Reflections of 30 Years of Life as a Youth Minister

Originally released October, 2011.

October 31, 1981, was my first event in youth ministry. I was part of a group of adults who put on a haunted house with a ministry goal for the teens. Somehow I rose in leadership through the planning of this event and have been in youth ministry ever since. On that night I met and connected with two pre-teen boys, Jay and Randy Johnson, whom we still share a tight bond. As impactful as this night was, I've never done another haunted house ministry. I never got why we did that.

Those first five years I was naive yet, I believe, also supernaturally protected. However I led as I did is a mystery other than it came out of pure obedience to the call on my life. Particularly those first two years. Randy and Jay to this day mention that this 2-year window is a recognized supernatural time in their lives. Those two years were also the happiest years of my life.

A Daring Friendship

Originally published July 2006.

Do you remember the story from Exodus about the golden calf?  Think back to all of your 68 times watching "The Ten Commandments" by Cecil B. DeMille.  You will then remember that God was mad.  Very mad.  Look at what is recorded in Exodus 32:7-10 -  “The Lord said to Moses: ‘Hurry back down!  Those people you led out of Egypt are acting like fools.  They have already stopped obeying me and have made themselves an idol in the shape of a young bull.  They have bowed down to it, offered sacrifices, and said that it is the god who brought them out of Egypt.  Moses, I have seen how stubborn these people are, and I’m angry enough to destroy them, so don’t try to stop Me.  But I will make your descendants into a great nation.’”

Level 5 Leadership

Originally published January 2005.

Over the summer I read Good to Great by Jim Collins.  This is a huge bestseller being read by many with business minds because the author covers extensive research as to what helped businesses go from just being good to being great.  I thought the book might have some principles to help youth leaders take their youth group from good to great.  You just never know where you may get a nugget of truth and this book was full of them.  

Understand first though that I am not one of those who thinks the church should be run like a business.  The finances should be run as tight as a business but not much else.  The church is described as the Bride of Christ, the Body of Christ, the Fellowship of Believers, etc., all of which are too emotionally personal for the church to be run as a business.  You personally may have experienced the loss of friendliness in a church that is run like a business.  I personally don't like it so I'm not advocating that here at all.