I’m stoked to be able to announce that I have launched a brand-new resource site, MinistryDownloads.com! I’ve always wanted to create a hub where I could share resources that I’ve created and curated for ministry and ministry leaders, and just a couple of days ago it became a reality!
The site debuts on #BlackFriday – just mere hours away – with an Epic Resource Bundle of resources (over $500 worth of resources actually!) available for ONLY $49!!!
The FIRST 10 people to purchase the bundle when it releases will receive an additional bonus (we’re giving away gift cards, additional downloads, and other prizes too!). Sign-up here, to be notified when the bundle releases… as it will be released at a super secret, undisclosed time on Friday, November 25, 2016! Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
Check this out. Our friends at TheLifeBook.com want to give you FREE Life Books for your ministry! This is an amazing resource that you can use for outreach in your ministry — particularly with See You at the Pole, coming up at the end of September!
What is The Life Book? The Life Book contains the Gospel of John (ESV) and includes interactive student comments and scripture helps for issues students face. Over 1.3 Million students have handed out nearly 20 Million Life Books since 2010.
How Many LifeBooks can you request? Yes. Feel free to request up to 2,000FREE Life Books and have your students hand them out all throughout the school year. This is a great way to foster an evangelistic mindset in students. (Our experience recommends you request 25 Life Books per student in your youth group to hand out.)
Is it really free? Absolutely. No strings attached. They are completely funded by The Gideons International, an organization who has been responsible for dispersing over 90 Million Bibles in its existence!
When is the deadline to order? You can get them at any time; however, if you want LifeBooks in time for See You at the Pole activities, you’ll need to request them by tomorrow, Friday, September 9th at TheLifeBook.com.
More info? Visit www.TheLifeBook.com to find out more information or to request as many Life Books as you’d like.
This summer your students and adults may be embarking on a mission trip (whether short term or long term) and it’s important to cover this experience in prayer. Today I thought it would be helpful to share a number of things you can specifically pray for as you prepare:
7 Prayers You Can Pray for Your Mission Team:
1. Pray for the spiritual preparation of your team. Mission trips are not for the spiritually weak—they require recognition of the spiritual war we are facing. Pray that your teams will be spiritually prepared for the work and war they are sure to face. See Paul’s prayer for spiritual boldness in Ephesians 6:19.
2. Pray for the financial support of the mission team. When Jesus sent out his witnesses, he told them to trust the provision offered in the villages for their wages and sustenance (Matthew 10:9-10; Luke 10:4-8). Pray that God would meet the financial obligations of each team member and mission trip.
3. Pray for the health and safety of the mission team. Traveling to your mission destination can drastically affect the health and strength of mission team participants. Getting sick is just a normal part of travel (particularly if you are going international). However there is precedent for praying for the health and safety of mission teams in in travel. Pray that your teams will experience safe travel and health protection while on the mission trip.
4. Pray that the mission team will not let the platform take the place of the mission. In Matthew 28:18-20, Jesus commissioned us to make disciples. That’s our mission. Sometimes need-based ministries (like construction projects, etc.) are the “platforms” that give opportunity for mission trips… and these projects can quickly become the measurement for success. Pray for your team— that the focus would be disciple-making, even while working through projects and platforms.
5. Pray for the flexibility of the mission team. Sometimes our mission plans require revision and flexibility. Acts 16:6-10 records Paul’s prevention by the Holy Spirit of going into Asia and the Macedonian call. Mission teams must learn to trust God’s plan, not their own, and be spiritually discerning. Pray that your teams will be flexible in their planning and discern what God wants to accomplish on the mission trip.
6. Pray for the spiritual wisdom and loving service of the mission team. One of Paul’s prayers for the Ephesian church was that they would grow in spiritual wisdom and depth of love (Ephesians 3:14-20). Mission team members need an abundance of wisdom and love, and God desires to provide it. Pray that your team members will be abundantly wise and discerning as well as filled with love for those whom they will serve and share with.
