Playbook Unlimited // Search Results For: Discipleship
If you're in youth ministry, you know counseling is a significant part of the job description and can be one of the most rewarding things you do. All too often, however, it can feel like a huge black hole...a total waste of time due to the lack of results.
It doesn't have to be that way! While one of my college degrees was in counseling, allow me to share with you 12 things they never taught me in the classroom. The wisdom I've gained through my ministry run will not only help you crawl out of the black hole and get some decent results, it will also save you time...something there never seems to be enough of.
We all know that good volunteers are hard to find, but they're even harder to keep! There's a million legitimate things that can cause great people to quit, but it's our role to help manage those things effectively so our volunteers will stay in the game long-haul. That's why I wanted to share this resource with you.
In this month's Youth Leader's Coach, "16 Reasons Why Good Volunteers Quit," I'm sharing from my more than 40 years of experience 16 of the most common reasons I've found why good leaders quit and how we can tackle them effectively.
Have you ever wondered, are we really making a difference in the lives of our students, or we just deceiving ourselves? Though most people will eventually become like their leaders, not all discipleship is biblically transformational. Rather, it is easy for people to be informed, but not transformed.
The Transformational Church Research Company recently wrote a book based on their research called, Transformational Discipleship: How People Really Grow. In this Youth Leader's Coach, "Are We Discipling Or Deceived?" I give you the highlights of their research and the book helping you know if you are discipling your gang in their Transformational Sweet Spot. I share with you two things that biblical discipleship IS NOT and three steps toward accomplishing the biblical transformation we all desire.
Becoming the best we can be,
As leaders, many times we communicate, "We're not into quantity; we're into quality." Often, that's a cop-out. Winning youth ministry leadership teams PLAY TO WIN. Don't you want to be a part of a CHAMPION leadership team?
This Youth Leader's Coach, "Attitudes Of A Winning Youth Leadership Team," will help equip you with all the strategies to not only have a thriving team, but one that WINS souls for the kingdom of God to make you absolutely UNSTOPPABLE! In this resource you will find pragmatics to help you identify the overarching goal of your ministry and how can you instill an unshakable method of accomplishing that goal for both yourself and in your leaders! I'll also talk about being successful from the smallest scale, to the biggest as we address some of the most CRUCIAL practices in continued growth and relevance in today's leadership culture, while at the same time, talking about the pitfalls to avoid as you lead your team into your best winning season!
It's been said that "The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire." How true. And in youth ministry, we need to help ignite that process almost every day. Have you ever wondered how certain leaders seem to pull the best out in those around them? They seem to know how to generate the extra effort from those they lead whether it's the students in the youth group itself or the volunteer leaders.
That topic is what this valuable Youth Leader's Coach is all about. I've entitled it, "Bringing Out The Best In People." And because it is such a crucial topic, I have made this a two-part coaching communication. John Gardner once said that "The best-kept secret in America today is that people would rather work hard for something they believe in than enjoy a pampered idleness." I think that quote is especially true when it comes to youth ministry. So grab a cup of coffee and let's have some fun talking about this really vital aspect of ministry.
Rarely in our Youth Leader's Coach family do I give you a two-part coaching communication. But this Youth Leader's Coach, "Bringing Out The Best In People - Part 2," represents a topic that is so crucial that I wanted to spend more time with you on it.
You'll hear me deal with simple keys that will truly be the "make it or break it" within the relational life of both your youth ministry and your leadership team. So enjoy our moments together and know that in reality, "People are failures, not because they are stupid, but because they are not sufficiently impassioned."
Still committed to "Frog-Kissing,"
Most everyone in youth ministry will enjoy and benefit from this mentoring time. Most of us do at least a portion of our daily leadership from the "Number 2 Chair." So this Youth Leader's Coach, "Building Great Assistant Youth Leaders," is focused in two directions. First, I want to help you as the primary youth leader to understand some of the struggles and mind games that "assistant youth leaders" (whatever you might call them) face on a daily basis.
But secondly, I want this Youth Leader's Coach to be something that you can reproduce to give to your volunteer youth leaders. I truly believe that it will make them better leaders for you and help to multiply their loyalty and effectiveness. So "happy duplicating" on this one. I pray that our time together translates to a more fulfilling ministry for you as well as those around you.
Cheering for the "Number 2 Chair,"
When it comes to conflict are you a "Hider," "Hurter," or "Healer"? As you might guess, to be a "Healer" is the desired answer, but not always the easiest to pull off. Using Matthew, Ephesians and Galatians as our text, in this Youth Leader's Coach we learn how to speak the truth in love and gently guide those we love back onto the right path.
