November 2, 2010

Youth Ministry Volunteers

Filed under: Youth Ministry — Neil @ 11:00 am

Sunday morning I had an 85 year old lady stop me to tell me of how she prays each Tuesday & Thursday for our student ministry staff & our teenagers.  During our conversation I asked her what motivated her to pray for us.  She said it was the testimonies of teenagers following Summer Camp (yet another reason why we need to share w/ the church what is happening in the youth ministry).

We agreed that on the 1st of each month I’d email her a list of items of how she could pray specifically for our student ministry.

When looking for youth ministry volunteers I often look for college students, young couples & youth parents.  I wonder how many I’ve missed because I’m busy looking more at outward qualities rather than for individuals (regardless of age) who God has already given a heart for teenagers.


October 28, 2010

Student Ministry Videos

Filed under: Videos,Youth Ministry — Neil @ 3:54 pm

We’ve given our intern (follow him on Twitter @jvickers813) the assignment of creating videos for our student ministry each week.  We’ll be using 1 of them for the welcome in our student worship.  Others will be random stuff he comes up w/ to promote events or connect w/ teens.

Here’s the 1st 2 videos:


October 25, 2010

Better Isn’t Always Better

Filed under: leadership,Youth Ministry — Neil @ 6:00 am

Better isn’t always better if you are doing the wrong thing.

There are some tasks that I do each day/quarter/year.  Each time becoming more proficient & efficient.  However, if I’m doing the wrong thing, getting better at it isn’t really better.

What are we doing in youth ministry “better” than we were 10 years ago, but that we need to stop?
What are you getting better at that you need to stop?

October 21, 2010

We need more Ethel’s

Filed under: Youth Ministry — Neil @ 12:00 pm

I’d take a church full of 92 year old Ethels.

Relationship Before Rules

Filed under: parenting,Parents,Youth Ministry — Neil @ 6:00 am

Last night we began a new series, TEN, on the Ten Commandments.  Last night’s key point was “Relationship Before Rules” as we introduced the series.  The commandments were established after the relationship had already been initiated.  The rules were the framework for the relationship.

Mike Brister, my boss & youth ministry veteran, frequently says (I give him credit since he can’t remember where he 1st heard it):

Rules Without Relationship ALWAYS = Rebellion

10 years of youth ministry has taught me that he’s exactly right.  Regardless of the situation if teens have a relationship w/ the adult they will respect the rules.  If not prepare for the worse.

Parents, for some great insight from Jim Burns on the importance of nurturing relationships w/ your kids even in the midst of discipline watch this video.

September 27, 2010

Teaching Big Group vs Sunday School

Filed under: Youth Ministry — Neil @ 8:44 pm

The past couple of weeks I’ve been teaching a 10th grade Sunday School class.  I fill in on a fairly regular basis in Sunday School, but teaching the same class for a few weeks reminded me of the differences between speaking to a large group & teaching a small group.  This week I’ll be posting some of the differences between the two.

September 23, 2010


Filed under: Youth Ministry — Neil @ 9:27 pm

Monday – Wednesday of this week I was at Refuge.  Refuge is a retreat for youth ministers that Student Life hosts every other year.  It’s an event that I look forward to attending.

One of my favorite things about it & 1 of things that makes it different from conferences is its schedule.  There was a worship service on Monday night, Tuesday morning & Tuesday night.  That’s it.  The rest of the time is spent hanging out w/ youth ministry friends.

Another way that it’s different from a typical conference is that there was nothing mentioned about how to do ______ better. Each of the worship services focused on personal renewal.

Thanks to Student Life for putting on the FREE event, David Platt & Tony Merida for preaching, & Kristian Stanfill & Chris Tomlin for leading worship.

September 13, 2010

2 good resources for youth workers

Filed under: Videos,Youth Ministry — Neil @ 11:05 am

The 1st is a guest post by Steven Moore at  It contains 4 good tips for anyone who works w/ a group of teenagers.  Here’s 1 of the 4:

Compliment in Public / Correct in Private
Complimenting is important but easy. Celebrate and share their successes with others inside and outside the group. Correcting is equally important but NOT near as easy. Don’t shy away from a learning and growing opportunity for both you and the student. If a problem arises you may have to initially diffuse it in public, but address further in private. Don’t just correct, but also discuss the motives behind the offense, how a repeat offense can be avoided, the personal leadership potential in the student, and the influence they carry with others even if they don’t recognize it.

The 2nd is a video from Kurt Johnson & the Simpy Junior High Podcast on small groups starting off a new year.  While Kurt’s context is different from my own there are some really good info that can apply to just about any situation.

August 24, 2010

Using Students in a Youth Worship Service

Filed under: Wednesday Nights,Youth Ministry — Neil @ 6:00 am

I’ve used teens in our worship services in the past, but I’m doing it even more so this Fall.  For the year & a 1/2 that I’ve been at First Baptist Jackson we’ve used students weekly in our band & occasionally to read Scripture or say a prayer.  This school year our plan is to have students on stage every week.  We are planning on the following:

  • students making up our entire band – we are 1 bass player short
  • the welcome
  • reading Scripture
  • praying
  • personal testimonies
  • teens also help out w/ the lights & running our presentation software
  • I’d like to start using some teen filmed & edited videos

How else could we use teens?  How do you use them in your weekly youth worship service?

August 23, 2010

Facebook Places Privacy Issues

Filed under: culture,Media,parenting,Uncategorized,Youth Ministry — Neil @ 10:16 am

Last week I began working on a post concerning Facebook Places.  I was looking for information primarily for parents so that they could help their teen make wise choices regarding sharing their physical location w/ all of their “friends.”  In the midst of my research I discovered Adam Mclane’s post on the same topic.  I’ve copied & pasted from him the info regarding how to adjust your privacy settings, but I suggest you go & read his entire blog post.

How to Adjust Privacy Settings

Step one: Go to the Privacy Settings tab in your account settings. Here’s the link. This is an overview of all of your general settings.

Step two: Click on “Customize Settings.

Step three: Scroll down to “Places I Check In To” and click “Customize.” This will bring up a box where you can select exactly who you want to see where you check in at. If you just want to play with it to get used to it, but don’t want other people to see it, change it to “Only Me.” Changing it to “Only Me” is as private as it gets if you want to check in places. You’ll notice you can also block specific people from seeing where you check in at. Think about who you want to block specifically and list them there. When you are done click “Save Setting” and you are done with this step.

Step four: Enable or disable the “Here Now” feature. If this whole thing creeps you out, I’d suggest disabling this setting. But also keep in mind that if you want any of the cool freebies that retailers/restaurants may come up with for checking it, you’ll need to keep this enabled. (I’ve gotten plenty of free stuff by checking in via Yelp and even Twitter.)

Step five: Scroll down to “Friends can check me in to Places.This is probably the feature that will get the most people in trouble and will make people the most angry. Say you sit down for lunch at work with a co-worker. You check in and you tag that person as being with you. Now, if you didn’t have that persons permission, all of their friends know that they have checked in at a place because that check in posts to their wall. Also, if they haven’t adjusted their settings in step four, now anyone on Facebook at that location can know they are there. On the other hand, if you feel good about your selections on step three than this is no big deal.

Done. You can go back to your profile, having adjusted your Places privacy settings to your liking.

If you’d like to watch a video from facebook describing much of this same information click here.

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