind of, seemed to continually turn to a single struggle that manyContinue reading →

  • The Future of Youth Ministry Starts Here

    The Future of Youth Ministry Starts Here

    Over the last eleven years, I have taught students apologetics and worldview training in the classroom from the laid-back suburbs of Detroit to the cultural epicenter of Los Angeles. The students may dress different, act different, have different experiences, and sometimes very different challenges. But when it comes to their faith, the questions, concerns, andContinue reading →

  • The Basics of Spiritual Growth in Students

    The Basics of Spiritual Growth in Students

    If you like sports, you have heard this story. In the 1960 NFL Championship game, the Green Bay Packers suffered a heartbreaking defeat to the New York Giants after blowing a fourth-quarter lead. Vince Lombardi opened the following seasons training camp determined to return to the basics. Standing in front of 38 professional athletes, heContinue reading →

  • Help! I Prepared for 20 Students, but Only 5 Showed Up!

    Help! I Prepared for 20 Students and only 5 Showed Up

    I will never forget the very first time I lead a youth group meeting. In my early days of seminary, I was volunteering in the youth ministry, working closely with the youth pastor, learning all I could. When he gave me the chance to plan and lead group for the night, I jumped at theContinue reading →

  • What Works in the Classroom Can Work in Ministry

    I am sure, like me, you have all been there. You feel like what you have to say is literally from the Spirit of God. You have prepped all week; you carefully crafted your talk, studied the text, prayed through the text, and even created some of the greatest tweetable one-liners. You are convinced thatContinue reading →

  • Why Bring Your Bible To School Day Matters

    Why Bring Your Bible to School Day Matters

    It might not seem all that important. It might seem like just another day we can ignore and move on to more important things. It might even seem like a day we kind of laugh at because there has to be a more impactful way of bringing our faith into public spaces—especially our public schools.Continue reading →

  • How is Generation Z Changing Youth Ministry?

    Generation Z Youth Ministry

    A few nights ago my daughters were watching their favorite cartoon. I am pretty strict on what they watch, and this particular show has been rather harmless. So I thought. My wife happened to be in the room when this cartoon, written for preschool age children, introduced the concept of two mommies. Taken slightly byContinue reading →