7. Pray for the spiritual development, strength and growth of the churches and organizations that your teams will work with. Paul encouraged, commended, challenged and prayed for the churches, elders and leaders of the Ephesian church before he finally parted ways with them (Acts 20:17-38). Mission teams are only a part of God’s ongoing work in the world. Churches, organizations, pastors and believers across the globe will continue God’s work far longer than a mission team serves on a mission trip. Pray for the partner churches, pastors and organizations to have strength, growth and success in fulfilling God’s disciple-making mission in their own context.
Perry Noble is the Senior Pastor of NewSpring Church in Anderson, SC and author of the new book “The Most Excellent Way to Lead.” During my exclusive interview with Perry, we discuss his days as a youth pastor, his battle with depression, and his advice to leaders everywhere on the subject of Leadership.
As you listen to interview, share your thoughts on the Podcast on social media using the #ThisWeekinYM. Thanks for sharing with friends!
Click here to listen to the Podcast on iTunes.
Click here to listen to the Podcast on Podbean, our Podcast site.
I just hosted Rob Bell on the latest episode of This Week in Youth Ministry Podcast. You may know Rob from his days as the former-Pastor of Mars Hill Bible Church in Michigan. Quite arguably, Rob Bell is one of the most controversial pastors of our time, but since leaving leadership at Mars Hill he’s gotten the world talking. He has written numerous best-selling books (Love Wins, Jesus Wants to Save Christians, among others…) and has been profiled by Time Magazine as one of 100 of the Most Influential People of our Generation.
Regardless of your opinions of Bell, I’d urge you to listen to what he has to say in this episode of the Podcast. We talk about his days since stepping away from the pastorate, how he encourages people to care for their soul, the backlash over Love Wins, and even Donald Trump. He also has a number of interesting things to say to Youth Workers (that’s where most of you come in…). Don’t miss my exclusive interview with Rob Bell.
Click here to listen to the Podcast on iTunes.
Click here to listen to the Podcast on Podbean, our Podcast site.
SO honored to learn yesterday that this blog made the Top 30 Youth Ministry Blogs of 2015 by YouthMinistry.com It’s been incredible to develop my blog and build community here over the years. So, to YOU, my faithful reader-subscriber-follower-friend, I say THANKS. Thank you for reading, engaging in conversation, and for sharing my content with others all these years! And if you’re checking out this site for the first time … welcome! Please subscribe [here] and I’ll promise to put great content in your reader each week.
If you’d like more information on how the blogs found their rank position or want to see the official announcement, simply click [here] –via YouthMinistry.com.
I’ll be honest … I’ve gotten very sucked into politics in this particular election far more than any other. It’s hard not to get sucked in, actually. I’ve worked hard since the beginning of this year to keep my political commentary to a minimum. I want to focus my attention as much on Jesus as possible… and interject my thoughts periodically as needed. I don’t know about you but people have become unhinged in this election… Christians touting their candidate while slandering others. It’s bad. Really bad.
Andy Stanley, Pastor of North Point Church in Alpharetta, Georgia, apparently shares some of the same sentiment. In his latest Sermon Series “Tough as Nails”, Stanley calls out Christians who are fixing their faith on a political system and NOT on Jesus Christ.
“All of you who are 45 and older, look up here,” Stanley says, “Many of you have grown weary and lost heart and the reason is–you have fixed your eyes on a political system… and you are growing weary and you need to knock it off and I’ll tell you why… because you are scaring the children!”
Stanley continued, “You need to model for the next generation that God is in control, God can be trusted.” He also said it’s good to get involved in politics, culture and society, but never fix your eyes there, instead, “Fix your eyes on Jesus.”
What are your thoughts about how Christians have handled themselves in this Election?
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In the month of December I surveyed youth pastors nationwide with one question. What one subject do you need to know more about?
Do you know what their top answer was?
