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Accountability is one of those words that has lost its meaning through overuse.  It is a helpful concept, but it may have been over spiritualized with "accountability partners," "accountability groups," "accountability software" and so on. Nothing is wrong with all of that as long as it is not "Christianese" … Continue Reading

Recent Lessons on Personal Growth

Terminated Youth Ministers

Being terminated might be one of the most stressful and painful experiences a youth minister can have. If you have been terminated or you fear you may be, here are few random thoughts: Even if we have never met, I hurt for you. This world is marked by the Curse. Completely. And that is how […]

Tenure and Turnover in Youth Ministry

Gregg Makin did a PhD dissertation titled “Understanding the Turnover Intentions of Youth Pastors.” His study sought to answer the question: What contributes to youth minister turnover where they thinking about quitting their churches and leaving youth ministry altogether? Among those he studied, 89 percent were married, 89 percent had at least a college education, […]

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Recent Lessons on Professional Growth

What Are You Reading?

Each year I go to Metro Youth Ministers meeting which is a meeting of large church youth ministers.  Every year, they ask me to present my “Top Ten Reading List” and when I do, at least one of them asks me, “When do you have time to Read?” Those conversations reveal two important things to […]

An Army of One

An Army of One. I was always a little confused about the slogan that the U.S. Army used back in the day. Aside from the biblical story of David and Goliath or the movie “The Hunger Games,” the idea of sending champions out on the battlefield to settle differences between nations is not reality.  Apparently […]

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Recent Lessons on Relational Growth

Connecting with College Students

This is a guest blog written by Emily Tillman who gave this as a talk at YMI2014, the youth ministry conference at the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Until May 2014, she was the administrative assistant in the youth ministry office, but she is now an Alabama Baptist State Missionary serving as the Associate Campus […]

The Scoop on Mentoring

A increasingly popular buzz word in business and in ministry is mentoring. When I googled the word, over 3 million hits came back. As a process (or relationship), mentoring has become useful as a way of giving and receiving influence. In youth ministry, I propose that it is valuable to be in a mentoring relationship […]

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Recent Lessons on Spiritual Growth

The Grace-Drenched Youth Minister

Everyone needs grace. But perhaps teenagers need it a little more than others. They are at a point in life when they want and need to know they are acceptable, period. Teenagers are most likely to discover and understand grace when they are in relationship with grace-filled leaders. Romans 5:18–19 says: “Therefore, as one trespass […]

It’s The Heart

Baptists are big on behavior. And behavior matters for the kingdom. Behavior can propel the kingdom forward and behavior can thwart kingdom expansion. But behavior is not the primary focus of youth ministry . . . because it is not the primary focus of Christ. The heart is. Behavior is just the natural outgrowth of […]

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