• 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 →

  • What Does Fortnite Have to do with Jesus?

    What Does Fortnite have to do with Jesus?

    Helping Students in Your Youth Group by Understanding Their Culture What show are students binge-watching on Netflix? How long will Fortnite be a thing? What is the most popular social media platform and who are students following? How much of youth culture ought we, as youth leaders, be a part of and how much shouldContinue reading →

  • How to Get Your Youth Group Talking

    3 Easy Ways For Better Youth Group Discussions

    More than once, I was told it was a liability in a church setting. What would work in the classroom for discussion could never translate in a church environment. Yet, I somehow always default to being a teacher—asking questions, calling on students, looking for constant interaction. Large portions of a teacher’s lesson plans are contingentContinue reading →

  • 3 Ways to Make the Most of See You at the Pole

    See You at the Pole - 3 ways to make the most of SYATP

    So many great movements in American history were begun by students. So many other great movements of faith started with faithful people on their knees in prayer. Just imagine what could happen when faithful students fall to their knees in prayer—for their fellow students, for their school, and for their nation.  For nearly twenty years,Continue reading →

  • Roe v. Wade at 45 Years Abortion Debate Still Rages

    Our friend, Pastor Don Shoemaker, wrote a really good piece with regard to abortion and we thought that it would be a good article to pass along to you.