Do These 3 Things For a Week, and Double Your Confidence in Youth Ministry

Let’s face it, there can be no less thankful role in parish ministry than the youth leader or coordinator. With comments from parents asking you to do more and preach less to parish staff members wondering what you do all day, it can be a thankless role. I really don’t know of many youth leaders […]

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Reaching Multi Screen Teens

On a recent visit to a local coffee shop to meet with a youth ministry friend, I was amazed to count that there were 52 people in the shop at 2 pm. Of the 52 people only my friend and I were having a face to face conversation. All 50 other people were sipping coffee […]

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Making a Life Night Environment on a Budget

Making environments for retreats and life nights are some of my favorite parts of youth ministry. They really take a good life night to the next level and add some “wow!” factor when teens walk in the room. In the past, it wasn’t uncommon for me to spend a lot of money to make a killer environment. However, times are changing and my Church is looking at greatly shrinking our budgets. How can youth ministry keep providing great environments for teens at a fraction of a cost? My solution is to build a few life night set-ups that I can reuse with elements I can swap in and out.

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Always Step Outside Yourself

If there is one leadership skill that makes leaders stand out, it’s their ability to “work a room” or simply to step outside themselves and acknowledge most if not all people wherever they are. Recently while visiting a parish I asked a teen how he got involved in Life Teen? He simply looked at me […]

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Thank God for Ministry Spouses!

Who are the men and woman who stay at home and eat dinner without his or her spouse every Sunday during Life Night? Who bathes the children and puts them to bed before the Life Night ends? Who prays as much, if not more, for the teens who are in the youth group? Who stands […]

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Is Your Ministry Fearless?

In fact, that’s why I became a youth minister. I knew it would be tough, but I was up for the challenge. (And, well, I wanted a gangsta job where I could use a handheld microphone regularly.)In reality, nine years of youth ministry taught me a lot about myself, but perhaps the biggest thing it showed me is that I’m not as brave as I thought. If I’m honest, there were a lot of times when…

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Forgetting the 99

This is great motivation for outreach. We can never be satisfied with how many teens we have at our Life Nights or at our retreats, we always need to be reaching out to and sharing the Gospel with more. We always need to go after that one. But what happens if that one decides they aren’t interested? Or what happens if that one is a teen that was really involved, but suddenly disappears and you start hearing about all of their unholy exploits? What happens when that really involved senior goes to college and becomes an atheist?

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Tell the Truth: Marriage Equality and Your Teens

This is the holiest time of the year. Yet, the headline of Christ’s death and resurrection has been usurped by the two cases before the U.S. Supreme Court related to the definition of marriage. The conversation about homosexuality and same-sex marriage has reached a sort of frenzy as people have waited in line to get a seat at the Supreme Court, as reporters have tried to guess what the justices are thinking, and as everyone’s comments and opinions have taken over social media. Despite how common this issue is right now, it can be a difficult one to address with our teens because it is such a polarized topic. We do our youth an injustice if we never talk about it, though. They need to know what the Catholic Church teaches about homosexuality and marriage, and why the two don’t go together.

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Stuff Youth Ministers Like #35: The Finale “YM’s vs. Food”

Any good series must eventually come to an end. Lord of the Rings, Rocky, and Seinfeld all eventually had to conclude, which means, yes, one day we will all face the depressing reality that the same fate will plague Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. (I’ll give you second to let the sink in.) Okay. Hopefully […]

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Stuff Youth Ministers Like #34: Corny Jokes

As corny as the jokes may be, I learned several years ago that they can be an effective way of breaking the ice in an otherwise awkward group of middle school and high school teenagers. After all, nothing says, “I’m way more goofy than you are,” than a really bad joke with a cheesy punch line. So this one is for all of you comedians turned youth ministers, keep up with the bad jokes. Trust me, one day you are going to overhear that teen who stared at you blankly telling one of his friends, “Okay, so two fish were in a tank . . . ” And if they can remember a cheesy joke like that, just think about what they'll remember about Jesus.

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