Final Hours to Save BIG on D6 Conference!

d6newbannerI’m STOKED to announce that it was just confirmed I’ll be speaking at this year’s D6 Conference in Dallas, Texas!  And I want YOU to join me and hundreds of other church leaders for the best Family Ministry Conference.

TODAY is a huge day… as it’s your last chance to SAVE BIG on tickets! You can save until midnight, so HURRY, and get registered [here].

Don’t forget, your Senior Pastor can join you free! Use the code: BRINGMYBOSS

The D6 Conference is the one family ministry conference designed to help your ministry team get on the same page to minister to the families in your city. We invite over 50 of the top family ministry leaders to lead you through a learning and planning process that you’ll never forget. The whole conference is centered around making sure that each member of your team has the chance to learn and grow together. You won’t believe what a difference it makes when your entire team dreams together at the same event.

“D6 feels less like a conference and more like being part of a movement that God is using to impact a generation.” – Brian Haynes

Go [here] and register NOW!

#ThisWeekinYM – Episode 10

Screen Shot 2015-02-17 at 7.15.53 PM The tenth episode of This Week in Youth Ministry podcast is LIVE. We’ll be bringing these to you every Thursday.

from the description: This Week in Youth Ministry – Episode 10: How to Grow Your Youth Ministry with Chris Wesley.  Terrace Crawford and Christopher Wesley, a popular youth ministry blogger and author of Rebuilding Youth Ministry, talk about 10 practical strategies for growing your youth ministry.

Thanks for listening!  And please share the word with friends online about the new podcast.  You can also check out – our official podcast page.

Suscbribe in iTunes by clicking [here].

#ThisWeekinYM – Episode 5

Screen Shot 2015-02-17 at 7.15.53 PM

This is fifthepisode of This Week in Youth Ministry podcast is LIVE. We’ll be bringing these to you every Thursday.  Next week: My guest is Kenny and Elle Campbell and our topic is Creating Great Environments for Students!

from the description:
This Week in Youth Ministry – Episode 5: Teens Walking Away From Church with David Olshine.  Terrace Crawford and David Olshine, author of What’s Gone Wrong With Youth Ministry, talk about teens walking away from church and what youth workers can do about it!

Thanks for listening!  And please share the word with friends online about the new podcast.  You can also check out – our official podcast page.

Suscbribe in iTunes by clicking [here].

How to Minister to Parents When You Don’t Have Kids Yourself

I was recently interviewed by my friend Jeremy Lee over at  I had a great time discussing two things I love: Youth Ministry and Social Media.  During our time together Jeremy asked me a lot of questions about how I’ve helped parents during my 18 years in ministry without having kids of my own,  so in this episode I gave up a few secrets of what I do and what has worked well for me over the years.  [Click here] to listen to this podcast and I encourage you to check out the great resources over at!



Do You Need a Coach?

I’m launching my next Youth Worker Online Coaching Network for Youth Pastors who have only been in the field for 5 years or less and I’m wondering if YOU or someone you know might need a coach? I’m taking applications this week only, so you must [Apply Now].

If you’re not sure if this network is for you, let me give you some insight into what you’ll experience.  Here are 8 Reasons to Join

  • Reason #1 I’ll be your personal coach and cheerleader for 6 months.
  • Reason #2 You’ll get practical guidance and personal counsel.
  • Reason #3 You’ll get a weekly phone call with yours truly.
  • Reason #4 You’ll get encouraging but constructive feedback.
  • Reason #5 You’ll get occasional free books from publishers.
  • Reason #6 You’ll get the shared experience with other network participants.
  • Reason #7 You’ll get chat sessions with notable thought-leaders.
  • Reason #8 You’ll get other free resources too…. and other fun surprises!

Still not sure? Check out Drew Peterson’s review of The Youth Worker Coaching Network:

Again, I’m taking applications this week only, so you must [Apply Now].   Thanks also to you leaders who are sharing this opportunity with others!

5 Steps to Finding Your Next Mentor

I’m often asked by young leaders how they can find a mentor. There are a few steps I’d offer to finding the next person to coach you.   Here are 5 actions you’ll need to take to discover and keep your next mentor:

1. Pray for a Mentor – Anytime I’ve needed a mentor or coach in my life I’ve always prayed over who that person should be.  Sure, there may be a number of people in your circles, but who would be ‘right’ for you?  This season you may need someone different mentoring you than you will a year or two from now.  We learn different things from different people.

2. Consider the Possibilities – Begin looking around you and consider what you are looking for and who might be willing to invest in you.  Here are a few questions that might be helpful in narrowing your search:

  • Who encourages you?
  • What challenges you?
  • Who do you highly respect?
  • Who inspires you?
  • Who has reached some of the goals you’ve set for yourself?
Next ask yourself who would be your first choice as a mentor?  How about your second choice?