The Top answer was “Parent Ministry“. The runner-up topic was “Volunteers“.
Since then I’ve been working on producing content to help youth workers everywhere.
Here’s a few things you need to know:
1) TODAY on the Podcast and we’re hosting a PARENT MINISTRY PARTY! Jeremy Lee, the founder of MinistrytoParents.com will join me on the show to share his BEST strategy in reaching & ministering to parents. Don’t miss this show! The episode will go LIVE by 5:00PM EDT at ThisWeekinYM.com and on iTunes.
2) You should immediately sign-up to receive my Email Newsletter. I am announcing TODAY that I will be producing content on the subjects of Parent Ministry AND Volunteers EXCLUSIVELY (not kidding!) for my newsletter subscribers. If you are not a part of this community you will not receive the content. Sign-up NOW to get this content!
3) The price of theMinistry Bundle (Sermon Series, Games, Graphics & More!) we’ve been telling you about recently increased from $49 to $89… but TODAY & TOMORROW ONLY (for the Party!) we’re sharing with you a HUGE 60% OFF Discount on the Bundle! This will supercede ANY discount you’ve seen on the bundle yet. Again, it’s only available TODAY & TOMORROW (through Saturday, January 16th). Go to MinistryBundles.com and use code “PARTY” when you purchase this AMAZING resource at an unbeatable price!
Thanks for all your hard work in reaching students.
You may have developed a list of resolutions for the New Year, or set goals for your ministry, but have you planned for a little personal development?
Your ministry, your work, will only be as solid as YOU are. So why not invest in your ministry AND yourself? I’m here to help you.
I’d like to offer 5 ways you can invest in your ministry (and YOU) this year:
5. Network with Others – One of the most rewarding things that I’ve ever done is connect with other leaders who are in the trenches like me. Learning from others who are in your field and doing life with others who have been in your shoes will help you grow. You might try finding someone in your local Youth Pastor Network or perhaps just reach out to leaders from neighboring churches. You’d be surprised at how investing in these relationships will move you forward.
4. Read More, Listen More – One of the main reasons I launched my own Blog and Podcast was to learn from others. I always have a handful of blogs that I read each week and there are a few podcasts that I frequent as well. There are SO many to choose from, but I’d like to mention a few of my favorites here:
Michael Hyatt – This is Your Life (iTunes)
YM Answers Podcast (iTunes)
Andy Stanley’s Podcast (iTunes)
Download Youth Ministry Podcast (iTunes)
… and a quick plug for my Podcast (iTunes)
3. Go to a Conference – I absolutely LOVE conferences. And you’ll typically see me at a few each year — learning, networking, and just hanging out too! If you don’t allow yourself the opportunity to attend at least ONE conference a year, what are you waiting for? Between the Keynote sessions, breakout sessions, and networking too … there’s so much to gain from participation in an experience like this.
2. Coaching – Some of the best things I’ve learned in my ministry experience has come from what I’ve learned from doing life with a mentor or coach. This is why a few years ago I felt it necessary to begin a coaching program. I’ve coached and mentored dozens of youth workers and love being able to help set them up for success. Check out this article I wrote on “5 Steps to Finding Your Next Mentor” and if I can help you, [click here] to check out my Coaching Program.
1. Prayer – It may sound like a total cliche, but prayer is without a doubt the absolute KEY to your ministry and personal growth this year. Don’t deny the power of prayer. I want to challenge you (as I challenge myself) to find pockets of time to spend time in prayer for yourself and your ministry. Whether it be spending 5 minutes in prayer as you commute to your next appointment (Tip: Drive with your eyes open), or 10 more minutes before you go to bed, make sure you spend more focused time this year in communication with God.
What Steps Are You Planning to Take this Year? Comment and let me know. And thanks for sharing this post with others.
[ps] For subscribing I’ll immediately send you a FREE eBooklet I put together for leaders to help them assess and master their leadership right now!