While no one in their right mind enjoys confrontation, if we are going to make a difference for Jesus Christ, learning how to do this well is crucial. "Caring Enough To Confront" is an essential part of helping move people toward maturity in Christ. So, grab a cup of coffee and learn from my recent struggles and victories as we navigate this challenging world...together!
A few days ago I had to make a tough call. I had to tell another young lady that for the next three months, she was no longer welcome at our youth group. The reasons were complex, but let me assure you that it was an unavoidable and right decision. As you can understand, I became Public Enemy #1 in the eyes of a few of her closest friends. Though it’s not a very fun place to be, I learned a long time ago that you can never be their leader if you need them to always like you. I call it the balance between being a coach and being a companion in youth ministry. Granted, all significant youth ministry is relationally strong, but when the unavoidable times come where one of those two roles must win, I suggest that your coach role usually needs to trump your companion one.
In this month's Youth Leader's Coach, "Coach vs. Companion," I'm sharing some comparisons of being a leader and a friend in our students' lives. Now don’t hear me wrong. It's strategic in youth ministry to be a touchable friend and companion. Relationship is always king, but don't sacrifice your credentials to be their spiritual coach. In the end it's always worth it!
LeBron James is one of the most respected men in the history of basketball. He once stated his life goal as this, "I want to be the greatest basketball player of all time. And that's my motivation. It's not simple, but for me it is. That's my mind frame." And believe it or not, my friends, we all have our own LeBron James to coach to be the best.
Who are the " LeBron James'" in our ministry world? They are people who have an immense level of leadership, influence or giftedness that we are tasked with leading for a season. Our goal in leading them should be to make them the VERY BEST THEY CAN BE within the time we are trusted to lead them.
So in this month's Youth Leader's Coach, "Coaching Your Own LeBron James," I'm sharing some pragmatics on how to effectively lead those who are highly gifted, influential leaders. This is a "do not miss" resource. So grab a coffee and listen in.
Youth Ministry Basics is eight pragmatic teachings with informative "how-tos" that have consistently made significant differences in my youth ministries over the years.
One of the most exciting things about youth ministry is watching teenagers come to the Lord and jump-starting their walk with Christ. But unless the follow-up is good, the results won't stick. Years ago, teenagers knew what it meant to stick around and finish the job. Today teenagers are so different that unless we strategically figure out how to help them grow, we are doing more harm than good.
This Youth Minsitry Basics Resource will walk you through a simple three session strategy to help jump-start your new believers that can be done in 10 minutes during part of your normal youth service. These sessions stress the importance of time in prayer, God's Word and Christian friendships.
My focus during this mentoring time is not specifically how to talk with students who are "gay and proud of it." Though several of the principles apply, our focus here is helping students who are "on the line." As leaders, please be aware that you will never help ANYONE overcome ANY sin that they themselves do not genuinely want to WALK FREE FROM.In this month's Youth Leader's Coach, "Counseling A Student Who Thinks They Might Be Gay," I'm sharing 8 points on helping students navigate the world of same-sex attraction. It is a MUST listen! In a church world who often has two extremes on this topic, we must choose to walk with love, grace and mercy in this area.
In the 12,333 Assemblies of God Churches today, 27% have paid youth leaders, 49% have a youth ministry led by volunteers and 24% have no youth ministry reported. 91% of the churches have 400 or less in attendance, 84% of the churches have 200 or less in attendance and 65% of the churches have 100 or less in attendance.
In this session, Jay Mooney, Youth Director of Assembly of God National, challenges youth pastors to reach out and mentor small churches that do not have the budget for youth ministry and help the start and grow youth ministries in these churches. Through purchasing and sharing tools such as thefiftytwo.com, an on-line, youth leader resource which offers a complete year of sermons, presentation slides, small groups, leadership helps, ministry strategies and multiple lists each containing 52 ideas, and bringing their own youth groups alongside, leaders can help smaller churches develop youth groups. "If you want to have lasting fruit in your youth ministry you need to have students in ministry, not just a student ministry. Launch you students in ministry...you'll be surprised what happens in their lives."
In this Youth Leader's Coach I am hitting on the number one defining characteristic of a youth ministry that makes deep impact in students' lives. This is the characteristic of "David-Jonathan Youth Ministry." People ask me all the time for the "how-tos" of running a successful youth ministry. But the bottom line of youth ministry, far beyond the "how-tos," is what I'm sharing with you today. Relational discipleship takes the hard work and creative ideas in your youth ministry to a whole new level. Without it, youth ministry really can become hollow.
Let me share three prayers taken from the story of David and Jonathan that have set the focus of my own youth ministry. This focus is not on all the bells and whistles, though they are cool and often essential, but rather on building relational bridges to the hearts of the students that we then simply let Jesus walk across. I often like to say "inch by inch youth ministry's a cinch; yard by yard youth ministry's hard." Together we will take one inch at a time towards a youth ministry defined by the spirit of David and Jonathan.