 3Make the Ask – After you have considered the possibilities for a mentor, it’s time to make the ask.  Just so you know, this part is often quite intimidating.  Asking someone if they will mentor\coach you means that you should be willing to receive a “yes” or “no” answer. I’ve been turned down many times when I have asked someone to mentor me. You must not let a “no” overwhelm you.   Sometimes people are not able to coach\mentor additional people or they have other reasons why they cannot commit to you.  Respect whatever answer you are given.  If the first person says “no” to you, make the ask to your second choice.

 4. Clarify Your Expectations – When asking someone to mentor you, you should be clear on what you are expecting out of that mentoring relationship.  Some people have specific things in mind for their time with their mentor (ie: reading books together, just a question\answer time, Bible study, or simply hang time) in addition to the number of times they would like to meet and how long those meeting times should be.  A good coach or mentor may ask you upfront what your expectations are, but you still need to be very clear on what you are expecting from them.

 5. Cultivate the Relationship – Do your part to not only respect the relationship with your mentor but also to cultivate the relationship.  I’ve mentored many young leaders over the years and it’s such a joy when I invest in someone who: respects my time with them (as I respect their time too!), encourages me, offers to buy me coffee or lunch, shows genuine interest in my well-being (as I do theirs), and listens to and heeds my counsel!

LOOKING FOR A YOUTH MINISTRY MENTOR\COACH?  I’m about to offer some more mentoring myself. If you in the field of #YouthMinistry, have been in the field for 5 years or less, and are looking for a coach, I may be able to serve you!  I just announced my next Youth Worker Online Coaching Network.  I’ll be able to coach only 10 leaders this season. If you would like to apply, please click [here].  Hurry, time and space are limited!


The Best Parent Ministry Resource

One of the best Parent Ministry resources I’ve found is a new organization that does just that… resources Parents!  I’ll never forget chatting with my friend Jeremy, the founder of Parent about his initial idea for this start-up.  I instantly (and I mean instantly!) told him to go for it!  I knew this would be an invaluable ministry to youth workers and parents of teens… and that is certainly what it has become!  Since that conversation  scores of churches have begun using the resources at —  Northpoint, Willow CreekSaddleback, and others all said “I’m game!”   How about you?  Do you desperately need a better ministry to parents?  If the answer is “Yes”  then you should [go here] and sign up today!

Tell the great folks at Parent that I sent you!  Go there [now].


My Top 3 Favorite Moments of The Year

I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting (and I mean a lot!) over the last two weeks. One of the things I reflected on was my favorite moments of the year. What were they?  I thought it would be fun to share with you my Top 3 Favorite Moments of The Year (this was hard by the way!) over the next few posts.

#3: Surprise Book Release Party 

My church decided to upstage one of our youth ministry services so that our students could celebrate a milestone in my life… the release of my first book!  It was such a surprise and meant a great deal to me.

If Santa didn’t bring you a copy of #GoingSocial you should pick one up today!  Go [here] to order.

5 Questions with Mark Oestreicher

Mark Oestreicher ((or “Marko” as I like to call him)) is a youth worker                                 at-large and founder of the Youth Cartel – an organization that is seeking to instigate a revolution in the world of Youth Ministry. You can connect with him on his blog at

I caught up with my friend, Marko, recently to see how things were going at The Youth Cartel. I asked him 5 questions about the upcoming Summit in Atlanta, GA.   I thought I would share with you his responses:

1. What is the Summit?  

It’s a youth ministry training event; but our intention has always been to do something very different than the many other excellent training events offered in the youth ministry world. For those familiar with TED (, you can probably see how it was somewhat of an inspiration for The Summit. We want to stir imaginations and spark creativity in thinking about each attendee’s unique context. We’re not promoting a particular approach, or suggesting a methodology, because we firmly believe that–today, more than ever–those approaches and methodologies need to be spiritually discerned, unique, and contextually appropriate. So, think of The Summit as the “chemical agent” intended to bring about a combustable reaction leading to change!

2. How does the event set itself a part from other Youth Ministry conferences?  

To be clear, The Summit is not a “skills training” event. It’s an IDEA event. We believe that by bringing together a group of carefully selected presenters, each giving short, concise talks based on ideas that should shape our thinking and practice, youth workers will leave buzzing with applicable and unique thoughts about the “new things” God might want to do in their ministries.

