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When I was training in college to enter youth ministry, I often mentally moaned about the lack of "real world courses" that would prepare me for my ministry journey.  Now, more than four decades along, I stand by those early thoughts.  One course I wish they taught in college was "Conflict Resolution 101."  After all, it's everywhere! Whether it's a parent who is furious because you're not treating their child "fairly" or a church member who thinks the music in the youth service is "of the devil," conflicts are a natural part of ministry.

The truth of the matter is where there are people, there is conflict.  Yet, it's important for all of us as leaders to be able to deal with conflict in the right way.  If we don't, unresolved conflict, in any arena, can "eat away" at even the strongest of us.

That is why we're sharing "10 Principles For Handling Youth Ministry Conflict" in this Alliance.  In the video you'll hear ten practical and healthy ways to handle the very thing we often want to shy away from -- conflict.  Unresolved conflict with pastors, leaders, parents, and students is easily one of the top things that take people out of ministry.  Sad but true.  However, if unresolved conflict can take people out, that means restored peace can help keep people IN the ministry for the long haul!  That's sure our heart!

We think that this quarter's topic could be a game-changer for your ALLIANCE group.  I think all of us enter youth ministry with high expectations and some UNREALISTIC ones.  It's easy to become disillusioned when youth ministry doesn't work out the way we envisioned it.  I created this coaching session from many of my talks with ALL OF YOU.  The points I share are some of the repeating themes youth pastors and leaders tell me confidentially when they feel SAFE ENOUGH to open up their honest hearts.  That's why we call this Alliance, "7 Things Youth Pastors Tell Me In Private."

So, as you discuss with your gang some of the things that they may quietly wrestle with, may you hear each other all the way.  It's not nearly as challenging when you know others deal with some of the same thoughts.  Know, too, that we're all cheering you on from Atlanta.

This Alliance, "A Leader's Friendship Trinity:  Navigating Your Friendships in Ministry," is quite possibly one of the most important resources you will have heard in a while.  The truth of the matter is that friendships are hard in ministry, especially for ministry leaders.  The problem is that most of us spend all of our time with people who are under us as leaders.  So we are forever FEEDING PEOPLE WHO CAN'T FEED US.  I think this resource is worth its weight in gold.  So please don't miss it.  I talk about understanding the 3 categories of friends that all ministry leaders invariably have…and what you can expect from all of them.

This iVolunteer resource is a COACHING RESOURCE for volunteer youth leaders who want to be the BEST they can be!

Group Magazine did a survey of 10,000 youth and young adults, asking them what the #1 thing was they were looking for in a church. The top answer from an overwhelming majority was "a welcoming, warm environment." The honest truth is, if you "fail the friendliness test in ministry...you've failed." This isn't surprising as we live in a culture of shallow friendships and broken families.

Often our leaders have great intentions, but they don't have a clue where to start. Listen in to this iVolunteer, "Creating A Sense Of Family In Your Ministry," as I share one of my favorite stories that will help your leaders visualize the importance of creating a sense of family. I also give them seven pragmatics to start putting steps behind launching and developing a friendship culture in your youth ministry.

Building A Family,

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.

When I started in youth ministry, I had about 20 kids in the youth group. My idea of success? A night together in youth service where Jesus showed up, kids laughed together and prayed together, and maybe even a new kid or so excitedly decided to give their life to Christ. I mean, back in 1970, that was my idea of a mind-blowing YOUTH MINISTRY SUCCESS.

It took only about three short months to start adding stuff to that original equation. Remember those 20 kids? Well, pretty soon, "real success" needed to include having about 30 kids show up! And somewhere through those opening, exciting months, something NEW to me was "born" in my life and head. It was small and almost a little "cuddly" at the beginning. Kind of like a friendly little "stuffed animal" from my past. But on closer examination, it wasn't that innocent and it sure wasn't that "cuddly." I had given birth to a small, not-too-scary-looking DRAGON.

So my prayerful goal for this message is to remind all of us that the "DRAGON OF SUCCESS" is maybe one of the most ferocious enemies ANY of us will ever face in our own minds...but we'll ALL face him...whether we're the "lead person" on the team, an amazing volunteer assistant, or just a career-orientated person who's just trying to get ahead on the job-site.

I'm LIVING, TRANSPARENT, VULNERABLE PROOF that THE DRAGON OF SUCCESS can hang around for a pretty long time. The point I'm trying to make is that probably all of us have VARIATIONS of this "Dragon" that Jesus and His love wants to slay – dragons that are fed by our insecurities, our fears, our needs for approval and acceptance.