Doing youth ministry one inch at a time,
If you're in real youth ministry, this Youth Leader's Coach, "Dealing With Attitude Problems In Your Students," is probably one you'll want to play from time to time.
Chances are you probably have run into attitude problems in your students in the recent past. The attitude issues that you'll encounter cover such a wide range: the "sin is cool" attitude, the "rebellious and proud of it" attitude, the "run the youth group down with sarcasm and cuts" attitude, or the apathetic "drop dead - I don't care" attitude (and there are so many more). Realize that these attitudes don't just show up in your students - you'll find them in adults, in your leaders and even your own family. We often have to check ourselves because they can so easily appear in our own life.
So sit back and enjoy as I share some of the lessons I've learned over the years in dealing with an issue we all face.
Your "long-distance" cheerleader,
Remember that old saying, "It's the squeaky wheel that gets the oil"? Sometimes that principle is even true in youth ministry. We find ourselves focusing much of our time and energy around our "problem kids." Somehow, our average students who don't have any big problems get lost in the mix.
That's what this Youth Leader's Coach deals with. I entitled it "Dealing With Potential; Not Just Problems." It's just a time to remind ourselves how to effectively help our average students to unlock their God-given potential. Like the father in the New Testament prodigal son account, we youth leaders find it easy to celebrate the "prodigal son" more than celebrating the "elder brother" who never left in the first place.
Lovingly admiring the Elder Brother,
Our Alliance topic goes right along with one of my favorite stories about Teddy Stoddard and his teacher Mrs. Thompson, who was willing to look past Teddy's unpleasant attitudes to the story behind them. We're talking together about "Dealing with Rotten Attitudes in Your Students."
We know when a kid's attitude is disheveled or when they come across a little unpleasant that it's pretty easy to be frustrated or discouraged with the youth ministry journey. But it's in those moments that we get to see a little bit more of a read-out on our student's hearts. It's in those moments that we get to be a little bit more of a Mr. or Mrs. Thompson to our students. We get to look at our students and see past all the junk on the outside, to hear the "story behind the story" and to give them HOPE to change.
Some topics are so engrained in you, they become part of your LEADERSHIP DNA. This topic would be one of them for me. I'm excited for the conversations it will prayerfully spark when your Alliance group is together. If you know me, you probably already know what I'm talking about.
This ALLIANCE, "Effective Small Groups Made Easy," talks about what I believe to be the greatest pragmatic tool for discipleship and growth. And in truth, I'm not telling you it will be easy, but as a bit of a leadership coach, if I can point you one direction to make the FOCUS of your programming energy...this is it! For those of you who already HAVE a small group ministry, this ALLIANCE can give you the tools for a most valuable RE-booting of your groups.
Let me share the top 3 reasons why I think small groups fail:
1. They are glorified Sunday School classes with a "talking head" instead of being highly interactive and relational.
2. People don't spend enough energy on the steps I am suggesting.
3. They QUIT too soon!
So let's take a run at dialoguing on 10 pragmatic guidelines to help you and your Alliance group, launch or re-launch a THRIVING small group system. My prayer for this ALLIANCE resource is that it helps your Alliance group take their youth and young adult ministries from being ministries WITH small groups to a ministry OF small groups. There's a really BIG difference between the two.
If you followed me around through my more than 40 years in full-time youth ministry, you would see me follow one workable discipleship pattern with youth and young adults over and over again. Granted, the pattern has emerged from costly trial and error.
In this month's Youth Leader's Coach, "Greatest Discipleship Secrets," allow me to share with you my pragmatic gleanings from decades of relational discipleship. I promise you, if given time, these pragmatics could be some of the greatest gifts you to your youth ministry!
Maybe you saw it on TV too. It was an interview with a surviving mountain-climbing guide. He was guiding amateur climbers to the peak of Mount Everest and in one of those climbs, two of his fellow guides lost their lives. The interview gave powerful insights into how we can help others "go to the next level" in their climb up the Mountain of God.
"Helping Others Go To Higher Ground" weaves together principles from the Word, from life, and from this interview. The focus of our time together in this Youth Leader's Coach answers one of youth ministry's greatest questions: "How do I help motivate the teenagers in my youth ministry and my leaders to pursue continued spiritual and personal growth?" The guide's answer to one of the interviewer's closing questions makes the whole Youth Leader's Coach worth the listening to. The interviewer asked, "After seeing so vividly the dangers of leading a group of amateur climbers, I can't understand why you keep doing this." The guide paused and then said, "Obviously, you haven't been to the top."
Still trying to lead others toward "The Top,"