To that end, each of the first three sessions will have five or six presenters, each giving a 12 – 15 minute talk on an area of expertise. Each session is grouped under a theme umbrella; so there’s a sense where the presenters in each session will each share a unique facet of the same cut gem. After each of these sessions, attendees will self-select one of the presenters with whom to spend another 45 minutes in what we’re calling “Digging Deeper.” The presenters are preparing these times not as further lecture, but as a guided interaction toward contextualization for everyone in the room.

 3. I love the theme “Panorama: A Big Picture of Youth Ministry — Past, Present, and Future.” I noticed many of the speakers aren’t youth workers. Do you think these presenters will be able to help discern where youth ministry is at or speak to where it needs to go?    

Actually, the session themes are “Here and Now: Naming our Current Reality,” “Peripheral Vision: Voices from Other Fields,” and “The Horizon: Where We Could or Should Be Headed.” In the first and third of those, all but two of the presenters are youth workers (of various sorts). It’s just that second session where we were intentional about bringing in voices from other fields of study or practice that we think have something we could learn from. So, on one hand: yes, itotally think these presenters can help us discern where youth ministry needs to go. But on the other hand: I don’t think it’s the role of the presenters (or me, or any other youth ministry speaker or youth ministry organization) to, ultimately, tell youth workers where they need to go. Youth workers need to exercise their own spiritual discernment, listening to the Holy Spirit’s guidance about what God is calling them to do in their unique context. The event is an aid to that process, rather than the answer(s) to that question.

By the way: I look at that second session (Peripheral Vision), and am just blown away by the line-up. That session alone would be something leaders in other organizations would pay a grand or two to hear. I’m really looking forward to every aspect of the event; but, honestly, that’s the session I’m salivating to hear (sorry, let me wring out my beard).

4. I really like how a couple of the sessions are followed up by time to have teams wrestle with application to the big ideas shared at the event. What do you hope this will accomplish? Any expectations? 

I suppose I mostly answered this one already! But, yes, we really wrestled with how to make the event more than just hearing from 18 gifted presenters. With that many ideas flying around, it could easily feel like drinking from a fire hose, right? So, we came up with those Digging Deeper sessions as a way for youth workers to, well, dig deeper on three of the topics that really caught their attention or heart or curiosity. If those unfold as we hope they will, I think they’ll massively multiply the take-home value of the event.

5. Any last minute notes for those who aren’t registered? 

It really isn’t too late! The event, in Atlanta, is next Friday and Saturday. If you’re in driving distance, deciding to attend at this late date is totally do-able. There are cheap hotels very near the event location. And, heck, this amazing event–even at this late date–is still under a hundred and fifty bucks (plus, everyone will be getting freebies worth about $50!). And, hey, if you want to attend, and can’t even afford that, shoot me an email (, and I’ll do what I can to help you out.

BONUS:  What is next for the Youth Cartel?  Do you plan to bring these special events back next year? 

Man, we have so many things going on, it’s just crazy! We’re publishing now, and have our 3rd and 4th books coming out at The Summit; and we have another six or so titles coming out in the next 6 – 9 months. The Middle School Ministry Campference ( was a massive success last weekend (its second year), and we’re definitely repeating that. Our Open events ( kicked off with Open Seattle a few weeks ago (which surpassed all expectations); and we have Open Boston and Open Paris in the first half of 2013. The Youth Ministry Coaching Program is moving forward: I’m close to wrapping up a cohort that’s been meeting in San Antonio; I’m starting a new Nashville cohort in January (there’s still space for one or two people, btw); We’re launching a Canadian cohort in December; and I have two online groups starting in December with the beta-test of the new YMCPv. I’m still writing lots of stuff, and have a couple more books coming out with Simply Youth Ministry in the next few months, plus a JH Bible I general edited coming out with Thomas Nelson mid-year 2013. Plus, our consulting roster is full of wonderful organizations we’re honored to partner with.

This event sounds so good! Go [here] to register for the Summit now!  It’s not too late to get in! And make sure to share this with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, etc. by using the social media links below!

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Youth Ministry Legacy

I think about making an impact and the legacy I’m leaving (er not leaving…) a lot. And I do mean a lot! I shudder to think about the possibility that time would pass me by and students (and adults) who have been a part of our ministry would not be impacted in some way as a result of my leadership. I so desperately want to make a difference. I want to leave a legacy.

Just recently my buddy Josh Griffin tweeted this:

He then followed up with a blog post with some questions that the experience triggered. I’ll list a couple of his questions, including a few of my own. Go [here] to read his post.

  • When was the last time I prayed for the legacy of our youth ministry?
  • What will people say about the ministry I was a part of today in 13 years?
  • What kind of investment am I making now in students… and adults?
  • Am I making decisions about our ministry keeping in mind that other ministers will succeed me?
  • Am I intentional about creating ministry for transformation not just information?

What kind of questions or thoughts does this trigger for you? 

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