As the end of both our Cadre and ALC year is right around the corner, we are just people on a mission to make our final moments together really count.  That's why I chose this Alliance's topic to be, "Effective Closings:  Getting Your Message Over The Finish Line."  In the same way that we are being intentional with the close of our year, our heart is that you would be just as intentional with how you close out your talks.

Any good communicator knows that we all want to present our messages in a way that makes our listeners want to "buy in."  That's why our closings are so important.  Truth is, no matter how good of an athlete you are, if you can't get across the finish line with strength, you're not a champion.  The parallel is obvious in our talks.  It's really easy to work hard on the body of your message and have the ending "fall flat."  So, I just wanted to do this resource to give you and your ALLIANCE gang some practical examples on how to make the close of your talks the most significant possible.

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.

All of time management is a trade-off.  Unfortunately, for those of us in ministry, that trade-off can easily become our family.  However, my personal definition of success is having "those who know me BEST love me MOST."  I'm wholeheartedly committed to saying that my family always came before my ministry.  That's why this quarter I'm sharing on "Family vs. Ministry:  The Eternal Tug of War."

We simply can't put ourselves on autopilot and expect to have a good family and a good marriage.  I repeat back to myself often, "Jeanne, your most important ministry is not when you DRIVE OUT of your driveway in the morning, but when you DRIVE BACK IN."  Sadly though, I find that it's easier to put more energy into special events at the youth group than into family nights.  My heart, as you and your gang listen to this resource, is that it becomes authentically helpful in balancing the world of family and ministry.

This iVolunteer resource is a COACHING RESOURCE for volunteer youth leaders who want to be the BEST they can be!

Ever feel like there's just not enough time in the day to accomplish what you "have to," let alone anything you "want to"...like volunteering? You're not alone. So many of our hearts long to say "yes" to ministry, but our calendars scream "no way." The good news is that life doesn't have to boil down to "either/or," it truly can be "both/and."

Allow me in this iVolunteer, "Finding Time To Do Ministry In A Busy World," to share what I've learned balancing the multiple worlds of ministry, work, and family. In addition to discovering ways to become more EFFECTIVE and EFFICIENT, you'll learn how to maximize your "red tag" investments!


God wants to make us more like Him, but we just want to be liked. Listen to Christine Caine as she challenges us to get our eyes off the "next thing" on our to-do list and look for the "new thing" that God is wanting to do in our lives."

This iVolunteer resource is a COACHING RESOURCE for volunteer youth leaders who want to be the BEST they can be!

"I'm gay." This is one of the phrases that many churches run from. With the media's glamorization of the gay lifestyle, the accessibility and normality of porn, and the commonality of sexual abuse in our culture, it is no wonder that homosexuality is a struggle for many of our students. Unfortunately, because of our discomfort or inexperience in talking about sexuality, we often avoid it or condemn it, leaving our struggling students feeling like they have no one to turn to.

In this iVolunteer I answer the question, "How Do I Counsel A Person Who Claims They Are Gay?" You'll hear me share some time-tested counseling advice and Scriptures that will help you understand God's teaching on sexuality, equipping you to engage on this topic with your students. However, let me remind you that the most important gift you can give someone struggling in this area is genuine Christ-honoring love, friendship, and acceptance.


This iVolunteer resource is a COACHING RESOURCE for volunteer youth leaders who want to be the BEST they can be!

This month's iVolunteer, "How Do You Counsel A Self-Cutter?" is on a touchy subject that we can often go silent on in the church. Sadly enough, statistics say that at least 4% of the general population suffers from this "new anorexia" more commonly known as "cutting." So, though not all your students may deal with it, chances are they know or will know someone who deals with this addictive disorder.

Listen in, as I walk through a few reasons why people can turn to "self-injury" and how we can effectively minister to those who deal with this heartbreaking disorder. This resource will be powerfully helpful for you in dealing with and addressing all kinds of addictions. You may also want to check out the Source, "The Silent Agony of Cutting" that goes along with this leadership resource. It's taken from a family night in my youth ministry where we go after this area, no holds barred.


Have you noticed?  Bulletin inserts don't work!  Pulpit announcements don't work!  We all know that in order to grow our youth ministries we must first enlarge our leadership base.  But, how do you do that?  What secrets have you discovered that others might need to hear?  What might someone else have figured out that you never thought of?  In this quarter's topic, we discuss recruiting strategies to solve the #1 reoccurring challenge most of us face in youth ministry, "How To Create An Amazing Volunteer Leadership Team."

