Recent Articles

Derailing Spiritual Development

by Phil Prendergast Posted in Featured ArticleYouth Worker Development

With fondness and a bit of regret I remember my early days in youth ministry. In my early twenties, I was simultaneously going through the stages of healthy deconstructing of my faith, questioning everything, and leading a youth group week-by-week. In retrospect, I began to take it to an unhealthy…Read More

Lead by Influence

by Jon Huckins Posted in Youth Worker Development

It was my first day working in the local public high school.  The teenagers walk into my classroom, 70% listening to their iPods while the other 30% are busy texting.  They turn the chairs from their desks and face them towards their friends so they can carry on the conversation…Read More

Why I Live: Phil Cunningham

by Phil Cunningham Posted in Youth Worker Development

My name is Phil Cunningham.  Seventeen years ago I left what was a seemingly normal life -- car, job, family -- to join a missions organization called Youth With A Mission. I have served with YWAM ever since. Over those 17 years I have travelled to 17 different countries, lived in 12 different homes, married one wonderful woman and had two beautiful little girls with one more due in January 2011. 

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.

Know Your Audiences

by Jillianne Myers Davis Posted in ProgrammingYouth Worker Development

When I think about a time when something didn’t go according to plan, four words come to mind: ski trip epic fail. Four months into my tenure as a director of student ministries at a new church, I booked a slope-side cabin that slept 40 for the annual ski trip. I’d had the privilege of leading and organizing about 6 or 7 other ski trips at the past two churches where I had served, and I’d been told the ski trip was a tradition at this church as well.

Boys Will Be Boys

by Andrew Burden Posted in High SchoolYouth Worker Development

From the sandbox to the construction site, being male is often associated with a natural spirit of trouble-making. You don’t have to be on John Eldridge’s mailing list to recognize that there is an untamed energy that is uniquely masculine. Middle school boys at church camp are no exception. After…Read More

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

How Many Turns?

by Russ Cantu Posted in Youth Worker Development

After a long and grueling week serving the great sunny city of Ensenada, Mexico, our misson team packed up the vans and headed for the border. Oh how I love the border; it’s one of my favorite places. There’s such a beautiful clash of culture that just stares back at…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.

Waking Up From The Nightmare

by Youth Specialtie Posted in Youth Worker Development

I love Gordon Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmares on BBC America. The premise of the show is pretty simple. Ramsey shows up at a struggling restaurant and helps the owner face a reality they are often avoiding. If the restaurant doesn't make money the doors will close.    The formula for the show is simple. He teaches them to keep the kitchen clean, the wait staff happy, and to simplify their menu. Over and over again Ramsey goes to restaurants and implements that same simple 3-step strategy... and it always works. 

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