Recent Articles

The Art of Shutting Up

by Jonathan McKee Posted in ArticlesAdviceYouth Worker Development

I’ve got a big mouth. Always have. When I was young, I actually had people ask me, “Do you ever shut up?” You’ve most likely encountered people like this. If they never learned to be quiet and listen to others, chances are they aren’t very fun to be around. No…Read More

The 3 Foundations to Small Groups You Must Know

by Laurie Polic Posted in Adolescent DevelopmentArticlesAdviceFeatured ArticleFeatured ReviewHigh SchoolMiddle SchoolParentsProgrammingResource and Book ReviewsTrainingYouth Worker Development

Small groups are not the end of ministry; they are the beginning. Many youth workers believe that if they can get kids into small groups, their job is done. But the real job has just begun. Ministry is about life change, and for this to happen, there needs to be an intentional ap- proach to HOW small groups will nurture and shape students’ lives.   Exerpt from "Small Group Strategies" by Laurie Polich

Helping Teenagers in Crisis

by Youth Specialtie Posted in Adolescent DevelopmentArticlesAdviceFree ResourcesProgrammingTrainingYouth Worker Development

When teens hurt, youth workers are often the first to know. When parents panic or worry about their children, they are the first to be called, and when tragedy strikes a community, they are the pillars many look to communicate how students should process and confront challenging and life-changing situations.

Waking Up From The American Dream

by Jonathan McKee Posted in Adolescent DevelopmentArticlesAdviceFeatured ArticleFree ResourcesHigh SchoolMiddle SchoolMovie Study GuidesParentsProgrammingResource and Book ReviewsTrainingYouth Worker Development

It was over a decade ago. The kids were young. Ashley was still in diapers. We attended a wealthy church where most of our friends had loads of spending money in their pockets. We didn’t.

After the Altar Call

by David R Smit Posted in Adolescent DevelopmentArticlesAdviceFeatured ArticleFree ResourcesHigh SchoolMiddle SchoolParentsProgrammingTrainingYouth Worker Development

There are many potential mistakes that can ruin an altar call and negatively affect a teenager’s decision to follow Christ. And though all of us have made these errors from time to time, the good news is, we don’t have to ever again! Here are the seven biggest mistakes youth ministry leaders make during altar calls…and a few simple ways to correct them.

5 Ways to Value a Youth Ministry Volunteer’s Time

by Aaron Helman Posted in ColumnsArticlesAdviceFeatured ArticleHigh SchoolMiddle SchoolProgrammingTrainingYouth Worker Development

Your volunteers are busy people just like you. They have families and jobs and their own relationships with God. After juggling all of those things, they still manage to help you lead a thriving ministry. My guess is you want them to continue to do that for quite some time. The fastest way to drive away good volunteers is to waste their time. That's why you need to be intentional about making sure you don't.

YS Listens - What Did We Hear?

Posted in Adolescent DevelopmentArticlesAdviceFeatured ArticleFree ResourcesProgrammingTrainingYouth Worker Development

We encourage you to talk about some of the things we discovered--either in your own ministry, your own community, or with the youth ministry community across the country. Check out the YS Network to learn more about how you can connect with youth workers from all over the U.S.

Setting Up for the Long Haul: Establishing Boundaries and Self-Care

by Rhett Smith Posted in AdviceYouth Worker Development

In January of 2008, after almost 7 years on staff in the college ministry at Bel Air Presbyterian Church in Los Angeles, I grudgingly tendered my resignation.  I would finish out my duties as the college director in June of that year, but the culprit of that resignation began its insidious work early on in my ministry.

Bad Judgment, Detached Retinas, and a Lot of Stupid

by Brock Morgan Posted in AdviceYouth Worker Development

  I remember when I was 18-years-old and it first dawned upon me, “If I become a youth pastor, I’ll get to play dodge-ball for the rest of my life!” That was twenty years ago and I’m still in youth ministry and loving it. The past few summers we’ve had…Read More

Leadership is Lonely - Are You?

by Brian Berry Posted in AdviceYouth Worker Development

WANTED: a friend in ministry who won’t get angry at my church and leave me in the wake of their angst, won’t gossip my dirt to the masses, and isn’t impressed with my job title. Must be my gender, about my age (bonus if our families are similar), authentically seeking Jesus, and in need of a good friend. For more info, please contact If you have ever felt like you could have posted that ad, then I feel your pain.

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