In transparent honesty, this message is NOT the way most conferences are opened...much less, most LEADERSHIP conferences. But I'm concerned about an emerging leadership culture that focuses more on our RIGHTS than on our RESPONSIBILITIES. That focuses more on GRACE than it does on GODLINESS. A leadership culture that happily makes people SUPERSTARS if they're good speakers, funny enough, and have enough "cool trappings." A culture where caring for people is marginalized...where being a true SHEPHERD is an afterthought...and where the term "holiness" is usually muffled, for fear of being viewed as LEGALISTIC.

So at the risk of being misunderstood and even a little categorized as "old school, "This message is one of the most FULFILLING, LIFE-GIVING, HEART-THUMPING....BUT DEMANDING PRINCIPLES I have ever found in the Word of God. And I think it's particularly important in today's leadership culture. It's the paradox of the Kingdom: "to be truly FREE, I must first choose in some way, to be BOUND."

This is one principle that I fear is PAINFULLY OVERLOOKED in today's Christian leadership circles. It's taken from Exodus 21: 2-6, simply titled, "I Will Not Go Out Free!"


God wants to do more in you and through you than you can comprehend or think is possible. You will often overestimate what God wants you to do in the short-term, but you will always underestimate what God can do with you in through a lifetime of being faithful to Him. In this message Craig gives leaders 5 suggestions to "break out of the lid" and increase their capacity.

This iVolunteer resource is a COACHING RESOURCE for volunteer youth leaders who want to be the BEST they can be!

As a volunteer, it's sometimes challenging not being the "top dog." You might easily begin to think that you're not making much of a difference when you're not the one on the platform. You may wonder how setting up chairs every Wednesday night, or smiling at a few students and asking them some questions once a week can really be changing anything.

In this iVolunteer, "Leading Without A Mic," we'll take a look at the biblical example of David, who began his career as a "high school" volunteer in King Saul's army. David could have easily said, "I'm just a volunteer!" But, he knew it wasn't his title or amount of recognition that determined whether his life made a difference. Instead, it was the heart with which he served. So, listen in and be reminded that, "Leadership isn't a title; Leadership is influence."

Cheering you on,

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The summer months are so pivotal in a student's spiritual growth and we simply can't take our voice of influence in their lives half-heartedly.  We especially can't begin to punt on our communication, because if we're honest, the longer we do it or the more common it becomes to us, the easier it is to do.  That's why we're sharing, "Making Creativity Come Alive In Your Youth Service," in this Alliance.

The truth of the matter is that creativity really isn't an option anymore if you want your students to remember much of what you are saying.  We live in a pretty A.D.D. generation where it's hard to focus on much of anything.  That's why it's so vital that we that we add some elements to our services that really catch their attention.  For some of us, creativity is a little more difficult, and never has carried a lot of weight in our youth ministries.  I hear over and over, "I'm just not a creative person," but experience has taught me that with a little extra time and energy, we all have the ability to get our creative juices flowing.  So, listen in to this Alliance as I cover some of the reasons that we often don't put much energy toward creativity in our services and give ten practical ideas to add some new life to our weekly routines.

In Cadre emails, I’m frequently asked to share some of my tips on developing a great leadership team.  I thought you might enjoy hearing a few too.  So that’s what I’m sharing in this ALLIANCE, “Mayo Beatitudes For Developing A Leadership Team.”

While some of the points may not sound too “glamorous,” please just know that they work if you have the work-ethic and endurance to keep doing them.  So let’s take some time together dialoguing on 5 pragmatics to help you develop a phenomenal volunteer leadership team.  I promise this topic, if applied, can be a game-changer.  I’m excited for the conversation and ideas that this can spur among your group in the discussion time.

When people have asked me over the years what the number ONE enemy of my ministry run has been, I have one consistent answer:  "My own MIND GAMES!"  Statistics tell us that we speak at a rate of 200 words per minute, but think at approximately 1,300 words a minute.  That's a lot of "self-talk" going on in my own head.  More often than not, the ME inside of my own mind is pretty full of mental battles that could kick me to the curb if I allow them.  However, if I choose to take control of my own head, with the help of Christ and His Word, I really can grow past these emotional traps.

That's why this ALLIANCE is a really important one.  Ministry for a lot of us can be pretty lonely as we try to navigate through the warzones in our own heads.  Our prayer for this Alliance is that it is a safe place for youth pastors and youth leaders to share candidly with each other on this life-impacting topic.  In a world of surface level relationships in ministry, please make this ALLIANCE a place of authentic friendship and healing honesty.

34 Resources | Page: 1 of 2